Daniel Menaker

Double Negative

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dear Dan:

Why not attribute the anecdote recounted on p.169f. to Sidney Morgenbesser (responding during a talk by J. L. Austin)?  Fairness, plus greater pungency, would both accrue.

There’s even a Swarthmore connection: Morgenbesser, before his long and distinguished career at Columbia, taught at S’more.

This quibble aside, I very much liked the book.

Peter Walch

OK, I herewith attribute the anecdote to Sidney Morgenbesser and I thank Peter Walch for the suggestion, and for the kind word about the book.

Speaking of double negatives, the professor who taught me in my Milton seminar at Swarthmore, Thomas Blackburn, once roasted me for writing that some point of criticism was “not uninteresting.” He didn’t like me in general, and vice versa.

Dan Menaker

“Ask Dan” was a public online Q&A series that ran on this site from 2010 to 2012.

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Now in Paperback

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The paperback of “A Good Talk” is out today. It has a new cover image, and in light of the recent vitriolic tone of public discourse in this country, I’d like to think that the book has a renewed timeliness.  “A Good Talk” was featured in The New York Times Book Review Paperback Row column last Sunday, and it continues to lead a modest but satisfying publishing life.  If you haven’t read it, I hope you will.

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