Thomas Browne’s Hydriotaphia, Gide’s Dostoevsky, David Foster Wallace’s AIDS Essay (Books Acquired, 10.25.2012)


Needing more books like I need another hole in my head, I nevertheless visited my local bookshop (after an impressive three week abstinence period).

No, I haven’t read Thomas Browne’s Urn Burial yet. I’m a sucker for New Directions’ back stock, I just finished Crime & Punishment, and Gide’s book looks cool. Plus it was like a dollar.

I spied the Might Magazine collection—I knew Might as Dave Eggers’s first venture. I picked it up for the (very short) David Foster Wallace essay “Hail the Returning Dragon, Clothed in New Fire”—which, incidentally, doesn’t appear to be is collected in the forthcoming collection Both Flesh and Not under the new not-as-Game of Thronesish title “Back in New Fire.” 



  1. Crasser than thou · October 25, 2012

    I know you’re fond of anonymity but I would love to know more of the biblioklept story…. how do you obtain so many wonderful tomes?
    Is the clue in your blogger name?


  2. Crasser than thou · October 25, 2012

    Well, yes book shop… answers one of the questions. I wish I had disposable income.


    • Biblioklept · October 25, 2012

      I’m not really so anonymous . . . my name is Edwin Turner; I’ve signed it to every review the site has run (accept the ones written by guest reviewers) and it’s also there on the “About Us” page. Most of what runs on the site, including these “Books Acquired” posts, I attribute to simply Biblioklept.
      As far as acquiring the books—
      I live 1.2 miles from an enormous used bookstore that holds around 1.6 million books. I get lots of review copies that that bookstore turns into book credit.


  3. Jay · October 25, 2012


    I have a question: Whenever you get the time, could you do a post on how you go about writing your reviews? What is your process while reading the book? Do you take copious notes while reading, or do the reviews happen mostly from memory? How do you translate your reading into a meaningful review?

    I am a philosophy major, and my time was spent reading shorter/denser works, taking the core ideas, and expanding those ideas into longer-form, argumentative papers. Writing reviews or interesting papers on entire works of fiction has been difficult for me, because it seems to go the opposite way, i.e., taking larger works filled with all sorts of diverse ideas and summarizing them into some sort of short, cogent review (that hopefully adds a bunch of related ideas in the process).

    BTW, if this can be handled in the comment section here (rather than putting it up as a post on the site), that is fine with me as well.


  4. Travis McGee · October 25, 2012

    I can think of a reason for non-inclusion of that DFW essay – it’s not very good. It effectively trivializes the suffering of people for the sake of some highly contrived thesis about how AIDS makes sex more exciting.


  5. Matt Bucher · October 25, 2012

    The DFW essay is included in Both Flesh and Not, btw. They’ve retitled for the collection “Back in New Fire.”
    I think the thesis of the essay can easily be misinterpreted since it makes the claim that AIDS is a blessing of sorts.


    • Biblioklept · October 25, 2012

      Ah…thanks. If only Little, Brown were nicer about sending me review copies I wouldn’t make these terrible errors. Thanks. Matt.


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