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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 '07 February 2007'

Wednesday 07 February 2007

Norman Mailer

You'll have noticed, no doubt, the press concerning Norman Mailer's latest book, The Castle in the Forest, his first novel in ten years. My copy has yet to arrive (whilst I chew my fists in bated anticipation, I'll finish The Dawkins Delusion?, Alister McGrath's disappointingly shrill response to Richard Dawkins disappointingly shrill atheist bestseller The God Delusion), but I understand that it is on the way. In an interview with Robert McCrum at the weekend, Mailer said that people are "going to have a shit fit" about the work: I wonder if anyone will bother to concern themselves with whether the 84-year-old's latest effort is well-written or not or whether the content --  Mailer "imagines the early life of the 20th century's foremost representative of evil, Adolf Hitler, as narrated by one of Satan's minions" -- will be the sole concern of our "literary" journalists? If you can bear it, Nextbook have a podcast/interview with Mailer where he talks with Nermeen Shaikh.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 07 February 2007

Malcolm Bowie obituary

The Independent newspaper have published an obituary of Malcolm Bowie:


Many readers of Bowie will have a special affection for Proust Among the Stars, published in 1998 and awarded the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in 2001. Although Bowie describes this as an introductory volume, written "in schematic and accessible form", it is, in fact, a distillation of accumulated, long-pondered, critical wisdom about a writer who seemed able to draw out of Bowie what was most precious to him and in him. Here, Bowie is the consummate moraliste and himself an indispensable spiritual companion.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Serendipoetry

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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