Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays


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How did George Eliot's love life affect her prose? Why did Kafka write at three in the morning? In what ways is Barack Obama like Eliza Doolittle? Can you be over-dressed for the Oscars? What is Italian Feminism? If Roland Barthes killed the Author, can Nabokov revive him? What does 'soulful' mean? Is Date Movie the worst film ever made? Split into five sections - 'Reading', 'Being', 'Seeing', 'Feeling' and 'Remembering' - Changing My Mind finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This ...

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Jun 7, 2011

Perfect sentence

I checked this book out from the library because I enjoy Zadie Smith's writing, even though I'm not usually a fan of nonfiction. I found her insights about various books, movies, and her family thought-provoking and well thought out. Still, it was one sentence in the last essay about David Foster Wallace that made me decide that I had to own this book:
"It was meant for readers of my generation, born under the star of four interlocking revolutions, undreamed of in James's philosophy: the ubiquity of television, the voraciousness of late capitalism, the triumph of therapeutic discourse, and philosophy's demotion into a branch of linguistics."
With this sentence, she captured and wove together into one cohesive thought many of the issues that I've struggled with for decades. Just brilliant.

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