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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 '05 January 2006'

Thursday 05 January 2006

Richard Price

Carcanet poet Richard Price will be reading alongside John Barnie and Nicholas Murray from 6.30-8.30pm next Wednesday at the Swedenborg Hall, 20 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1 (nearest tube: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road). This event celebrates the relaunch of the Welsh poetry pamphlet imprint Rack Press, with the publication of three new pamphlets: The Green Buoy by John Barnie, Lute Variations by the sixteenth century French poet Louise Labé, with a range of English “improvisations” of two of her sonnets by Richard Price, and a longer collection, The Narrators, by Nicholas Murray.

Richard Price's first full collection, Lucky Day, was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. The youngest of the Informationist group of poets, Scottish-born Price founded the magazines associated with them, Gairfish and Southfields. He is also the co-founder of Vennel Press, the imprint which brought many of the earlier Informationist collections to a wider audience.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Thursday 05 January 2006

Harold Pinter’s artistic achievement

Paul Bond, in his essay Harold Pinter’s artistic achievement (via Dialogic) says:

What is clear both from the Nobel citation and from Hari’s attack is the extent to which Pinter’s political thinking and his art are interlinked. Although he has written constantly throughout his career, he has never forced his work. It is surprising how few of his 29 plays are full-length pieces. He once said that “you write because there’s something you want to write, have to write.” From this vision of the necessity of artistic expression flows his confidence that you can “take a chance on the audience.” This is an increasingly rare trait and demonstrates a remarkable artistic independence in the present period. That he has been able to maintain this critical independence throughout a 50-year career marks him as quite extraordinary.

Bond does us all a favour here crushing the arguments of Johann Hari of the Independent newspaper who wrote an idiotic piece entitled Pinter does not deserve the Nobel Prize. Unless there was a new prize for "rage-induced incoherence," wrote Hari, Pinter’s "ravings" should not be broadcast. These ravings are some of the most powerful words I've ever read or heard.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Thursday 05 January 2006

Marxism and Children's Literature

Michael Rosen has just nudged me to remind you all about the conference on Marxism and Children's Literature at the University of Hertfordshire that he is helping to host on March 24th 23rd. Remiss of me not to mention it before.

Subversion? Improvement? Conformity? - Children’s Literature – some Marxist Perspectives.

A one-day conference at the University of Hertfordshire, March 23rd 2006. Speakers include Michael Rosen and Professor Terry Eagleton.

From its beginning as a form for the purpose of religious instruction for children in the early nineteenth century, to its status as a major vehicle for philosophical debate in the early twenty-first, children’s literature has been made use of by adults, writing for a wide range of purposes. This conference offers an opportunity to consider the development of the form, its uses and its outcomes, and to engage in debate with foremost thinkers in this field.

If you would like to contribute a paper for inclusion at the conference and for consideration in the new University of Hertfordshire Annual of Children’s Literature, please send an abstract of no more that 250 words to Dr Jenny Plastow (to be received by Friday January 20th 2006).

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Thursday 05 January 2006

The Library of Wales – Writing for the World

The literary saloon brings to my attention The Library of Wales – Writing for the World ("the best of Welsh writing in English"). According to icWales:

The starting lineup of five 20th century titles was selected from 50 respected Welsh fictional works that are no longer in print. The first two titles - So Long, Hector Bebb by Ron Berry and Border Country by Raymond Williams - were unveiled at the Hay Festival last May. Three more titles were announced yesterday - Country Dance by Margiad Evans, The Dark Philosophers by Gwyn Thomas and a compendium of socialist novels [Cwmardy & We Live] by Lewis Jones. The series will be officially launched at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay on January 17. Five further titles will be added in September 2006.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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As you sow, so shall you reap. The bags packed,
Umbers and gold swollen between the purse-strings,
Getaway cars nose on a hot scent.
Under striped canvas the patrons gather,
Staring at blue, incorrigible seas.
The stubble burns a hole in summer's pocket;
Upon the baked crust of their world, the mice
Scatter their ashes to the harvest moon.

-- Peter Scupham
(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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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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