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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 '15 November 2006'

Wednesday 15 November 2006

Folkestone Literary Festival nuclear debate

The Folkestone Literary Festival started a few days ago and goes on until this coming Saturday. On that day, November 18th, the last event is Debating Nuclear Energy: Solution or Setback?: Martin Empson and Malcolm Grimston. Martin, campaigning journalist and member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, recently reviewed George Monbiot's Heat on RSB, Grimston is a Member of the Atomic Energy Authority and Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 15 November 2006


A new literary and culture magazine arrives: Habitus -- A Diaspora Journal. The first issue is devoted to Budapest:

Habitus Magazine is a new, international journal of Diaspora literature and culture. Our focus is the Jewish experience in the Diaspora, and Diaspora as a universal experience that mirrors and invigorates our own. Emphasizing literature, photography, criticism and reportage, our goal is to explore the lives of Jews and others in various locales around the globe.

The experience of Diaspora is not the sole property of Jews or Judaism; many other peoples have found themselves in an undiscovered country, turning back towards memory. These multiple Diasporas contribute to the cultural complexity of our modern world. They are the basis for a common experience that Habitus will try to address.

Each issue will focus on a new city as our venue for illuminating a different corner of the world, and a different perspective on the issues that define us.

Much isn't online, but the site has more than you'd think on first glance including editor Joshua Ellison's Welcome and My Jewish Budapest by George Szirtes. There are also some web-only articles which look good, including: Günther Grass and Imre Kertész in Conversation with György Dalos (which I've not read yet, but looks fascinating) and Ilene R. Prusher's Looking for My Tribe: A Journey to the Jewish Roots of Afghanistan’s Pashtuns.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 15 November 2006

Lee Rourke interview

Lee Rourke, boss of Scarecrow, and RSB contributor, is interviewed over at The Paris Bitter Hearts Pit.

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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