Tuesday, December 8, 2009
We Learned More from a Three-Minute Record…
Bruce and Stephen King, the same week in the Times?
Well, Bruce wasn’t writing in the Times like Stephen King was, but he sure got writerly attention from David Brooks on the Op-Ed page. Brooks went on about his own ‘second’ education, the emotional education he got from listening to Bruce’s music. OK, so maybe the fervor of this recent reaction was prompted by his young daughter’s Springsteen fervor; you get like that when you’re a parent. But his message was one the readers of the city’s other dailies already knew: There’s more to school than studying.
Which brings me to the Book Review, where usually A students write about books written by other A students. Or professors write about books by other professors. But on November 29, there was Stephen King writing the cover review of a biography of Raymond Carver. Two guys who probably cut a class or two.
You can’t write a book review better than Stephen King wrote this. The A students could consult Fowler or Roget or re-read all their Edmund Wilson and not get close to it. They’ve had plenty of shots in that very Book Review and have not done what Stephen King did.
If you missed it, ‘you could look it up’, as another non-A student once said.
Photo caption: RAYMOND CARVER. For many, the face of the American short story.