I was really too young to have been influenced by the New American Review during the main part of its run, but I remember in the mid-seventies picking up copies in used bookstores & feeling nostalgic for a scene I was never a part of. Ted Solotaroff is dead at 80. Those beat-up paperbacks, for my generation, were tokens of bravery to be lived up to. And they were printed (at a loss) by major publishers. Now there is something to be nostalgic for. Another believer in the efficacy of writing as an art is gone.
I’ve been rereading Frankenstein the last couple of days because I’m going to teach it in my Imagining Science course next term. I’ve taught the book before, but never well, I suspect because I never managed to enter into its imaginative universe until now. The book is a bundle of narrativeÂ implausibilities & the science, as Shelley of course knew, is risible, but it is an imaginative whole, I now see. I think I’m going to present it to my students as a book about education & its risks & disappointments. Viktor’s education leads him to create a monster, who turns out to be an autodidact, for all the good it does him.