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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 '27 June 2006'

Tuesday 27 June 2006

Primo Levi and Translation

Interesting article: Primo Levi and Translation by David Mendel. (He quotes Levi: "An author who is confronted by one of his own pages translated into a language he knows, feels in turns - or at one and the same time - flattered, betrayed, ennobled, x-rayed, castrated, planed down, violated, embellished, killed.")

And, remember, there is always quality stuff over on Languagehat when it comes to translation and language issues.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Tuesday 27 June 2006

Poets of the New York School

I attended a wonderful lecture last night, given by Michael Schmidt on Coventry's finest son, the poet Philip Larkin. I'm not a huge fan of Larkin, but Michael did a wonderful job at almost persuading me to reread him properly. Next Monday (3rd July), Michael will be giving another lecture, this time on the Poets of the New York School (see the Carcanet anthologies The New York Poets (John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara and James Schuyler) and New York Poets II: from Edwin Denby to Bernadette Mayer). The lecture will take place at the Tai Chi Village Hall (behind the house at 163 Palatine Road, Manchester, UK; £7, £5 concessions). To reserve places, email Linda Chase.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Tuesday 27 June 2006

British Council blog

The British Council has just started a blog. Susan Tranter writes:

I've just found out that James Lasdun (above) has won the National Short Story Prize. My first feeling is guilt that I'd missed the boat and not been able to update the EnCompass news section accordingly. But on reflection, it seems a little strange to me that a prize which was so hyped at the time of its launch, can be awarded so quietly. I gather you had to be in the right place (listening to BBC Radio 4) at the right time (early evening, 15th May) to find out what happened, and I, evidently, was not. (And I'm not the only person who forgot all about the prize pretty much as soon as it was announced - see this post on The Tart of Fiction blog.)

Oh, short stories. Nope, whatever you say, I just can't get that excited about them. Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964), Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) ... that's about it for me. Now, novellas: I likes them!

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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