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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 '19 February 2007'

Monday 19 February 2007

Mai Ghoussoub RIP

Mai Ghoussoub of Saqi Books has died suddenly, aged just 45. More when I have it...

Mai was born in Lebanon and received her BA in French literature from the American University of Beirut. She moved to London in 1979 where she later studied sculpture at Morley College. She then worked as an artist, author and publisher with her works being exhibited in many venues in the UK.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Monday 19 February 2007

RSB on the BBC

Welcome to those of you who have been directed to ReadySteadyBook via the BBC's Open Book radio programme: do have a good look around! RSB was featured on the programme yesterday with "literary editor Suzi Feay" kindly saying she was, "pretty impressed by it ... good standard of writing ... book choices intelligent and varied." Which is nice.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Monday 19 February 2007

Jakov Lind RIP

Jakov Lind has died. I have no more information at present, I'm afraid. "Jakov Lind was born in Vienna in 1927. As an eleven-year old boy from a Jewish family, he left Austria after the Anschluss, found temporary refuge in Holland, and succeeded in surviving inside Nazi Germany by assuming a Dutch identity." After a literary apprenticeship in Israel, he made his reputation through works of fiction written in German and later in English. He was probably most famous for Soul of Wood, now sadly out of print.

Ironically,'s Joshua Cohen published a homage to Jakov just a couple of weeks ago entitled Paying Tribute to a Living Legend:

Lind’s oeuvre spans nearly 20 volumes, which have won him admiration and prizes, both in mainland Europe and in his adopted United Kingdom. Indeed, his reputation once was enormous: Critical acclaim, so often given to comparison, at one time held him as a successor to Franz Kafka; in the German-speaking world he was regarded as the peer, if not master, of Gunter Grass. Soul of Wood, a collection of stories, and the novels Landscape in Concrete and Ergo should have long established Lind’s fame and posterity, and not, perhaps as consequence of the very moral and stylistic complexity that makes them so important, his lamentable present estate.

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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