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ReadySteadyBlog

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

Blog entries on '05 September 2006'

Tuesday 05 September 2006

György Faludy RIP

György Faludy, 96, a poet and translator considered one of Hungary's greatest literary figures of the last century, died Friday in his Budapest home (via LA Times, thanks TEV):


Faludy fled the Nazis and the communists, and his works were banned in his home country for decades. He spent 33 years in exile, first in Europe and later mainly in Toronto, where he obtained citizenship. He returned to Hungary in 1989, shortly after the publication there of his autobiographical novel My Happy Days in Hell. First published in English in 1962, the book was considered a precursor to Alexander Solzhenitsyn's accounts of the Soviet concentration camps. Born to a Jewish family in Budapest, Faludy first gained acclaim in the mid-1930s for his translations of the ballads of 15th century French poet Francois Villon. He left Hungary in 1938 amid rising intolerance against Jews and hostility to his political views. He returned after World War II and was imprisoned in the infamous Recsk labor camp in 1950 on false charges by Hungary's Stalinist regime. In the camps, he organized literature courses to keep the prisoners occupied. Faludy was released in 1953, when the camp was closed after Stalin's death.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Tuesday 05 September 2006

Chandrahas Choudhury interview

Chandrahas Choudhury, writer behind the fine blog The Middle Stage, gets the bloggasm interview treatment.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Tuesday 05 September 2006

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

Well, it worked for Dickens, so Penguin are giving the old serial another try. The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters is, initially, only to be made available to 5000 subscribers ("Ten thrilling chapters in handsome perfect bound editions"), delivered to your door, over ten weeks, for just £25 (not sure of the overseas prices):


The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters will be available as an exclusive, limited edition subscription set of ten instalments beginning in early October and ending in December. To ensure you are one of the lucky recipients of these exclusive editions, you must sign up via the Penguin website in September. When you have signed up, you will receive one beautifully produced chapter through the post each week for ten weeks beginning in October.

Publishers are always looking for new (or old) ways to sell their wares, so you can't blame them for that. But the book sounds like terrible tripe:


When Miss Temple finds her engagement broken off without suitable explanation by her fiancé Roger Bascombe, she is given a choice: turn away from polite society or turn adventuress and discover the reason for her rejection. Deciding to secretly follow her former lover, Miss Temple finds herself a trespasser at a masked ball. There, strange and unspeakable acts involving electricity and books of glass (not to mention a murder) take place and Miss Temple almost loses both her virtue and her life.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Books of the Week

Edward Carpenter Edward Carpenter
Chushichi Tsuzuki
Cambridge University Press

This is the first full-scale biography of Edward Carpenter, an 'eminent Victorian' who played an intriguing role in the revival of Socialism in Britain in the late nineteenth century. 'A worthy heir of Carlyle and Ruskin', as Tolstoy called him, Carpenter tackled boldly the problems of alienation under the pressures of commercial civilisation, and developed a strongly personalised brand of Socialism which inspired both the Labour Party and its enemies, Syndicalism and Anarchism. A homosexual, he grappled with the problems of sexual alienation above all, and emerged as the foremost advocate of the homosexual cause at a time when it was a social 'taboo'. This study, based upon letters and many other personal documents, reveals much of Carpenter's personal life which has hitherto remained obscure, including his 'comradeship' with some of his working-men friends and his influence upon such notable literary figures as Siegfried Sassoon, E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence.

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Vigilant Memory Vigilant Memory
R. Clifton Spargo
Johns Hopkins University Press

Vigilant Memory: Emmanuel Levinas, the Holocaust, and the Unjust Death focuses on the particular role of Emmanuel Levinas's thought in reasserting the ethical parameters for poststructuralist criticism in the aftermath of the Holocaust. More than simply situating Levinas's ethics within the larger context of his philosophy, R. Clifton Spargo offers a new explanation of its significance in relation to history. In critical readings of the limits and also the heretofore untapped possibilities of Levinasian ethics, Spargo explores the impact of the Holocaust on Levinas's various figures of injustice while examining the place of mourning, the bad conscience, the victim, and the stranger/neighbor as they appear in Levinas's work. Ultimately, Spargo ranges beyond Levinas's explicit philosophical or implicit political positions to calculate the necessary function of the "memory of injustice" in our cultural and political discourses on the characteristics of a just society.

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Poem of the Week

Cousin Nancy

Miss Nancy Ellicott
Strode across the hills and broke them,
Rode across the hills and broke them --
The barren New England hills --
Riding to hounds
Over the cow-pasture.

Miss Nancy Ellicott smoked
And danced all the modern dances;
And her aunts were not quite sure how they felt about it,
But they knew that it was modern.

Upon the glazen shelves kept watch
Matthew and Waldo, guardians of the faith,
The army of unalterable law.

-- TS Eliot
Collected Poems 1909-62 (Faber and Faber)

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Word of the Day

fascicle

Part of a book published in installments. For example, the Oxford English Dictionary was published in fascicles. more …

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October's Books of the Month

Everything Passes Everything Passes
Gabriel Josipovici
Auschwitz Report Auschwitz Report
Primo Levi

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