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Blog entries on '08 September 2006'

Friday 08 September 2006

Dante fun in Florence

Russian, American and Italian poets and artists will convene in Florence from 15-17th November to discuss Dante's Divine Comedy. But unless some kind benefactor steps forward, I shan't be there! Organised by the Fondazione Romualdo del Bianco, the conference will bring together international poets, artists, translators and interpreters to explore readings and re-readings of Dante's work through poetry, theatre, music and figurative and multimedia arts. Speakers include poets Robert Pinsky, Edoardo Sanguineti, Yusef Komunyakaa and film director Giancarlo Cauteruccio. Interpretations of Dante's poem will be enacted at the recently restored House of Dante Alighieri Museum in the heart of Florence during the three-day conference. Visit or email

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 08 September 2006

Jameson on Žižek

Widely linked to this, but certainly worth reading (and hence repeating the link): Fredric Jameson on Slavoj Žižek's Parallax View in the LRB.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Friday 08 September 2006

Memories are made of this

Hahaha! I remember this:

I'm a bit of a connoiseur of "difficult" music. We had a record player in the sixth form common room, and whoever bought records in, got to play them on it. There was a challenge to play something so annoying that everyone would leave. Most of the sixth form were incredibly dull and would occasionally treat us to a Phil Collins or Meat Loaf album, which was reason enough, I think to impose on them something a little more out there. Psychic TV's The Full Pack - ten minutes of wolves howling was my masterpiece - though I think the most unlistenable thing we ever heard there was the first Alien Sex Fiend album; approach with care. Reading in this month's Mojo about An Electric Storm by White Noise from 1969, I had to get it, particularly with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's Delia Derbyshire involved. I must admit I was half expecting some unlistenable hippy shit, but it's actually great - first track sounds like Stereolab! So, not that unlistenable after all.

The above from The Art of Fiction blog yesterday. Dude wants to try to have converted the world to Whitehouse!

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 08 September 2006


FYI (as the young people say), I've just posted a nice interview with Chris Hamilton-Emery, of the poetry publisher Salt, over on The Book Depository site (as part of the Publisher of the Week slot I do over there).

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


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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