Yesterday we had an interesting discussion on facebook about Julie & Julia, the movie about Julie Powell and Julia Child. I come down on the side of wishing the entire movie was about Julia Child and My Life in France, instead of only half of it. And I do agree that Julie Powell in the movie did grow and change, though it’s hard to separate that from the knowledge that not long after the events in the movie, she cheats on her husband and eventually they get divorced.
One of the many things I love about the movie is the contrast between Julia Child’s long, fraught eight-plus years of persistent hard work leading up to Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘s acceptance for publication, and Julie Powell’s one year of cooking a lot and writing a blog. I felt like Julie was someone who wanted fame and success, and writing was just a means to that, as opposed to people who want to write and hope at some point for fame and success.
The wikipedia article had a quote from an interview with editor Judith Jones (the editor of Mastering the Art of French Cooking), that goes into a bit more detail about why Julia didn’t like Julie’s blog: What came through on the blog was somebody who was doing it almost for the sake of a stunt. She would never really describe the end results, how delicious it was, and what she learned. Julia didn’t like what she called ‘the flimsies.’ She didn’t suffer fools, if you know what I mean.
New York Times: Message to Muslims: I’m Sorry By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
That’s reasonable advice, and as a moderate myself, I’m going to take it. (Throat clearing.) I hereby apologize to Muslims for the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you. The venom on the airwaves, equating Muslims with terrorists, should embarrass us more than you. Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly, and I apologize for the slurs.
I’ve been reading Barbara Hambly’s new mystery, Dead and Buried, the latest installment in her Benjamin January series. The series is set in 1830s New Orleans, and January is a free black man who trained as a surgeon in Paris and now works as a musician at the balls and brothels of New Orleans. And he fights crime! This book starts with Benjamin, Rose, Hannibal and the other characters at a funeral of a friend, where they discover there’s a different body inside the coffin. I think this is one of the best of the series, and it’s a great place to start.