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

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Friday 23 December 2005

Against the Wall

I was about to finish Milan Kundera's excellent The Art of the Novel (recently reissued by Faber), but I got caught up reading Michael Sorkin's compelling Against the Wall: Israel's Barrier to Peace:


Called a “security fence” by the Israeli government and the “apartheid wall” by Palestinians, the barrier currently under construction in the West Bank has been the subject of intense controversy since the first olive tree was uprooted in its path. In violation of a ruling by the International Court of Justice and a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly, the structure juts deep inside Palestinian territory, altering not only the geographical landscape, but the political one as well.

This groundbreaking book includes a collection of outstanding original pieces, along with photographs and maps, that offer a frank critique of the wall from a range of perspectives—legal, historical, architectural and philosophical. Renowned writer and architect Michael Sorkin has assembled commentary from various international experts, including both Israeli and Palestinian voices. Together they reinforce a view widely held around the world (though not by the government of the United States): Israel’s wall can act only as a barrier to future peace.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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Serendipoetry

Omens, after Alexander Pushkin

I rode to meet you: dreams
like living beings swarmed around me
and the moon on my right side
followed me, burning.

I rode back: everything changed.
My soul in love was sad
and the moon on my left side
trailed me without hope.

To such endless impressions
we poets give ourselves absolutely,
making, in silence, omen of mere event,
until the world reflects the deepest needs of the soul.

-- Louise Gluck
Averno (Carcanet Press)

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