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

Blog entries on '21 September 2006'

Thursday 21 September 2006

MacLehose joins with Quercus

I don't normally do much publishing trade news here on RSB (I do a bit more of that over at The Book Depository), but this is interesting (thanks Michael; via the BookSeller):


Quercus is backing Christopher MacLehose, former publisher of Harvill, to set up a separate publishing unit specialising in translated literary fiction.

MacLehose will acquire and edit around 10 titles a year, funded by Quercus. The titles will be published by Quercus under the joint MacLehose Press/Quercus imprint, beginning next autumn.

MacLehose headed up Harvill for 21 years, where his acquisitions included Haruki Murakami, Ismail Kadare, Peter Hoeg and Henning Mankell. MacLehose became editor-at-large of Harvill Secker at the start of 2004, and left the company in July.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 21 September 2006

OUP USA blog

Lots and lots of interesting bits of author information over at the OUP blog (OUP USA this is). Today, it says, amongst other things (today's things being an excellent piece on Women and Literature):


Happy Birthday wishes go out to author, socialist, and human rights activist Upton Sinclair, who was born on this date in 1878.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 21 September 2006

Eqbal Ahmad

Another fine looking title that I notice is just out from Columbia University Press is The Selected Writings of Eqbal Ahmad. I'd never heard of Eqbal until about an hour ago, but Noam Chomsky's foreword (caution pdf!) makes him sound well worth reading. The publisher's quote Edward Said:


Eqbal Ahmad was perhaps the shrewdest and most original anti-imperialist analyst of the postwar world. Ahmad's themes were always liberation and injustice, or how to achieve the first without reproducing more of the second. Humanity and genuine secularism in this blood-drenched old century of ours had no finer champion.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 21 September 2006

Seeds of Peace event

Levi Asher on Monday night's Seeds of Peace benefit reading:


I attended an outstanding group reading last night at the McNally Robinson bookstore in Soho [NYC]. The theme was Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, and the event was sponsored by a group called Seeds of Peace. The event began with a bang when Leora Skolkin-Smith read a surprising personal document, a passionate love letter an anonymous Muslim teenager in Beirut had written to her Jerusalemite Jewish mother in the 1930's. These readers were intent on breaking down the idea that Jews and Muslims cannot co-exist, and one touching, revealing story after another was offered ...

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 21 September 2006

Things Beyond Resemblance

One to note: Robert Hullot-Kentor's forthcoming book, Things Beyond Resemblance: Collected Essays on Theodor W. Adorno, is due out next month from Columbia University Press. I got this via Brian Sholis:


It comprises over twenty years' worth of the philosopher and translator's essays on Adorno's work. Word earlier this week from another friend, an artist who knows Adorno's writing very well, reminded me of its imminent publication, and, by coincidence, I came across a copy yesterday. (I love how things come into one's field of vision not long after one opens one's eyes.) I skimmed it before and after last night's lecture, and found much to make me want to plunge in earnest into Adorno's writings...

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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