A reminder: I'm still filling in, with some solid co-bloggers, for Quarterly Conversation editor Scott Esposito at his Conversational Reading blog. Yesterday I wrote about a new series of short-story collections from Harper Perennial by some old masters, which JRSM of the Caustic Cover Critic blog put me on to. The Stephen Crane volume, which I heartily recommend, has an absolutely splendid title, taken from one of the stories: An Experiment in Misery.
Come to think of it, the tone of that title is entirely of a piece with most of the others in the series: the Dostoyevsky is A Disgraceful Affair, the Melville is The Happy Failure, and even Tolstoy's Family Happiness doesn't come close to fooling anyone, does it?
On a totally unrelated note: last night I dreamed that the New York Review of Books Classics series had published another book by Elaine Dundy to coincide with their re-issuing of The Old Man and Me. This one, however, was a big, thick travel guide . . . to Michigan's sparsely populated Upper Peninsula. Is it possible to imagine a region where Dundy would be more out of place?