South African novelist Coetzee (Waiting for the Barbarians, 1982; Life & Times of Michael K, 1984) is a professor as well at the University of Cape Town—and this collection of seven essays about writings by whites in South Africa has a fashionable structuralist feel to it. To wit: though Coetzee is unable to honestly recommend (or even tempt the reader's interest) with the writers he deals with—C.M. van den Heever, Pauline Smith, Olive Schreiner, Alan Paton, Sarah Gertrude Millin—the forms and subjects and procedures they use are assumed to be (and are in fact) far more telling than any particular work. Coetzee will home in on the interpretations South African writers (mostly precontemporary) have given certain concepts—the sublime, the picturesque, idleness, the farm, blood—and find each time another wrinkle in the fabric of racist empowerment this culture has developed. Coetzee is such a good structuralist, in fact, that the quotations from the writers he's writing about seem almost beside the point, mere buttresses. What is inescapable, however, is a reader's conclusion that South African writing's golden age is not then but now—as it worries the bone of previous barbarisms of attitude, the cultural determinism, in the in-every-way pale tradition Coetzee details.

Pub Date: April 13, 1988

ISBN: 0300048629

Page Count: 208

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1988

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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