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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

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Blog entries on '14 August 2005'

Sunday 14 August 2005

Good Reaktion

In September, Anvil Press Poetry release Jacques Réda's Selected Early Poems:

Like Dylan Thomas, who when asked what made poetry work replied: ‘The sound of it . . . !’, Jacques Réda writes a musical poetry that makes language dance. A respected jazz critic, he insists that if poetry is to survive it will not be due to conferences, confessions, or poetological ‘logomancies’, but by reclaiming its ‘rhythm, or better still, le swing’.

Réda is a Parisian Iain Sinclair, a flâneurin the tradition of Baudelaire and Benjamin, whose poetry and prose reflect a lifelong fascination with the city. With their leitmotifs of the sky, the streets, and the passers-by, the poems gathered here reveal a relaxed, thoughtful poet acutely observant of life around, above and before him.

I wondered, when Anvil told me about the Réda volume, why I recognised his name. Reason: back in 1996, Reaktion Books published Réda's wonderful The Ruins of Paris in their excellent Topographics series.

One of last month's Book of the Month was Robert Pogue Harrison's stunning The Dominion of the Dead (which I notice Steve is reading too). Reaktion also publish Ken Worpole's Last Landscapes: The Architecture of the Cemetery in the West which makes a good companion piece to Harrison's book.

I hope to be interviewing both Robert and Ken here on RSB very soon ...

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Sunday 14 August 2005

Booking bland!

As you'll all no doubt be aware, the Booker longlist has been announced. I agree with MOTEV that it seems to be a list solidly consisting of the usual suspects. Coetzee's Slow Man looks to be an essential read, and I've already read John Banville's disappointing and overwritten The Sea, but none of the rest grab my attention.

Natasha, however, did like Julian Barnes's Arthur and George. I'm a bit of a sucker for Sherlock Holmes (my Dad loves Holmes, so watching/reading Sherlock things makes me feel like a kid again), so I may indulge ...


Posted by Mark Thwaite

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An entire night
thrown down
beside a
companion with his
mouth turned
to the full moon
with his congested hands
into my silence
I wrote
letters full of love

I have never held
so hard
to life

-- Giuseppe Ungaretti
(Carcanet Press)

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Word of the Day

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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October's Books of the Month

The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
Steve Lake, Paul Griffiths

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