``What do students need to know about their teachers?'' asks Kaplan (French Literature/Duke; Reproductions of Banality, 1986, etc.—not reviewed): ``How do I tell them who I am, why I read the way I do?'' Here, the author is thinking of the mysteries of her own teacher, Paul de Man—but her memoir, though artful, hasn't the intellectual force or interest of de Man's writing. There's an appealing symmetry to Kaplan's memories: Her father, who died when she was seven, prosecuted Nazi war criminals, and she grew up to confront the ``negationists,'' French intellectuals, such as Maurice Bardäche, who denied the Holocaust. And there are interesting symbols here too: her father fighting bats at their summer home; the young author, age 16, making love in a cemetery; the French language itself offering a refuge, an alternative way of looking at things, a ``home.'' Kaplan enjoyed a sheltered and favored existence: Swiss boarding school; Berkeley, with junior year abroad; Yale in the 70's, where she acquired the right accent, studied elegant writers, and debated which language to speak in and what it meant to be bilingual. The author's primary debts seem to be to men: her father; her French lover; one ``Mr. D.'' (a classmate's wealthy father, who gave her an unforgettable day in Paris); an ``Oxbridge don'' who made her ``happiness...complete'' when he quoted from her book; and de Man- -whose defense, regarding his Nazi associations, she frames in his own terms: that theory shouldn't be confused with life. The major impression Kaplan gives here is of how very interesting life can be to a French professor, especially at a time when French intellectuals dominate academic critical thought— making this enjoyable reading for Francophiles, perhaps, but not for many others.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1993

ISBN: 0-226-42418-9

Page Count: 221

Publisher: Univ. of Chicago

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1993

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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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