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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 '23 June 2006'

Friday 23 June 2006

Logos: David Harvey and Imre Kertész

Googling for information about David Grossman (he has just had two books come out, Lion's Honey and Lovers and Strangers, and I hear his See Under: Love is very good, but I've never read him) I came across an Imre Kertész's essay Jerusalem, Jerusalem -- Reflections sparked by the sight of a war-torn city in Logos ("a journal of modern society & culture"). I didn't recall coming across Logos before, so I took a look around the site. Their New Winter Issue is online and it looks very decent. Best of all, it has an interview with RSB pin-up David Harvey.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 23 June 2006

Spooky Stirner

Good to see: Dylan Trigg on spooky old Stirner (the dude who wrote The Ego and Its Own):

The strangeness of Stirner was immediate as I worked though the book: it read like an unhomely Hegel, adopting broadly the same structure as Hegel’s Phenomenology but radically inverting the content. If the ghost of Hegel was present in Stirner, then Stirner’s haunto-analytical work on his master generated its own “spooks.” Spooks, this is the term Stirner applies to the disruption of the ego project, made evident by certain meta-narratological myths which bind the human to a specious freedom. Stirner’s dialectical account of the emergence of “the moderns” in the first section of the book concludes with the image of possession and spirits.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Friday 23 June 2006


No, not Goethe's book, but FW Murnau's 1926 silent classic! The good folk at Masters of Cinema have very kindly sent on a copy of their Two-disc 80th Anniversary Special Edition of the film. And, for once, "special edition" actually means something: this is a "newly found domestic German print featuring completely different takes and much better resolution than the previously seen export print released outside of Germany". I'm going to review this on RSB soon and, if me and the Masters of Cinema folk can get it together, I'm going to review a good few of their other gems too.

Murnau, a perfectionist, shot multiple takes of each scene with only prime takes making the final German domestic cut of Faust. Only the prints made for export outside Germany were seen until recently, indeed this version was at one time thought to be the only version (it used discarded takes, errors, less impressive special effects, and human stand-ins for real animals). Using the nitrate duplicate negatives printed by UFA in 1926 (and an array of international sources) Murnau's favoured domestic German version of Faust has now been meticulously reconstructed by Luciano Berriatúa for Filmoteca Española from which this newly restored transfer is sourced.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 23 June 2006

parallax 39

The latest edition of the University of Leeds Centre for Cultural Studies magazine parallax (number 39) has just landed. Its a special Blanchot edition guest-edited by William Large (author of the very fine Emmanuel Levinas and Maurice Blanchot: Ethics and the Ambiguity of Writing; Clinamen) and containing essays by RSB interviewees Simon Critchley (Forgetfulness Must: Politics and Filiation in Blanchot and Derrida) and Lars Iyer (There is Language: Speech and Writing in Blanchot). Also included is an essay by Thomas Carl Wall (Larvae) whose book Radical Passivity (SUNY Press) I keep hearing very good things about and must track down.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 23 June 2006

Books That Shook The World

Melvyn Bragg's Twelve Books that Changed the World listed no novels (Principia Mathematica; Married Love; Magna Carta; Book of Rules of Association Football; On the Origin of Species; On the Abolition of the Slave Trade; A Vindication of the Rights of Woman; Experimental Researches in Electricity; Patent Specification for Arkwright’s Spinning Machine; The King James Bible; An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations; and Shakespeare's First Folio). It was an, erm, intriguing list, but perhaps not what most folk expected to be served up. A more obvious list comes in the shape of a new series of "short biographies of world-changing books" from Atlantic Books. Whether we need a new series on introductory books notwithstanding, these are a handsome lot and include Simon Blackburn on Plato's Republic, Janet Browne on Darwin's Origin of Species, Christopher Hitchens on Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, Bruce Lawrence on The Qur'an and Francis Wheen on Karl Marx's Das Kapital. The series continues with books on the Bible, Smith's Wealth of Nations, Machiavelli's The Prince, Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey and von Clausewitz's On War.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Friday 23 June 2006

Nebraska blog

The University of Nebraska Press have gone and entered the blogosphere and join a few other university presses (like OUP and the University of Chicago Press) using blogs to push their wares. And good on them too: the university presses publish some fine books.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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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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