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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 '23 August 2006'

Wednesday 23 August 2006

Israel/Palestine Since 2003

I should have mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but Verso (who are Publisher of the Week over at The Book Depository) have just released (well, it's been out for about a month now) Tanya Reinhart's The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine Since 2003. This looks like the best recent history of the area I've seen:


Reinhart shows that throughout, Ariel Sharon's goals, ad those of his successor Ehud Olmert, have stayed the same: to maintain Gaza as a closed prison, to transform the West Bank into a system of sealed enclaves and to annex Palestinian land under cover of the construction of the "separation wall." The army, which represents the true power in Israel, will forcibly ensure the legacy of Sharon is applied -- Hamas' election success represents an ideal pretext to do so.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 23 August 2006

Marxism and the History of Art

The good folk at Pluto have kindly sent on Andrew Hemingway's Marxism and the History of Art which looks very decent. As there is a nasty storm overhead, and I don't intend to move for the rest of the day, I think I'll settle down with this right now. Publisher blurb reads:


This unique book is the first comprehensive introduction to Marxist approaches to art history. Although the aesthetic was a crucial part of Marx and Engels’s thought, they left no full statement on the arts. Although there is an abundant scholarship on Marxist approaches to literature, the historiography of the visual arts has been largely neglected. This book encompasses a range of influential thinkers and historians including William Morris, Mikhail Lifshits, Frederick Antal, Francis Klingender, Max Raphael, Meyer Schapiro, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre and Arnold Hauser. It also addresses the heritage of the New Left. In the spirit of Marxism, the authors interpret the achievements and limitations of Marxist art history in relation to the historical and political circumstances of its production, providing an indispensable introduction to contemporary radical practices in the field.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 23 August 2006

Top tomes on the Bible

Opinion Journal (thanks Dave) list the top five books on the Bible. Good to see that they have the very good good sense to include RSB interviewee Gabriel Josipovici's wonderful The Book of God:


Gabriel Josipovici is a prominent British critic and novelist who at a midpoint in his career became interested in the Bible and acquired a competence in Hebrew (he already knew Greek) in order to engage with it seriously. The Book of God is an imaginative overview, sensitive to narrative detail and to stylistic nuance, of both Testaments. Josipovici sees how the Bible constitutes a unique kind of literature--a book, as he says, meant to change your sense of reality--which is nevertheless linked with certain later writers. He proposes surprising comparisons with Proust, Kafka and other modernists. Some biblical passages, he observes, "bring us face to face with characters who can be neither interpreted nor deconstructed. They are emblems of the limits of comprehension."

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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