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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 '31 July 2006'

Monday 31 July 2006

My current top 5

The nice folk over at 3:AM's Buzzwords blog have just published my musical Top 5. Very kind of them to ask me. Thanks Andrew!

Currently I'm listening to:

1. Kafka-Fragmente -- Gyorgy Kurtag
2. Handwriting -- Khonnor
3. Plume -- Loscil
4. Pulse Shadows -- Harrison Birtwistle
5. The Ride -- Joan As Police Woman

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Monday 31 July 2006

Murray Bookchin RIP

The sad news of the death, at 85 years of age, of social ecologist Murray Bookchin comes via Booksurfer:

Author, activist, pioneer of social ecology and libertarian municipalism Murray Bookchin died on Sunday. Writing under the pen-name of Lewis Herber in the 1960s he was one of the first people to draw attention to the developing ecolological crisis in his book Our Synthetic Environment (1962). He also wrote about the breakdown and potential of urban living in The Crisis in Our Cities (1965) the same year in which his influential Post Scarcity Anarchism was published. He was author of the widely influential polemic Listen Marxist! and Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism in which he restates the case for anarchism as a movement for social revolution and not simply a lifestyle choice. The Press Association obituary is rather thin on detail, but there is a detailed biography of his life on the Anarchy Archives, with links through to a slightly dated bibliography.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Monday 31 July 2006

Vaneigem's Journal

Pierre Joris translates some of Raoul Vaneigem's stanzas (from Vaneigem's Journal Imaginaire):

The necessity to adapt to the surrounding environment for survival is an animal behavior. The primary human action consists in creating an environment that is favorable to the development of life.

Pierre says, "of the core Situationists, Vaneigem has always seemed to me at least as interesting and often more so than his ex-companion, Guy Debord". I can't agree. The vaguely hippy quality of each of the six stanzas that Pierre quotes is, for me, precisely why Vaneigem was never as interesting, insightful or essential as Debord. Good to know about the Journal Imaginaire, though. Its existence had quite passed me by.

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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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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