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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 '07 September 2005'

Wednesday 07 September 2005


You probably all know, but in case you missed it, the beautiful, peerless, astonishingly talented Antony (Hegarty) has won the Mercury Music Prize. I've been telling anyone who would listen about Antony and the Johnsons for years now, so I'm thrilled a genuine artist with real talent has won the award.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Wednesday 07 September 2005

Dies: a sentence

According to their website:

Les Figues Press is a small independent press, publishing TrenchArt, an annual subscription series of novella-size books of literary prose and poetry. The idea behind TrenchArt is fairly simple. First, the Press wanted pocket-size books by writers asking big questions – what is art, what is human, what is necessary – published in a loosely constructed conversation, hence the annual series. We wanted these books to be grounded in literary tradition, even as the work sought to push that tradition’s present limit, so we designed the books with a classic front cover and an original piece of contemporary art on the back. Finally, more established writers provide introductions to the individual books, thus supplying a framework for readers while welcoming the new work into a larger literary community.

Very kindly, Les Figues have just sent on a copy of Vanessa Place's Dies: a sentence.

In Dies, Place withholds the period for 117 pages and one long night as its legless narrator recounts the war journey that has lead him to his final point of final truth, next to an armless man making stew. Place’s single sentence unmoors time and space, subject and object, victim and perpetrator, in a voice sanctifying everything and elegizing nothing.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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Omens, after Alexander Pushkin

I rode to meet you: dreams
like living beings swarmed around me
and the moon on my right side
followed me, burning.

I rode back: everything changed.
My soul in love was sad
and the moon on my left side
trailed me without hope.

To such endless impressions
we poets give ourselves absolutely,
making, in silence, omen of mere event,
until the world reflects the deepest needs of the soul.

-- Louise Gluck
Averno (Carcanet Press)

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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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