Commonplace Book · Here, Read

Jonathan Lethem on the universal triumph of “Canadian” lobsters…

“I lived for a time in Canada, and found myself fascinated by the slavish pride of a culture basking in a self-recriminating joke. ‘A lobsterman turned his back on three catches in an uncovered bucket. A bystander worried the lobsters would escape, but the lobsterman waved him off, saying, “No problem, these are Canadian lobsters. If one reaches the top the others will pull him back in.”‘ Yet who, lately, seeing how transparent the Internet-comments culture has made our vast leveling rage, our chortling conformism and anti-intellectualism, our scapegoat-readiness, could keep from thinking: ‘We’re all Canadian lobsters on this bus.'”

—Jonathan Lethem, “Advertisements for Norman Mailer: Salvage from an Infatuation,” Los Angeles Review of Books

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