Posted by: Corri van de Stege | November 1, 2008


This was a quiet week on the blog – for various reasons.  I have not managed to do my usual rounds of your blogs and have not participated in the Write on Wednesday challenge, in fact, I have not even read yet what the challenge was.  I’ve been too busy finalising my 1500 word story plus commentary for the first submission to the course.  That, plus finalising a 60-page report on an options review for delivering skills support through a newly planned library, has kept me on my toes, sleepless and generally overwhelmed. 

Nevertheless, there have been some interesting discussions on blogs and in newspapers on book and art related issues that I just want to point you to.  The Guardian had a cheeky article on redesigning favourite classics as trashy bestsellers, which was in response to the Ninja blog.  All this was caused by Margaret Drabble’s unease, expressed at an event in Cambridge, that publishers have difficulty in selling her as a genre, and therefore may be keen to dumb her down.  The discussion contininued on the Guardian book blog.  Although the Ninja blog is now closed for resdesigns, with the winner being a cover for Cormac Mccarthy’s The Road (showing a dad, football under his arm, leisurely strolling along the beach hand in hand with his young son and talking), the Guardian has now set its own challenge: Which literary novels do you think should be redesigned?  Send your covers to by Wednesday November 5 and they will publish the best ones.  You’ve got a couple of days left!

The other piece that caught my attention was the heading ‘What’s Bush done for our cultural life’? in the Guardian supplement on Friday (yesterday).  In these last days before the election in America and Bush at the end of his ‘reign’ this provides interesting thoughts.  Paul Auster says he cannot think of a single thing that is positive and that the last ‘eight years have been about the worst that I can imagine’ and he would like to go into a cellar if McCain wins, Joyce Carol Oates says that ‘cultural legacy of George W. Bush’ seems to be apunchline of a cruel joke.  So not much admiration in that corner.  Edward Albee (playwright) puts it even stronger: ‘What cultural legacy?  There is no cultural legacy.  We have an administration of criminality, complicity and incompetence but no cultural legacy whatever from those eight years.’  Lionel Shriver takes a slightly different approach and says that ‘W has been a great inspiration, a beacon on the hill, if you will, for artists in every field.  Although perhaps not the kind of inspriation that the president would have wished.’  And she illustrates what she means by referring to Mchael Moore’s mocking Fahrenheit 9/11, Ian McEwan’s Saturday and others. 

So, what are your thoughts on this?  Anything to look back on with jubilation?



  1. Interesting question and off the top of my head, I would have to agree, NO. In fact, I remember when Bush won his first term, I rationalized, well how bad could he mess us up? He has gone beyond my wildest expectations. I am embarrassed as an American.
    Clinton was impeached for his vanity, Bush was more focused on power and its abuses and he gets to walk away unpopular but free of any threat of censure.
    I just hope we don’t go to sleep on Tuesday night with a feeling of despair.
    No, I can’t say that there’s much to feel good about in the last 8 years of Bush.
    Go Obama!

  2. Watched the Utube video – great stuff!

  3. Well, Dubya’s favorite book when he was a kid was “Hop on Pop.” That’s gotta count for something! ( :

    I read somewhere that he’s a big Tom Wolfe fan. Poor Tom Wolfe!

  4. There is absolutely nothing good to report from Bush’s reign, except for destruction and mayhem. These have been the worst eight years for our environment, for the destruction of the economy, for dumping education down the drain and making me horribly embarrassed to be an American. I can’t wait for Wednesday morning!!

  5. chartroose – not much sympathy then I guess!
    Qugrainne – just keep fingers crossed!

  6. I must chime in. I have not, in the past 8 years, been prone to action other than working, loving and keeping things going on the local scene.

    I thought we’d get through these 8 years in spite of its focus on instilling fear, in spite of its rampant Greed, sneering and mean-spiritedness. These things have been the crux of the Bush administration. The fear they discuss, propagate and incite in more ways than you can count has permeated our culture.

    I have great and sincere hope for the new president who I desperately hope will be Obama.
    Yes, above all, hope springs eternal.

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