Daily Office: Wednesday


¶ Matins: In the current issue of the London Review of Books, Jenny Diski’s “Short Cuts” will have you wondering whether to laugh or to cry. Her breezy write-up of crazy wingnut Melanie Phillips’s The World Turned Upside Down makes you ask just whose world has  been turned upside down.

¶ Lauds: We don’t want to sit through Hank the Cinq, no matter how young and fresh the cast, but we can’t wait for the Laurent Cantet movie. (Boston.com; via Arts Journal)

¶ Prime: Curiouser and curiouser: Goldman Sachs seems to have been left standing after a round of musical chairs. Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story (in the Times) and Felix Salmon note that Goldman is no longer the King of Cool.

¶ Tierce: At Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer discusses the psychology of the “near miss” — and how Las Vegas exploits it.

¶ Sext: The Editor went to a book event last evening; Slow Love author Dominique Browning was interviewed by a sometime protégée who is still very much an admirer, Grace Bonney of the elegant Design Sponge. Ms Browning, speaking about her new Web site, Slow Love Life, confessed that she felt “born to blog.” At the signing part of the evening, the Editor acknowledged that he had made the same discover, and the author was kind enough to ask for a card.

¶ Nones: As of last night, it seems that no major American newspaper was interested in a story carried by BBC News: “Bolivia’s Morales urges Pope Benedict to scrap celibacy.”

¶ Vespers: At Survival of the Book, Brian writes one of those dispirited entries that are so invigorating. If publishers are as demented as Gallery Books’s Louise Burke seems to be (if only to associate her name and reputation with Jersey Shore), then who needs ’em? But we do need Brians.

¶ Compline: Alex Balk lifts The Awl into the pundit zone with a relatively august piece about Richard Blumenthal, the Nixon White House alum and (improbable? but hitherto presumable) Democratic candidate to replace Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodds.