“Go hang yourselves all! You are idle shallow things, I am
not of your element. You shall know more hereafter.”
And the winner of the Blagojevich Literary Comparison Contest is…Holloway McCandless, whose apt comparison of the governor to Twelfth Night‘s Malvolio came the closest to satisfying our nagging sense that Blago emerged fully-formed from a book somewhere. As justification, she cited “the preening and the poetic overreaching, the overestimating of one’s position at court”; we’d also mention Blago’s attitude of wounded dignity (more hypocritical in his case than in Malvolio’s). The analogy may not be perfect, but it’s close enough to earn Holloway our Stylish Reader of the Week Award. Huzzah! As a grand prize, we are recommending Holloway’s own site, the newly-launched Litagogo: A Guide to Literary Podcasts—and are happy to do so, because the writing on it so far has been first-rate. Bonus style points to Ms. McCandless for working the phrases “sub-Dickens,” “beribboned aperçu,” and “how-we-live-now signifiers” into a single post; it’s always nice to find a kindred spirit on the Web.
Also deserving of mention (especially as he was, effectively, the only other contest participant) is “Governor Blago Shakespeare,” a merry prankster whose site, called Illinois Poet Laureate, features supposedly Blago-penned verse in the style of Dylan Thomas, Robert Burns, and Lewis Carroll, among others. Well worth checking out before the governor tragically fades from the collective memory (at least until the publication of his groundbreaking oeuvre, that is).
And speaking of website recommendations, an announcement: we are hereby retiring the category head “Marginalia,” in deference to The Elegant Variation. We had been using the term for many months, congratulating ourselves on our cleverness, before finding TEV and realizing that Mark Sarvas was using it in essentially the same context—and had thought of it long before we did. Rather sheepishly, we’ve continued calling our recommendations “Marginalia” until now, but today we are proclaiming the birth of a replacement term: “See Also.” We will be titling new posts and emending old ones accordingly. We’ll miss “Marginalia” a bit, but we think the new term is, to coin a phrase, an elegant variation.