ENGELHARD: Salinger and the art of despair

The theme of despair runs throughout literary and even biblical history. So J.D. Salinger, who excelled in writing about the melancholy of human existence, mainly so in The Catcher in the Rye, was not the first to approach the topic of futility.

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Obama/Romney/Clooney and Best President Money Can Buy

By Jack Engelhard

Apparently, the love of money is the root of all politics.

I thought we were broke…so broke that China has become our Sugar Daddy…so broke that our president bows to the king of Saudi Arabia.

So where is all this money coming from and where did the recession go?

A few weeks back George Clooney held a fundraiser that netted Barack Obama $15 million – this on top of the nearly $200 million Obama already has stashed away for his Second Coming. (The exact figure is $196, 909, 097, as of March, per NY Times.) I imagine that Romney also has some money coming in, plus his own wealth, but nothing compared to the incumbent.

In case you think this is a rant against one single candidate, Obama, no, it’s about finding and funding the best president money can buy…either party.

The Times and others are joyful, telling us that these figures prove that Obama is as popular as ever. Yes, money talks and yes, money measures love.

If greed is good, it’s especially good when it comes to purchasing high office.

I used to think that we’re supposed to vote for the wisest man or woman in the land. I was wrong. We vote for the money.

Who is most qualified? The man who strikes it rich!

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From Hank Greenberg to Delmon Young

By Jack Engelhard

There’s a clip somewhere showing Hank Greenberg rounding the bases after a homerun and upon reaching the dugout none of his Detroit Tigers teammates offered so much as a smile or a handshake. They ignored him. Well, he was Jewish. There’s evidence that he suffered for that as much as Jackie Robinson suffered for being black.

Two great ballplayers, one Jewish, one black, and sharing the same abuses, they became friends.

Greenberg was known for his reserve but he once challenged the entire New York Yankees dugout after their taunts became too much for him. He wasn’t religious but, as the first Jewish superstar in American sports, Greenberg took himself out of an important game because it fell on Yom Kippur…years BEFORE Sandy Koufax…and…for World War II, he refused deferment and got himself drafted into the military BEFORE Ted Williams.

We could go on about Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg (183 RBIs, 1937…58 homeruns, 1938…), but then there’d be no room to talk about Delmon Young. He also plays for Detroit except that this is another year, another generation, and what’s changed? Nothing much.

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“The Prince of Dice” Has Arrived on Kindle (Jack Engelhard)

Now on Kindle, Jack Engelhard’s “The Prince of Dice,” featuring Julian Rothschild, the world’s greatest sharpshooter, a gambler blessed by supernatural gifts and such uncanny skills that it is said that he scoots those ivories for God. WHO IS JULIAN ROTHSCHILD Here

Reviews here by two of America’s leading writers, Linda Shelnutt and John W. Cassell:

Review of PoD posted Friday, April 13, 2012; 5:25 pm MDT

Review by Linda Shelnutt

of PRINCE OF DICE

by Jack Engelhard

Lamed Vov: Thirty-six Just Men: One Masterpiece of Literature.

In this novel Engelhard seriously and humbly reached to God Himself. It felt to me that this book touched God and He responded. Maybe all readers won’t comprehend that success, but I feel certain each reader will feel it.

The feelings I had while reading this book were precisely what I seek. I looked forward to the next time I could read another segment. I wanted to have more time more often to continue reading and resented anything causing me to retire too late to have an hour or more for reading.  Yet I wanted to slow the reading because I wanted to have more of it left every time a lull allowed reading.

The writing style in this novel was subtly different from Engelhard’s other books which are so artfully composed, a fellow author can’t help but pause to admire the sheen of the syntax. In this book, the characters and story take over so completely there is no perceivable writing style. There is just the story and the characters.

Maybe that’s a feat beyond style, though I relish style, too.

Whatever way Engelhard puts together his novels, they work. They are enthralling enlightening reads exuding literary class with the cleanest writing style, or with the story taking all.

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Emma Thompson Headlines “Boycott Israel”

When it comes to Israel, everybody’s a critic

By Jack Engelhard

Dear World, another boycott? This is so 1930s!

Quick question before we move ahead — suppose a Jewish “West Bank” scientist discovers the cure for cancer, will this too be boycotted?

Now to the headline: English actress Emma Thompson (the new and improved Vanessa Redgrave) has joined a growing list of theatrical luminaries in demanding that Israel’s national theater company, Habima (based in Tel Aviv), be disinvited from performing at next month’s drama festival at London’s Globe Theater.  In effect, a boycott and the Nuremberg Laws all over again.

Was there ever a boycott against England for its Irish Troubles?

From the moment Shakespeare gave us Shylock, European anti-Semitism has been enjoying a continuous revival without end.

Dear World, another quick question – suppose you prepare yet another Holocaust for us but this time we won’t come?

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Elmore Leonard SUDDENLY Does Imus – By Jack Engelhard

Finally, some culture!

Elmore Leonard appeared on Don Imus’s radio/TV program this morning and it was a relief to catch this author who has dazzled us for quite some time.

The interview only lasted about 15 minutes but both Imus and Leonard were in stride and we were charmed. We learned that Leonard produced 10 Rules of Writing (never NEVER begin or even use the word Suddenly), but mostly we learned that there’s more to our culture than trash. In case you don’t know who Elmore Leonard is – well that’s my point.

Elmore Leonard is proof that maybe tough guys can’t dance but tough guys can write.

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Martin Eden: A Writer’s Story More Bitter Than Sweet-Jack Engelhard

Jack London wrote this novel, “Martin Eden,” when he was only in his 30s and it’s really the story of his life…about making it as a writer and about achieving that goal and about the futility of it all. His wanted fame and wealth and he got all that after years of rejection. He wanted the girl of his dreams, Ruth Morse, and when she finally came to him, he’d had enough.

Can you relate?

By the time the world caught up to him, Martin Eden was emptied out.  The people whose approval he sought turned out to be phonies.

This brings to mind J.D. Salinger who (so brilliantly and so timelessly) used Holden Caulfield to express the same loathing, disgust and despair.

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Dirty Politics? Are You Kidding? By Jack Engelhard

[Published a couple of years ago but STILL APPLIES]

Exclusive: Dirty Politics? You Must Be Kidding

Author: Jack Engelhard

Date Published: 2008-01-10

Dirty Politics? You Must Be Kidding

Jack Engelhard

We’ve been warned that as primary season moves along, we’ll, it’s going to get ugly. Get ready for smear campaigns, attack ads – no mercy, no prisoners.

Yes, we’re being told, Dirty Politics will rule. (Ooh. I’m so scared.)

Psst: here’s a tip. We don’t even qualify as amateurs here in America. Take Kenya, please. The whole country is in an uproar because of a dispute as to who won the latest election for the top seat. Hundreds, maybe thousands, have been hacked to death in this tribal bloodbath, villages uprooted, and thousands sent scattering.

That’s dirty politics!

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