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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"

Blog entries on '30 August 2006'

Wednesday 30 August 2006

Israel, Palestine and Lebanon: benefit reading

News from good friend of RSB Leora Skolkin-Smith:

In response to the current crisis in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon, a group of authors have organized a benefit reading, with donations and book sale profits to go to Seeds of Peace, a non-profit which brings together teenagers from conflict zones, especially the Middle East, to teach skills aimed at advancing reconciliation. The reading will be held September 18th at McNally Robinson Booksellers, 50 Prince Street, New York, 7 pm. Fifteen authors will read in all, and the current list includes: Diana Abu-Jaber, David Gates, Masha Hamilton, Natalya Handal, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Bernie McFadden, Wendy Orange, Evelyn Shakir, Joan Silber, Leora Skolkin-Smith, Cathy Sultan, and Katharine Weber. Grace Paley and Robb Forman Dew are helping organize the event, and Skolkin-Smith, whose novel, Edges: O Israel, O Palestine, was published by Paley's Glad Day Books, will serve as committee chair and MC. Sue O'Doherty, writer, and clinical psychologist in NYC, is head of the organizing committee.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 30 August 2006

Australian Book Review

So, I'm surfing. And I come across the Australian Book Review (" ... founded in 1961, revived in 1978, and has appeared continuously since then. In April 2003 we published our 250th issue, a milestone for any publication. Peter Rose is the editor of ABR. ABR is widely regarded as offering the fullest coverage of Australian books and literary culture. But it is not just interested in writers and writing. Our interests lie everywhere, and encompass current affairs and the broader culture.") Coming highlights include "Gail Jones on Blanchot". So, you have to remind me to go back again and check! I'm off now to read Anthony Cordingley's essay Waiting on Beckett and then I'll probably read Peter Rose's The Sound and the Fury: Uneasy Times for Hacks and Critics.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Wednesday 30 August 2006

Naguib Mahfouz RIP

Egypt's Naguib Mahfouz, the only Arab to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died in hospital in Cairo aged 94 (via the BBC). His The Cairo Trilogy - Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street, all of which originally appeared in the 1950s - detailed the adventures and misadventures of a Muslim merchant family and were recently reissued by Black Swan.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Wednesday 30 August 2006

Reflections on Sin, Suffering, Hope and the True Way

Franz Kafka's The Zurau Aphorisms (Harvill Secker) is out in November. From comments to a blog entry Jenny Davidson (thanks Dave) made about the book, I think the aphorisms are the same that appear in the "Reflections" appended to Exact Change's lovely edition of The Blue Octavo Notebooks rather than anything "new" per se. The introduction and afterword to the Harvill book are written by Roberto Calasso and, again according to Jenny, "includes some material from Calasso’s K. as additional commentary".

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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-- Mark Thwaite, Managing Editor


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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