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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 '09 January 2006'

Monday 09 January 2006

'sphere stuff

Around and about the 'sphere:

  • Moorish Girl reviews the excellent Ang Lee film Brokeback Mountain (which Mrs Book and I saw yesterday and very much enjoyed - I had a little cry, which is always nice)
  • Ellis on Weldon Kees and, earlier, on Sharon
  • Kate on Anna Kavan
  • The Institute for the Future of the Book have a new mission statement
  • Steve on James Wood on Henry Green

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Monday 09 January 2006

Shakey in 2006

Last year was a bumper year for Shakespeare books. I don't really know why. I asked Mrs BookWorld, who knows lots about this kind of thing, and she didn't seem to think there was a significant anniversary to hang the books on, so I am left to ponder. (Sandra does tell me that her favourite books on Shakespeare are Jonathan Bate’s The Genius of Shakespeare and Helen Vendler’s The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets; I've heard very good things about Frank Kermode's Shakespeare's Language.) I managed to avoid reading just about anything about the bard (aside from Josipovici's wonderful essay in On Trust: Art and the Temptations of Suspicion) last year, so I thought I best remedy this in 2006. In 2005, OUP reissued their Shakespeare: The Complete Works (also see The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare) and Michael Wood his In Search of Shakespeare. New out last year, we also had: Peter Ackroyd's Shakespeare: The Biography; Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; James Shapiro's 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare; and then the more conspiratorial ones - Clare Asquith's Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare and Brenda James and William Rubinstein's The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare. Blimey. And these were just the big, populist titles. I best get my head down.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Monday 09 January 2006

Three Scottish Poetry Library titles

The Scottish Poetry Library have kindly sent on three lovely wee books of poetry (co-published with Carcanet): Intimate Expanses: XXV Scottish Poems 1978-2002 (which contains poems by, amongst others, Iain Bamforth, John Burnside, Carol Ann Duffy, Douglas Dunn, Kathleen Jamie, Tom Leonard, Liz Lochhead, Edwin Morgan, Don Paterson and Iain Crichton Smith); How to Address the Fog: XXV Finnish Poems 1978-2002 (22 of the poems included were written in Finnish, three in Finland-Swedish. the poets are: Gosta Agren, Kari Aronpuro, Bo Carpelan, Tua Forsstrom, Paavo Haavikko, Anne Hanninen, Hannu Helin, Markku Into, Eeva Kilpi, Eila Kivikk'aho, Juhani Koskinen, Jarkko Laine, Rakel Liehu, Arto Melleri, Lassi Nummi, Lauri Otonkoski, Markku Paasonen, Mirkka Rekola, Pentti Saarikoski, Helena Sinervo, Eira Stenberg, Anni Sumari, Arja Tiainen, Sirkka Turkka); and At the End of the Broken Bridge: 25 Hungarian Poems 1978-2002 (includes work by Gyula Illyes, Otto Orban, Gyorgy Petri and Sandor Weores).

The SPL website is certainly worth taking a good look around. Particularly interesting is the information on the European Poetry Information Centre:

EPIC is the Scottish Poetry Library's project to expand the Library's European holdings and information resources, putting Scottish poetry into a European context, and to foster connections between Scottish and European poets.

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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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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