Clay Shirky, You Are My Nemesis!
I am reading War and Peace for the second time right now-- and that's not counting the time I read six hundred pages and and then quit, so really it's my third time reading the first half-- and it is even more absorbing and epic than ever (partly because of the new and excellent translation and partly because now I recognize all the insanely long Russian names) but according to internet theorist and "digital media scholar" Clay Shirky, this is not possible . . . because he infamously wrote in 2008: "No one reads War and Peace . . . it's too long, and not so interesting," and people have "increasingly decided that Tolstoy's sacred work isn't actually worth the time it takes to read it," and although I know that Shirky was probably grandstanding when he wrote that and isn't actually that stupid, I'm going to treat him literally and challenge him to a Tolstoy era duel . . . our weapons will be appropriate-- I will fight with a copy of War and Peace, which at 1200 pages is hefty enough to cave in the soft skull of an academic, and he can defend himself with his lap-top . . . so Clay Shirky, I will be waiting by the "smoker's gate" after school today and every day until you arrive, with my weapon in hand-- which I can also read while I wait (one of the benefits of a large book) . . . this library isn't big enough for the both of us.