If you read the London Review of Books you may be interested in their blog; it’s been going since March of this year, apparently, but I only just saw it.  I say ‘may’ because it’s not quite the LRB: it’s not a book review, but it’s sort of in the leftish book-reading spirit of the LRB if you like that.  It’s edited — is a blog ‘edited’? — by Thomas Jones, who often writes delightful articles in the magazine itself.  You don’t need to be an LRB subscriber to read the blog, nor to comment.

The piece that convinced me to link to the blog was this short one by Jim Holt on people who’ve been told to pose for photographs with a hand under their chin.  I’m always amazed the victims cooperate.  Their agents ought to have told them it’s a signal: they’re saying ‘I’ve been made to believe my face is uninteresting, it needs all the help the photographer can get’.  I don’t think the T.C. Boyle one he shows fits my category, but the others do, particularly Cynthia Ozick and Don DeLillo.  What John Updike was trying for is anybody’s guess.  None of them is the really worst case: that’s when a finger or two is simply brushing the cheek, with the arm in a next to impossible position, as in the one below.  Try it: she’s got her little finger close to her face, not her thumb; it’s quite painful.

Update, 19 November. Studiolum linked in the comments below to this picture of József Antall, the first post-Communist Hungarian Premier:

It reminds me of this.

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