NOTEBOOKS 1942-1951

Are the journals of writers really significant? One thinks of Goethe or Gide and the answer is an automatic yes. One reads the second volume of Camus' Notebooks: 1942-1951 and , alas, no definite opinion is reached. The first entry offers a Nietzsche quotation: "Whatever does not kill me strengthens me. " And Camus adds: "Yes , but... how painful it is to dream of happiness." Here's the last entry (and by now Camus is 37): "Any fulfillment is a bondage. It obliges one to a higher fulfillment." Such is the nature of progress. Camus died young, relatively speaking. It is customary to think of him as the conscience of an age, and for page after page we are confronted with moral concerns, moral imperatives, and the pressure of events: the Resistance, the Cold War, the themes of Exile and of Absurdity, the question of Ideology. We learn of the philosophic and personal preoccupations behind The Stranger, Sisyphus, Caligula, The Rebel; we get snatches of the existentialist temper within Parisian circles; we view the dramatic break with Marleau-Ponty and Sartre; we follow Camus' political quest, his quarrel with Marxist abstractions, his hatred of totalitarianism. Fully acquainted with modernist negativity, he sought Mediterranean reasonableness, classical "lucidity," and- can it be denied?- romantic individualism. In The Rebel he stated: "Analysis of revolt leads at least to the suspicion that there is a human nature, as the Greeks thought, and contrary to the postulates of contemporary thought. " No wonder he was in conflict with Sartre; actually, he was in conflict with "the age." The appeal of Camus—as the Notebooks show over and over—is a nostalgic one. We respond not to his intellectual, rigor, but to his heroic invocation. In a dehumanized era he held to "boyish" ideals, to giving to life courage, beauty, style.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 1569249679

Page Count: 274

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1965

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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

Did you like this book?

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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

Did you like this book?

more