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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 '20 February 2006'

Monday 20 February 2006

Lowell and Hill. And Home.

My two Books of the Week this week are Michael Hofmann's small selection of Robert Lowell poems (Faber and Faber) and Jeffrey Wainwright's helpful and very readable essays on poet Geoffrey Hill, Acceptable Words (Manchester University Press). I hope to be speaking with Professor Wainwright about his book, here on RSB, very soon.

This week's interview is with provocative writer and artist Stewart Home. Responding to a question of mine regarding Alexander Trocchi, Stewart said:

Although a tad literary in terms of sentence construction, I think both Young Adam and Cain’s Book are extremely good pieces of prose. I also like much of Trocchi’s occasional writing such as Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds. He was a very good writer, but definitely flawed as an individual. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to describe Trocchi as a tosser when it comes to thinking through the drug scene around him, and the way he liked to get other people, and particularly beautiful young women, hooked on smack. That said, while my mother was involved in Trocchi’s drug scene for years, he wasn’t responsible for her getting into skag. Regardless of what you think of him as a man (and I don’t think much), you can’t knock his skill as a writer. Your phrase flawed hero pretty much sums him up.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Monday 20 February 2006

Queneau in patois

Raymond Queneau's story from Exercises de style translated into Jamaican patois by Ria Bacon (via Ramage):

Now hear dis, mek Ah tell oonu, wa day de bus dem full up wid so much people dem. An ah see dere one dem jump up good fuh nutten boasie maaga jancro wid him winjy neck fit fe choke, ah tell yah bwai! ‘im a fix a ribbon an ‘is ‘at fenky-fenky come een like ‘im Selassie ‘isself, yaah! Smady cut yai an’ ‘im vex an’ bawl some faasty nying’i-nying’i. It oht fi mek one kass-kass, ah’m tellin’ yah. Cho! ‘im nah tallowah doh an’ ‘im jus’ kiss ‘im teet’ an’ a go cotch far dereso quick quick.

Kiss mi nek, nah tree hower layta me see ‘im gen laba-laba wid ‘im breddah oo seh ‘im muss put ‘im button likkle more higher depan ‘im coat so, seen?

Jack Mandora

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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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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