The Agony of Editing Virginia Woolf’s Early Journals. Plus Welty on Woolf on Hemingway.

I’m having a rich time bouncing about Virginia Woolf: A Passionate Apprentice: The Early Journals, 1897-1909, edited by Mitchell Leaska. This one-volume collection, published in 1990, covers the journals and diaries Woolf kept between the ages of 15 and 27. They fill a blank space left by the better-known and endlessly fascinating five-volume The Diary of Virginia […]

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Elmore Leonard Is Gone

What a loss. What spirit and humor and ear and humanity and comedy and, at times, excruciating tension. That scene toward the end of Killshot where the gun is on the table and the two bad guys are talking and laughing and she starts to think Maybe I can just grab it and shoot ’em. And it was always scarier because if you’d read a couple Leonard books you knew he was willing to kill off a good guy (or gal) right when you least expected; never saw it coming.

Good Lord. This will take some time to getting used to.

The Times does a nice job here.

Mr. Leonard’s narrative voice was crisp, clean and direct. He had no time to waste on adverbs, adjectives or tricky verb forms, and he had no patience for moody interior monologues or lyrical descriptive passages. His dialogue, too, was succinct, as in this passage from “Riding the Rap”:

“ ‘She isn’t home,’ Raylan said.

“Bobby nodded toward the red Toyota in the drive.

“ ‘Her car’s there.’

“ ‘She still isn’t home,’ Raylan said.

“ ‘Maybe she’s asleep or she’s taking a shower.”

“ ‘When I say she isn’t home,’ Raylan said, ‘it means she isn’t home.’ ”

It takes only three words — “Look at me” — for Chili Palmer, the Miami loan shark in “Get Shorty,” to strike terror into the hearts of the deadbeat clients he hounds for late payments. “You never tell the guy what could happen to him,” Chili explains. “Let him use his imagination, he’ll think of something worse.”

via Elmore Leonard, Who Refined the Crime Thriller, Dies at 87 –

Clip at the top from Out of Sight. Ima have to go on a Leonard jag now. Could get me through the winter.

“The Book of Woe” – Gary Greenberg’s Romp of a Read About the DSM Debacle

Note: This review first appeared in Nature, 2 May 2012. My thanks to Nature for the commission and fine editorial support. When it is published later this month, the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM-5, will mark well over a century of formal guides to psychiatric diagnosis. The first two psychiatric […]

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