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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

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Blog entries on '21 March 2007'

Wednesday 21 March 2007

Yellin wins big money prize

Back in January, I noted the five finalists of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, administered by the Jewish Book Council of America. Well, the winner has just been announced: Tamar Yellin, author of The Genizah at the House of Shepher (Toby Press), and one of the two British finalists, has won the $100,000 prize (the largest-ever Jewish literary prize, and one of the largest literary prizes around). Congrats Tamar. The pints are on you!

Any of you good folk read this? After my Spinoza-fest, should this be next? And, by the way, have you seen my copy anywhere!? I can't find the darn thing!

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Wednesday 21 March 2007


Victoria, over at Tales from the Reading Room, takes a look at "defamiliarisation":

Well, of course, when I started to think about this, all that came to mind were examples of people getting very upset over the issue of dashed narrative expectations. Back in the 50s and 60s in France, a new literary movement developed in reaction to the socio-political realism of Existentialism, and it was called the ‘nouveau roman’ or the new novel. What was new about the new novel was that it tried not to look like a novel at all. Rather in the way that modern art stubbornly refuses to draw pictures of things we might recognise, so the new novel attempted to dispense with character, plot, and often punctuation, to see how far you could bend the rules and still have something like representation. And, my God, did people hate it!

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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