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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 '10 July 2007'

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Michael Otterman blog

Author Michael Otterman has a blog over on his American Torture site. His book, also called American Torture, which was one of my Books of the Week back at the beginning of May, is out now from Pluto Press:


Michael Otterman reveals the long history of US torture. He shows how these procedures became standard practice in today's war on terror. Initially, the US military and CIA based their techniques on the work of their enemies: the Nazis, Soviets and Chinese. Billions of dollars were spent studying, refining, then teaching these techniques to instructors at military survival schools and interrogators charged with keeping communism at bay. Along the way, the US government produced torture-training manuals that were used in Vietnam, Latin America and elsewhere. As the Cold War ended, these tortures -- engineered to leave deep psychological wounds but few physical scars -- were legalized using the very laws designed to eradicate their use. After 9/11, they were revived again for use on enemy combatants detained in America's vast gulag of prisons across the globe -- from secret CIA black sites in Thailand to the Pentagon's detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Tuesday 10 July 2007

Cape Verde literature

Matt from Mountain*7 is off to the Cape Verde Islands next week:


Here's the thing though: I've dug around and found very little in terms of translated literature. There's the recently published The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo by Germano Almeida (thanks to the Complete Review for this) but seemingly very little else. The Islands are well known for their thriving literary and poetry scene but I can't seem to find anything else that is readily available - anyone got any nuggets of wisdom out there, on this or any other aspect of the culture and history?

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Tuesday 10 July 2007

How To Read Elfriede Jelinek

There is a detailed overview of the work of Elfriede Jelinek by Tim Parks over in The New York Review of Books: he isn't that impressed!

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Serendipoetry

Omens, after Alexander Pushkin

I rode to meet you: dreams
like living beings swarmed around me
and the moon on my right side
followed me, burning.

I rode back: everything changed.
My soul in love was sad
and the moon on my left side
trailed me without hope.

To such endless impressions
we poets give ourselves absolutely,
making, in silence, omen of mere event,
until the world reflects the deepest needs of the soul.

-- Louise Gluck
Averno (Carcanet Press)

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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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