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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"

Friday 20 January 2006

Green Integer and buses

So, I've not heard anything from the excellent American independent publisher Green Integer for an age and then, bus-like, three or four of their volumes come along at once. Most exciting is Pierre Joris' translation of Paul Celan's Threadsuns. Actually, I'm convinced that this has been out for a wee while, but I must be going mad (or they've reissued it) as Green Integer list this as landing February 9th. I'll get all this cleared up for you when I interview Pierre in the next month or so.

Just released - with a preface by Albert Camus - is Islands by Jean Grenier:

Jean Grenier (1898-1971) was a French philosopher and writer who combined a rigorous philosophical intelligence with an artistic and literary sensibility. Among his many works are essays, art criticism, autobiographical novels, travel essays, and the volumes of aphorisms, Lexiques and Les á-peu-prés. Grenier was also the teacher of another major French author, Albert Camus.

Islands, a collection of some of his most lovingly written and personal of philosophical speculations, was first published in an edition of five essays in 1933. The revised edition, with six essays, was published with a preface by Albert Camus in 1948; the third edition, upon which this translation is based, was published in 1959.

Joseph Conrad's great mate Ford Madox Ford has his "saddest story" The Good Soldier given the GI treatment too. I've been meaning to read this "brilliant tale in which nothing is quite what it seems, including the narrator's telling of the tale" for ages so, hopefully, having this gorgeous edition will encourage me.

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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