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Editor's Note
by Olga Stein

Dear readers, no doubt you'll notice that something is eating a number of my contributors this month. Michael Harris objects to the reinterpretation of Walt Whitman's poetic objectives-his apparent efforts to reach every man-in Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days, a novel that ties these objectives to pulp or "low" genre fiction. Ann Diamond isn't delighted by the "universe of anxious consumerism" and the portrayal of dull and shallow ordinariness of Noth American suburbanites in Michelle Berry's Blind Crescent. Paul Keen is antagonised by the protagonist in David Albahari's Snow Man. For the character, a writer from war-torn Serbia, "the atrocities of his native land seem to pale in comparison with the atrocity of everyday life [the banality of it] in his new nondescript city." Meanwhile, reviewer Jeff Bursey finds the (lower) bodily preoccupations of the writer-narrator in Gariel Garcfa Mrquez's Memories of My Melancholy Whores dull and uninspriting. That's a lot of negativity-much of it related to aspects of life and art that are mundane, "low" or popular. I can't figure it out, but I know one thing: these reviews are lively and bound to please all of our discriminating readers.

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