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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 '22 September 2006'

Friday 22 September 2006

Primo Levi: "new" book

From The Independent today an overview of Levi's Auschwitz Report (Verso): "Primo Levi's earliest account of the Holocaust was not a memoir or a novel but a document detailing what happened inside the Nazis' most notorious death camp. Compiled in collaboration with a fellow survivor at the request of their Soviet liberators, the Auschwitz Report is a work of extraordinary restraint and lucidity. As it appears for the first time in English, we tell the story of how it came to be written, and publish extracts."

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Friday 22 September 2006

New stuff on (prize-winning) Book Depository

I've just posted an interview with Hilary Spurling (author of The Unknown Matisse and Matisse the Master) and an interview with Luke Brown of Tindal Street Press (one of the smallest publishers ever to reach the Man Booker Prize shortlist, with Clare Morrall's Astonishing Splashes of Colour) over at The Book Depository (which last night "fought off competition from Amazon's Advantage scheme and BIC's e4books initiative to take The Nielsen BookNet Supply Chain Initiative of the Year": yay! This is an important "industry" thingy: see the BookSeller for more).

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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