Sally Rooney’s Riposte, Ralph Nader’s Candidacy, and Other Letters to the Editor

to the Editor:

Feather Brandon Taylor review Sally Rooney’s third novel, “Beautiful World, Where Are You” (September 12): The book struck me as a satire and a literary tour-de-force, proof that the novel is alive.

Chapter 12 seemed to me like Rooney’s modern repost to Dostoyevsky’s “Grand Inquisitor”; Chapter 14 may be their update and may point to the British spirit and sensibility of the 19th century. Throughout, JD Salinger’s Holden Caulfield’s voice resonated, as did Hemingway’s syntactic style—concise, declarative, dead descriptive, and even masculine! The inclusion of explanatory remarks at the end of some chapters of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” is featured by Rooney at the beginning of most of his. The conclusive sign that this young lady of genius intends to salute great literature and is a satire of current social, political and publishing conventions featuring main male characters and sex scenes: full of contemporary, feminist, politically correct men and sex. , complete idealization. Very good.

I think Rooney would have been urged to hurry up his third book, lengthen it, and freely shuffle his stuff. He sure did. With Earth’s eight billion population living longer, receiving more education, and connecting with the world, talented youth are appearing everywhere in every human endeavor: in science, business, sports and even literature. . I find it encouraging.

Joseph V. Mortillaro Jr.
Binghamton, NY

to the Editor:

At the risk of being one of the many who point out the omission in the essay of Dwight Garner and Jennifer Szalai.Literature since 9/11“(September 5), I would like to speak for the inclusion of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer.

The novel was published in 2005, by publishing standards shortly after the events. And yet it “metabolizes”[ed] 9/11 and its aftershocks.” Foer’s focus is not only on how a young boy deals with the incident and his own grief, but also on how many stages of life go through each borough in New Yorkers and around the world. How all people do in terms of other events both great and small.

Among other elements, the book deeply examines growing up, parenthood, the presence or absence of God, conflicts of faith, relationships, communication, visual culture, and the book as a physical object. In its form of duality, so well expressed in its final image of a half-dark and half-light page, it reflects the contradictory individuality and interrelationship of all of us and our experiences as well as our ambition towards that fact. also brings to the fore. Additional meaning to the image of the twin towers themselves.

Matthew Kubecic
Staten Island


to the Editor:

Michael Pitre’s “Fives and Twenty-Fives” is omitted from Garner and Szalai’s list of outstanding recent war novels.

Described in part by an Iraqi interpreter who was working on his master’s thesis (on “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”), it provides insight into those who helped the United States in the war.

kim cox
El Cajon, Calif.

to the Editor:

In review it In Paul Sabin’s “Public Citizens: The Attack on Big Government and the Remaking of American Liberalism” (September 5), Timothy agrees with Noah Sabin that it is time to put to rest the notion that Al Gore’s defeat in the 2000 presidential election That was because of Ralph Nader’s “spoiler” candidacy.

Please don’t be so fast. George W. Bush defeated Gore by “only 537 Florida votes,” which, as Noah points out, makes up the bulk of the 97,488 votes that Nader found to be more significant. Certainly Nadar’s name on the ballot drew some votes away from Gore.

Absent Nadar’s candidacy, perhaps some of those votes would have been cast for others, or not at all. But it’s far from a stretch to think that a significant portion of them, if only a few thousand, would have gone to Gore, giving him Florida’s 25 electoral votes and the national election.

kenneth ragland
San Pedro, Calif.

to the Editor:

I was both surprised and thrilled to see Illustrated Reflections of Amy Kurzweil Ursula K. On Le Guin’s wonderful novel “Always Coming Home” (August 13).

Introduction to the book by a friend When it was first published – with cassettes to the music of the hairstyle people – I read it recently. It is a feat of the world (and word-) a la Tolkien’s creation, and little is known. I am glad that the book review has taken its joy to a wider audience.

Alan Goldman
University Heights, Ohio

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