the
Literary Saloon

the literary
weblog at the
complete review

the weblog

about the saloon

support the site

archive

cr
crQ
crF

RSS

Twitter

the Literary Saloon on Kindle

to e-mail us:


literary weblogs:

  Arts Journal
  the Book
  The Book Bench
  Books, Inq.
  Bookslut
  BritLitBlogs
  Con/Reading
  Critical Mass
  GalleyCat
  Guardian Unlimited
  Jacket Copy
  Maud Newton
  The Millions
  MobyLives
  NewPages Weblog
  Omnivoracious
  PowellsBooks.Blog
  Three Percent

  La Feuille.
  Moleskine
  Perlentaucher
  Rép. des livres

  Arts & Letters Daily
  Bookdwarf
  Brandywine Books
  Buzzwords
  Collected Miscellany
  Confessions/IM
  Elegant Variation
  Emerging Writers
  Laila Lalami
  Light Reading
  The Page
  Paper Cuts
  Reading Experience
  ReadySteady Blog
  splinters
  This Space
  Two Words
  The Valve
  Waggish
  wood s lot

  See also: links page






saloon statistics

the Literary Saloon at the Complete Review
opinionated commentary on literary matters - from the complete review


The Literary Saloon Archive

11 - 20 September 2011

11 September: The Eye of the Storm, the film | A to Z of V&A PoMo | The Caves of Alienation review
12 September: Beinecke exhibits | Damascus International Book Fair | The Uses of Pessimism review
13 September: Australian Literary Review done for ? | The literature of the siege of Leningrad | Where are The Colonel reviews ?
14 September: 'Writing the Arab Spring', in Berlin | Transcript 38 - Malta | Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture site
15 September: Prize long/shortlists: German Book Prize - DSC Prize - FT Goldman Sachs Business Book | Europa Editions Q & A | Jail libraries in ... India | Misterioso review
16 September: Q & As:Adonis - Tahar Ben Jelloun | Borges' verzamelde poëzie | The Three Percent Problem | TIR Forum on Literature and Translation | Sexist literary juries ? | 100 x On the Bookshelf
17 September: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy A to Z | Copyright in ... Burma | Amazon.es | Lightning review
18 September: Chinua Achebe on 'Literature and ethnicity' | Michael Ondaatje profile | Bosporus Book Fair | Holy Defense Book of the Year inspection
19 September: The new Commonwealth Writers' Prizes | Bernardo Atxaga Department | Thai SEA Write finalists | Looking for Murty translators | Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
20 September: New TLS website | James M. Cain's The Cocktail Waitress | Nelly-Sachs-Preis to Norman Manea | Chetan Bhagat Q&A


go to weblog

return to main archive



20 September 2011 - Tuesday

New TLS website | James M. Cain's The Cocktail Waitress
Nelly-Sachs-Preis to Norman Manea | Chetan Bhagat Q&A

       New TLS website

       After years of being 'under construction' the new Times Literary Supplement site has finally launched. It looks pretty good.
       I subscribe to the TLS which (theoretically) gives me access to the (recent) archives, and the registration procedure to gain proper access was simple and worked (not so for quite a while at the old version of the site); there do, however, appear to still be some bugs in the system: searching for articles did bring up nice results-lists (with useful brief summaries of the content), but the actual articles were still inaccessible (a formatting problem, from the looks of it).
       Editor Peter Stothard's weblog has now been superseded by The TLS Blog (though the URL remains the same); "other members of the editorial staff" will apparently now also be blogging. This has great potential, of course, but we'll have to wait and see how things turns out.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       James M. Cain's The Cocktail Waitress

       Exciting news indeed: as reported at, for example The New York Times' ArtsBeat weblog, by David Itzkoff, Rediscovered Novel by 'Mildred Pierce' Author Will Be Released.
       That's James M. Cain, of course, and the book is The Cocktail Waitress, which Hard Case Crime -- and who better ? -- will be publishing:
The novel, which Cain was working on at the end of his life, was described by Mr. Ardai as a hybrid of themes from Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice.
       I am looking forward to that.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Nelly-Sachs-Preis to Norman Manea

       They've announced that Norman Manea will receive this year's Nelly Sachs Prize; he gets to pick it (and the €15,000 that go with it) on 4 December.
       Margaret Atwood took it last time around, and this biennial prize has a very impressive list of previous winners which includes: Aharon Appelfeld, Per Olov Enquist, Christa Wolf, Javier Marías, Michael Ondaatje, Juan Goytisolo, Milan Kundera, Elias Canetti, and Ilse Aichinger.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Chetan Bhagat Q&A

