MacDonald Harris is a writer “too good to be neglected,” writes Philip Pullman in the introduction to this reissue of Harris’ highly original 1976 novel “The Balloonist.” Set in 1897, it follows a middle-aged Swedish aeronaut as he aims to sail over the Arctic in a balloon to the North Pole.
“I keep an eye on the love life of the Colorado beetle and work against it,” Samuel Beckett writes in this second volume of his collected letters. “… That is to say by throwing the parents into my neighbor’s garden and burning the eggs. If only someone had done that for me!”
There can’t be many newspapermen whose work bears rereading after more than 80 years, but Mencken is one. The six volumes of his collected “Prejudices” are cocksure about everything, but whether they are right or boneheaded, one hardly cares.
Posted on Dec 10, 2010
Michael Dirda Locus Publications -- Amelia Beamer
Michael Dirda, a book columnist for The Washington Post, received the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. He is the author of the memoir An Open Book and of four collections of essays: Readings, Bound to Please, Book by Book and, most recently, Classics for Pleasure. Besides writing regularly about books for various journals and newspapers, he is a frequent lecturer and an occasional college teacher.