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September 24, 2005


Jeremy Osner

I believe the game you are calling Balderdash is the same as the one that I call Dictionary; it is discussed extensively (or, "a bit") in comments to LH's post. Oh wait -- now I see you mean, odd that there is no mention of the game in the New Yorker article. Yeah, that's true.


Zoe goes out to the bars on her own time. I mean really, who wants to have the folks cramping her style?

But, did you ever write up a post/review of _Waiting for the Barbarians_? If so, can you point me to it? I read it this summer and would be interested to hear your thoughts. Even though it was written years ago I had a hard time not reading it in light of current events in the US and feeling terribly depressed.


I posted quite a long review-discussion at the Valve here. (Thanks for asking.)


Thanks for pointing me to it, John- it's a good review. (I hope you'll read disgrace, which is wonderful. I also read Elizabeth Costello this summer but feel less sure about it.) To my mind what was terrifying about _Barbarians_ was seeing the Magistrate in the position where crash between the rock and the hard place is coming, where he knows at some level that he should do something but hopes he won't have to, and can't decide yet how drastic of a thing he must do. The more common version of this problem is, for example, for a person caught by the cops, deciding when to stop stone-walling and go along. Here the problem is much harder. I'm sure it's one that many people faced in Germany in the 30's- when do you leave? When do you go underground? Do you join a resistance team? Do you just hope it will all pass? Very, very unpleasant. So I guess I liked the book a bit more than you, but I can't offer any deep analysis on it. I enjoyed the review, though.


A battleship swish would have to include rum, since that's the battleship drink. Maybe a naval version of a boilermaker--rum, beer, and lemon juice.

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