Fiction Friction, News Blues

By Jack Engelhard

 

When I heard that an obscure French-born novelist had won the Nobel Prize, I thought it must be me and I began eyeing that red Cadillac. After all, I fit all three categories. I am obscure. I am French-born. I am a novelist. Who else could it be? A man named Jean-Marie Gustav Le Clezio, that’s who. Oh well, as we say in baseball (and the economy) – wait till next year.

 

I hope Le Clezio wins us over. This is not promising. There have been no long lines for preceding Nobel champs, big names like Orhan Pamuk and Elfriede Jelinek.

 

Hemingway got the jitters when he won it and in fact he wanted no part of it due to the jinx.

 

But I’m stalling. I’ve really come here to talk about THE DEATH OF THE NOVEL. The latest to have his crack at this is columnist Kyle Smith writing in today’s New York Post (Sunday, Oct. 12). He sums it all up, in my favorite newspaper, by saying (if not in those words) that, in this fast-paced age of technology, fiction does not speak for our times.

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Obama’s Denver Speech-More Is Less

By Jack Engelhard

 

Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in Denver ran for nearly an hour. Half of it could have been cut had he left out his rage against John McCain. By my count, he mentioned McCain 40 times, derisively, and that is no way to make friends and influence people. This was an angry speech, it was divisive, and so very surprising from the lips of a man whose theme is unity.

 

We could have used some healing.

 

Those of us out here who are mild-mannered Republicans, or on-the-fence Independents, were in search of a message to help us make up our minds, words to animate us toward this Democrat nominee, but all we got was politics as usual, and worse, resentment and mockery. This was not the Obama as advertised.

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