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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"

Monday 26 February 2007

Coetzee and me

When I say Coetzee and me, I don't mean to pretend a link between the great man and my 'umble self (excerpt that we both seem to have a soft spot for the beasts of the field;  Coetzee's latest speech in defense of animal rights is excerpted at the Sydney Morning Herald [via TEV]). What I meant to suggest was the first part of this post would be about JMC (done!) and the second part (coming up) would be about me ...

So, its been very, very busy around here of late! Do, please, forgive the paucity of posting. Last week I had a review of Rosalind Belben's marvelous Our Horses in Egypt in the TLS (not online, although there is a short version of the review over at The Book Depository, and I'll post a full version here on RSB sometime very soon) and I've just sent "filed the copy" for my review of Aharon Appelfeld's new one, All Whom I Loved, with the Telegraph. Again, I'll post a version of that here soon. It's a wonderful and very understated novel.

This Thursday, World Book Day you'll note, I'll be down in Big London Town, talking to the creative writing students at Roehampton University. And on Saturday, I'll be addressing the delegates at the Independent Publishers Guild conference. So, busy, as I said!

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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