       At the Wall Street Journal's India Real Time weblog Diksha Sahni has a Q&A: Chetan Bhagat on His New Book.
       That book is Revolution 2020 -- pre-order your copy from Flipkart -- which he describes as: "a love story in the backdrop of corruption in the education sector in India".
       While still rather baffled by the Bhagat-phenomenon -- sorry, not everyone likes the taste of ketchup (I can't stand the stuff) -- I do admit I am also quite fascinated by it, and I do hope to be able to get a copy of the book.
       (See also, for example, the complete review review of One Night @ the Call Center.)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



19 September 2011 - Monday

The new Commonwealth Writers' Prizes | Bernardo Atxaga Department
Thai SEA Write finalists | Looking for Murty translators
Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

       The new Commonwealth Writers' Prizes

       Via booktrade.info I learn that the Commonwealth Writers' Prize has re-launched by replacing their prizes, offering now Commonwealth Writers -- a world of new fiction.
       There's no more 'Best Book award', just a 'Commonwealth Book Prize', which is a best first book-award (they used to have both a 'best' and a 'best first' award), and they've added a 'Commonwealth Short Story Prize'. Apparently, or presumably this is all meant to help foster new(er) talent.
       (In any case, Commonwealth new- and short-story writers have until 18 October to submit entries.)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Bernardo Atxaga Department

       So I was really excited to hear that, as eitb report, Basque writer Atxaga opens Bernardo Atxaga Department in New York , as:
New York City University's brand new Department of Basque Literature and Linguistics, named after Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga, was officially opened on Friday, September 16th in the presence of Atxaga himself.
       A whole department named after an author, now that would be something !
       Alas, something apparently got lost in translation: the City University of New York has only inaugurated a simple Bernardo Atxaga Chair in Basque Literature and Language (see the official event page). Still, nice to see some American academic interest in Basque literature beyond Reno.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Thai SEA Write finalists

       In The Bangkok Post Anchalee Kongrut reports on The stories going for glory, noting that:
This year's seven finalists for Thailand's SEA Write Award offer a mix of everything from moving tales of everyday life to magical journeys taken by some of the Kingdom's most inventive minds.
       For this prize:
Eighty-three books of short stories were submitted for award consideration; 20 were shortlisted and seven were chosen for the final round.
       No word, however, on the other regional finalists for the South East Asian Writers Awards.

       (Updated - 22 September): As Anchalee Kongrut now reports in The Bangkok Post, the collection of twelve stories, แดดเช้าร้อนเกินกว่าจะนั่งจิบกาแฟ ('Morning Sun is Too Hot to Sip Coffee') by Jaded Kamjorndet (จเด็จ กำจรเดช) has taken the prize.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Looking for Murty translators

       I've mentioned the promising-sounding Murty Classical Library of India several times (most recently here), and in The Hindu Renuka Phadnis now reports that: Murty Classical Library scouting for translators, as Rohan Narayana Murty notes:
It has been difficult to get good translators and people can submit their proposals to the MCLI for translating. "Anyone approach send us, even now. That would be fantastic," he told The Hindu.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

       The Irish Examiner reports that Edna O'Brien wins Frank O'Connor Award, as her collection, Saints and Sinners has apparently taken the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award (although that information was not yet available at the official site, last I checked ...).
       The prize -- worth an impressive €35,000 -- has only been around for a few years, but I'm surprised she hasn't won it before .....
       See also the Faber & Faber publicity page for Saints and Sinners, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



18 September 2011 - Sunday

Chinua Achebe on 'Literature and ethnicity' | Michael Ondaatje profile
Bosporus Book Fair | Holy Defense Book of the Year inspection

       Chinua Achebe on 'Literature and ethnicity'

       In Next they reprint the address Chinua Achebe delivered at the recent Garden City Literary Festival in Port Harcourt, on Literature and ethnicity.
       Achebe writes:
The Nigeria-Biafra war changed the course of Nigeria. One can summarise the conflict as one precipitated by the bile of ethnic hatred. It was such a cataclysmic experience that for me it virtually changed the history of Africa and the history of Nigeria. Everything I had known before, all the optimism had to be rethought. For me, this traumatic event changed my writing for a time, which found expression in a different genre -- poetry.
       And he argues:
There is a great deal of work for the Nigerian writer -- indeed all writers. If the society is healthy, the writer's job is limited -- which is not the situation in Nigeria. On the other hand, if a society is ill the writer has a responsibility to point it out even if it produces headaches in the halls of power !
       Worth a look.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Michael Ondaatje profile

       In The Age Steve Meacham profiles Michael Ondaatje, whose The Cat's Table is already out in the UK (though it'll be another month or so before it appears in the US; pre-order your copy at Amazon.com, or get your copy at Amazon.co.uk).

