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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 '03 August 2006'

Thursday 03 August 2006

k-punk on Virilio

Via ads without products, k-punk on Paul Virilio


The bringing to bear of what, following Veblen, we might call conspicuous force presupposes a second stupidity: the verminization of the Enemy. Before Gulf War 1 had even happened, Virilio saw the logic of verminization rehearsed in James Cameron's Aliens wherein the 'machinic actors do battle in a Manichean combat in which the enemy is no longer an adversary, a fellow creature one must respect in spite of everything; rather, it is an unnameable being that it is more appropriate to exerminate than to examine or analyse.' In Aliens, Virilio ominously notes, attacks on the 'family [form] the basis of ... necolonial intervention.' The teeming, Lovecraftian abominations which can breed much faster than we can are to be dealt with by machines whose 'awesome appearance is part of [their] military effectiveness.' Shock and awe.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 03 August 2006

French Book News

Useful site, this, for the francophile: French Book News. The list of recent translations is handy, as is the list of recent France-related books in English.


Of William C. Carter's Proust in Love (warmly reviewed in the Guardian last week by Ian Sansom alongside The Memoirs of Ernest A Forssgren, Proust's Swedish Valet) French Book News say:


The acclaimed Proust biographer William C. Carter portrays Proust´s amorous adventures and misadventures from adolescence through his adult years, supplying where appropriate Proust´s own sensitive, intelligent, and often disillusioned observations about love and sexuality. Proust is revealed as a man agonizingly caught between the constant fear of public exposure as a homosexual and the need to find and express love. In telling the story of Proust in love, Carter also shows how the author´s experiences became major themes in his novel In Search of Lost Time. Carter discusses Proust´s adolescent sexual experiences, his disastrous brothel visit to cure homosexual inclinations, and his first great loves. He also addresses the duel Proust fought after the journalist Jean Lorrain alluded to his homosexuality in print, his flirtations with respectable women and high-class prostitutes, and his affairs with young men of the servant class. With new revelations about Proust´s love life and a gallery of photographs, the book provides an unprecedented glimpse of Proust´s gay Paris.

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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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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