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

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Blog entries on '25 April 2007'

Wednesday 25 April 2007

Sakhalin Island and Oneworld Classics

I have just written a longish post on copyright over on my Book Depository blog Editor's Corner. Basic thrust is that publishers who publish out of copyright books, like Penguin Classics and OUP’s World Classics, show that, in some ways, copyright might not be that big an issue after all. My focus in the piece was on Oneworld Classics (the folks who have just purchased Calder Publications).


Oneworld Classics have, very kindly, sent on to me a number of their new books. And they really are quite beautifully produced. Oddly, I got two copies of Chekhov's Sakhalin Island:


In 1890, the thirty-year-old Chekhov, already knowing that he was ill with tuberculosis, undertook an arduous eleven-week journey from Moscow across Siberia to the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. Now collected here in one volume are the fully annotated translations of his impressions of his trip through Siberia, and the account of his three-month sojourn on Sakhalin Island, together with author's notes, extracts from Chekhov's letters to relatives and associates, and photographs.

Highly valuable both as a detailed depiction of the Tsarist system of penal servitude and as an insight into Chekhov's motivations and objectives for visiting the colony and writing the expose, Sakhalin Island is a haunting work of tremendous importance which had a huge impact both on Chekhov's subsequent work and on Russian society.

Sounds good. So, who (in the UK, please, so that it doesn't cost me a fortune to post it!) wants my spare copy? Email me, and I'll pop it straight in the post to you. First email gets it.


Update: Sakhalin Island has been claimed. Stop emailing already!

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 25 April 2007

Jandek ... and me

Over at Spurious, Lars is listening to Jandek:


Sometimes I think there's nothing I want to hear except for Jandek and nothing I want to think about except for Jandek. Everything else is pointless, non-essential. I listen to Comets on Fire and Espers and Boris and all that sort of thing. It's good, all good, but not essential. I listen to Mark Kozelek, which is nearly essential, and Bill Callahan and Michael Head - all very good, close to essential, but not quite essential. But you have to be careful with the essential, not to come too close to it. You need distance. You need time and space set aside. Sit down on the sofa. Do nothing else. Listen to nothing. Just Jandek. Just that: Jandek.

Me? I'm listening to Jim Fox's beautiful the city the wind swept away (Cold Blue Music). Oh, and the latest Do Make Say Think album which is pretty special too.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Serendipoetry

Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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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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