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London and its Review of Books

There was only one disappointment for me in Leipzig, which is that I didn’t see any Bach impersonators at all! Not even one!  After my Continental travels, however, I spent a few days in London, where I unexpectedly got my fix of weird impersonators in powdered wigs, at Dr. Johnson’s House, whose exhibits include a continuously running DVD documentary in which a Samuel Johnson impersonator talks about his furniture, and also soliloquizes before a painting of his beloved black servant, Francis (”Frank”) Barber.

Dr. Johnson impersonatorDr. Johnson impersonator addressing portrait of Francis Barber

So that is already great… but here is another great thing about London: their Review of Books, which has just published an essay I wrote about “graphic novels” (issue of April 10).

One small advisory: after the piece had already gone to press, I happened to show the proofs to my dear friend, Lieutenant Eric Hsu, who actually sometimes reads comic books. Lt. Hsu brought to my attention that I had incorrectly identified Kal-El as the name of Superman’s natal city on Planet Kryptonite, when really it is Superbaby’s own birth name, before he emigrates to Earth and becomes Clark Kent. Apparently this is common knowledge to a large group of people, including the actor Nicholas Cage, who named his own son accordingly. Let this be a lesson to all of us, never to falter in our diligent reading of celebrity baby blogs!

For readers of the print (not online) edition, the sentence about Isaac Babel and Superman should read as follows: “Superman’s Hebraic-sounding birth name, Kal-El, resonates with the name Babel used to sign his first articles: ‘Bab-El.’”

Of course, Nicholas Cage probably doesn’t read my blog, so you know as soon as that LRB lands on his doormat, he’s gonna be sending an angry letter to the editors (mea culpa, guys).

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One Response to “London and its Review of Books

  1. Last Man Standing Says:

    “Nicolas Cage”. It’s “Nicolas Cage”.

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