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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 December 2005'

Wednesday 07 December 2005

Pinter attacks US policies

Harold Pinter has attacked US foreign policy, and Blair's backing of it, in his Nobel lecture (listen to the lecture here). Pinter, gravely ill with cancer, added that "the majority of politicians" weave "a vast tapestry of lies" to keep themselves in power. He called for an "unflinching, unswerving and fierce intellectual determination as citizens to define the real truth of our lives and our societies". (The transcript doesn't seem to be up on Pinter's official site yet, but presumably will be pretty soon. UPDATE: The Guardian have published the transcript.)

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Wednesday 07 December 2005

TinL Weekly Planner 2006

Just received my Today in Literature Weekly Planner (that's diary to you and me). Nice. You probably need one. I don't - I'm really, really organised - but you probably do.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Wednesday 07 December 2005

Podcast: Word of the Year

Not that surprisingly, the term podcast been declared as Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, according to the BBC. My word of the year is mellifluous. Thinking about it, that is my word of the year ever year. I quite like lambent, too, but mellifluous is better!

For the publishing industry, it would seem that crap, shit or shite should be their word of the year. According to a report in the Independent, "Shit sells. Put something scatological in the title of your book and the bestseller lists beckon."

The trend began with Crap Towns, which spawned Crap Jobs and Crap Cars before a spate of titles, often spoofs, incorporating shit or shite. An online sales surge this week sent Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopaedia of Modern Life, by Alan McArthur and Steve Lowe, to the top of the Amazon charts.

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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