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

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Blog entries on '26 April 2007'

Thursday 26 April 2007

Current reading and new releases

I've just finished reading Simon Critchley's Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance which I would very warmly recommend. I'll write about it further soon. Critchley combines Levinassian ethics with a neo-anarchist politics: it's clearly and persuasively argued; one of the best political books I've read in ages. And I've also just read Ethics and Infinity, a book of conversations (ten short transcribed radio interviews) between Philippe Nemo and Emmanuel Levinas, which acts as a wonderful introduction to the latter's thinking, even if some of the translation leaves much to be desired. If you don't know Levinas's work (and I'm no expert): start here.

And in the post this week there have been more than a few interesting looking titles:

  • Penguin Classics have a new translation of Henri Alain-Fournier The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) out on the 3rd May
  • Anthony Rudolf's Menard Press has published its last ever book: two essays from Christopher Middleton entitled If From The Distance
  • Anvil Press have just issued a new edition of Michael Hamburger's translations of The Poems of Paul Celan. They've also just issued a collection of The Poems of Georg Trakl
  • OUP have sent on Robert Macfarlane's Original Copy: Plagiarism and Originality in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Janet Gezari's Last Things: Emily Brontë's Poems

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 26 April 2007

Pound at Penn Sound

Photo: Franz Larese, Erker-Galerie, Easter 1971, Burano, Italy

Penn Sound have made available all of Ezra Pound's known recordings.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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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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