Tag: books

Cormac McCarthy at 80

Monday, 15 July, 2013 1 Comment

The birthday isn’t until next Saturday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get the celebrations going, does it? Cormac McCarthy is one of the few writers who has created their own genre: the metaphysical Western. It is filled with demons who roam the borderlands of Mexico. At times, one feels they would be more at home in a Hieronymus Bosch painting filled with fantastic imagery illustrating moral and religious concepts and narratives. Above all, Cormac McCarthy is a teller of tales.

“There is but one world and everything that is imaginable is necessary to it. For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but is a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these are also the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall. And those seams that are hid from us are of course in the tale itself and the tale has no abode or place of being except in the telling only and there it lives and makes its home and therefore we can never be done with the telling. Of the telling there is no end. And… in whatever… place by whatever… name or by no name at all… all tales are one. Rightly heard all tales are one.”

Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing

Cormac McCarthy


Dan Brown aids ailing Italy

Thursday, 21 February, 2013 0 Comments

“Bestselling-author Dan Brown sat down to a simple Tuscan meal of tomato stew followed by steak in a family-run trattoria.” Back in November 2004, Geoffrey Pullum revealed to readers of Language Log that when Dan Brown constructs his formulaic opening sentence “an occupational term is used with no determiner as a bare role NP premodifier […]

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Federico Pistono talks fact and science fiction

Tuesday, 29 January, 2013

Federico Pistono is a young Renaissance Man whose formal education has taken him from studying science and technology in the ancient Italian city of Verona to an immersion in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the ultra-modern Singularity University in California. A thinker, a social entrepreneur and an aspiring filmmaker, he is also the author […]

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Bukowski on women

Thursday, 27 December, 2012 0 Comments

Among the myriad delights that Santa Claus put in the Rainy Day Christmas stocking was Women by Charles Bukowski. In his introduction, Barry Miles says, “Women is Buwkoski’s punk novel. Written in 1977, it is fast, conversational, uses few long words, and just zips along.” In the book, we meet Henry Chinaski, a low-life writer […]

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The non-review review of NW

Wednesday, 29 August, 2012

In the Sunday Telegraph, a person named Gaby Wood, “the head of Telegraph books”, purported to review the “long awaited NW“, the latest novel by Zadie Smith, in a truly obsequious, vapid piece titled “The return of Zadie Smith“. One of the commentators on the piece summed it up perfectly: “Please don’t include biographical facts […]

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Evan Robertson creates posters inspired by his love of literature

Thursday, 26 July, 2012

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places […]

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Summer reading

Sunday, 15 July, 2012

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral […]

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The tempest

Sunday, 29 April, 2012

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami.

The Tempest


Guest post: The Pulitzohr Prize

Wednesday, 18 April, 2012

The decision to not award a Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year was followed by widespread disbelief, anger and grief in the world of letters. It also spurred headlines such as “Book lovers react bitterly to no fiction Pulitzer“. Jim Martin, retired pilot, active author and founding member of a European digital publishing venture to […]

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Written in a time of fever

Tuesday, 10 January, 2012

When the fever was upon the true believers, visions were common occurrences and those who had been so blessed were moved to set down their insights on paper so that others might be saved. For example, economist Jeremy Rifkin wrote The European Dream: How Europe’s Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream. Similarly, after having seen the light, Washington Post reporter T. R. Reid authored a bestseller, The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy and, possessed by the same spirit, foreign-policy guru Mark Leonard explained Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century.

These things I have witnessed with mine own eyes, and they occurred during the first decade of this century.