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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 '23 February 2007'

Friday 23 February 2007

Jakov Lind obit.

There is an obiturary of Jakov Lind (born Heinz Jakov Landwirth; 1927-2007) in today's Independent (thanks Tony):

The writer Jakov Lind chronicled the nightmare of Nazi Germany. He once defined himself as one of "the literary unicorns who worked in two languages like Beckett, Nabokov and Conrad", having written dazzlingly original works first in his native German and later in an idiosyncratic English. His collection of short stories Eine Seele aus Holz (Soul of Wood) does indeed place him in that exalted company through its blend of surrealistic humour and narrative power. It should be compulsory reading for anyone seeking insight into the sources of political sadism.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Friday 23 February 2007

Lynn Truss interview

I've just posted a nice interview with punctuation guru Lynne Truss over at The Book Depository:

Dickens and Chekhov are my two greatest heroes. I was telling someone the plot of Uncle Vanya the other day in a pasta place in Brighton, and by the end of it we were both in tears.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Friday 23 February 2007

Elie Wiesel attacked

78 year-old Elie Wiesel, author of Night, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, was dragged out of an elevator in a San Francisco hotel earlier this month by a Holocaust denier who berated and attacked him. I don't think Elie was badly hurt; hopefully he's doing fine now. (More on this, in a rather shrill piece, via the New York Observer.)

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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