First, if you missed it, the link in "Raymond Carver" in my post below connects with a fascinating New Yorker article from a couple issues ago, all about the editorial relationship between Raymond Carver and Gordon Lish, his editor throughout the 1970s. Lish helped Carver create the distinctive, elliptical style that first won him fame -- in fact, Lish may have actually created that style -- but by the 1980s, Carver was ready to try a different direction, and the article charts the tug and pull of that change.
Second, via Five Bucks, an absolute must-read Atlantic article by Andrew Sullivan about why Barack Obama is the candidate we need now:
Obama’s candidacy in this sense is a potentially transformational one. Unlike any of the other candidates, he could take America—finally—past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us. So much has happened in America in the past seven years, let alone the past 40, that we can be forgiven for focusing on the present and the immediate future. But it is only when you take several large steps back into the long past that the full logic of an Obama presidency stares directly—and uncomfortably—at you.
At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a war—not so much the war in Iraq, which now has a momentum that will propel the occupation into the next decade—but the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about war—and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama—and Obama alone—offers the possibility of a truce.
Obama's Jefferson-Jackson speech was also amazing.