Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Experts Speak

1984, first edition from Pantheon
Christopher Cerf & Victor Navasky
The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation
Probably bought newish, for $9.95
Worn paperback with curly corners

After deliberately mispredicting the 1980s in 1979, Cerf now, with the help of the editor of The Nation, collects hundreds of incredibly bad predictions, misstatements, and other errors from assorted experts.  Some of the quotes are laugh-out-loud, but I do confess to wishing that this wasn't just a collection, that there was more analysis and/or more context.  As with The Woman's Encyclopedia, this is basically a reference book, and I like a narrative.  Also, some of these quotes have appeared in other of my books, so it doesn't feel as fresh as it once did.  Still, who doesn't want to see everyone from Thomas Edison to Dixy Lee Ray getting things utterly wrong, and with great confidence?

This completes the extra-long top shelf of my horizontal-oriented (think landscape rather than portrait) bookcase.  Normally I don't like to split years, but I had to in order to get 1990 onto this bookcase.  I may re-divide down the road, but for now this shelf goes from Lady Oracle (1976) to this book.  And, yes, Margaret Atwood is long overdue for another novel (Maeve Binchy has double the number of posts already!), but she will return next shelf....

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