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Showing posts from November, 2008

Reading...

Yes, here's a gem, if, like me, you have a penchant for Scandinavian existentialist novels. Dag Solstad's Novel 11, Book 18, which I bought in hardback yesterday. Lovely little book - physically. Like much of Scandinavian landscape, the cover and feel of it is aesthetically pleasing in that spare minimalist manner that promises so much depth. The words inside aren't too bad either! And perhaps one of the reasons why I love these types of stories and this type of story-telling is because it TELLS a story and isn't so slavishly devoted to SHOWING the story as I really cannot stand novels that are nothing more than wannabe scripts - here's a scene and here's one and here's one and...one day it'll get made into a film y'know.
Anyway.
The protagonist is the middle-aged Bjorn, a small town Treasurer where he had shacked up with the aptly named Turid Lammer (think Lurid Stammers, although she doesn't stammer, nor is particularly lurid, but I couldn'…

Absence...

Apologies for not having posted anything in a while but I haven't been too well! That doesn't mean I have stopped reading/writing/whatever but as soon as I'm able I will post a bit more. I'm actually reading quite a bit of poetry - supposed to be as effective as a daily anti-depressant. But then one study suggested that it only applied to the poetry of the Romantics yet Wordsworth's The Old Cumberland Beggar, which I tackled this week, cannot be cheery for anyone's soul. One poem I came across this week which had me in tears was Emyr Humphreys Father to Son, which equally applies to daughters as the actual poem isn't gender specific. And I've also been delving in and out of Thomas Hardy, who, after the furore following the publication of Jude the Obscure devoted himself to verse more and more but whilst a few great poems I don't rate many of them. It only takes one or two though and The Self Unseeing is a gem. But just imagine what the novel that …

Reading...

I am currently reading John Green's recent biography of Friedrich Engels, Life of a Revolutionary (Artery Publications). Despite the bio-ubiquitous title, a nod to Che Guevara to whom Green likens the young Engels, getting hold of this book had me on a wild goose-chase across central London. The Waterstone's website said that the usually well and diversely stocked Gower Street store would have at least one copy and so over there I went yesterday morning only to be told by a bizarrely gleeful Germanic-sounding assistant that a) they didn't have the book in stock b) how could I be so stupid as to trust the website and not call them first and c) but hope you find what you're looking for, byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! which is akin to 'have a nice day' through gritted teeth. And so off I went to Borders on Charing Cross Road, then crossed over to Foyles and then back round to the Bookmarks (should have been the obvious first choice) socialist bookshop on... Gower Street.…