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Bosporus Book Fair

       In Sunday's Zaman Latifa Akay reports that the Bosporus Book Fair struggles to get wind in its sails, as there are apparently more vendors that visitors ....
       The Boğaziçi Book Fair runs through 21 September; one hopes interest picks up .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Holy Defense Book of the Year inspection

       IBNA reports that in Iran 419 works inspected for Holy Defense Book of the Year, as writing about the Iran-Iraq War continues to be the one kind that is enthusiastically fostered and fanned by the authorities. With 68 fiction titles -- and 29 volumes of poetry -- in the running there's clearly ... a lot to choose from.
       I suspect Mahmoud Dowlatabadi's The Colonel -- which probably has enough 'Sacred Defense'-connections to qualify -- isn't in the running (among other reasons, because they're still holding up publication of it) .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



17 September 2011 - Saturday

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy A to Z | Copyright in ... Burma
Amazon.es | Lightning review

       Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy A to Z

       Apparently there's a film version of John Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, directed by Tomas Alfredson and starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and John Hurt, just (about) out -- see the official site -- and in The Guardian William Boyd now offers John le Carré: a Tinker, Tailor A-Z
       (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy isn't under review at the complete review -- though several of Boyd's books are -- but get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Copyright in ... Burma

       In The Myanmar Times Zon Pann Pwint reports that Committee protects writer's copyrights, as a 'Paragu's Literary Copyright Committee' has been formed to collect the royalties due the prolific but now deceased Burmese author.
       Copyright (and enforcement) apparently remain problematic in Burma: U Myo Aung of Pyae Sone publishing house is quoted:
"I see the formation of Paragu's Literary Copyright Committee as the first step toward the emergence of a new Myanmar Copyright Act. The Myanmar Music Association takes action to prevent piracy from flourishing in the music industry, but the literary and movie industries have been slow to control the production and distribution of pirated books, plays, photographs and films," he said.
       And:
He said that although the Myanmar Copyright Act was enacted in 1914, legal action is rarely taken in cases of copyright infringement.
       And that's just domestically; since Burma (i.e. also the Myanmar junta running the place now) isn't a party to the major copyright treaties, notably Berne and the UCC, they don't fare well abroad either -- one more reason why there's so little Burmese literature in translation available. (Though I've always wondered why there isn't more fiction available from those non-signatory outliers (Ethiopia, Iran, Kuwait (somewhat surprisingly), etc.), since the material is thus essentially free for the taking, as authors theoretically don't have to be compensated (morally it's a different issue, of course ...); recall the good old days when the Soviet Union was outside the international copyright world, leading to publishers competing with multiple translations of Solzhenitsyn's work, etc.)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Amazon.es

       Amazon has opened Amazon.es, for the Spanish market. Maybe not ideal timing, but it's probably a good market to be in; Reuters suggests 'Launches in Netherlands, Sweden, India may follow' (India seems like a long overdue no-brainer to me; the Netherlands and Sweden seem a bit riskier -- hyper-literate audiences, but relatively small populations -- and the Netherlands, in particular, doesn't seem to need delivery service anywhere nearly as much as countries where it actually takes a while to get anywhere).
       I am impressed that Amazon.es also has extensive listings of, for example, libros en euskera -- Basque language books (the same goes for Catalan and Galician) -- though, of course, it would be foolish for them not to.
       And, yes, the complete review is now also an Amazon.es affiliate. Amazon click-throughs and referral income have nose-dived from the links to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk -- much further than the decline in traffic that Google's rejigged algorithm has led to -- but the trickle of income from the other affiliations doesn't hurt, and I expect some to come together here as well, especially since Spanish is the third most-popular language (after English and French) books reviewed at the site were originally written in (about 6.50 per cent of all titles); there's also a decent amount of traffic from Spain to the site -- though not nearly as much as from the Netherlands ..... Interestingly, a small but appreciable portion of Amazon.com-revenue comes from the sale of Spanish-language books to US customers .....



(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Lightning review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jean Echenoz's Nikola Tesla novel, Lightning.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



16 September 2011 - Friday

Q & As:Adonis - Tahar Ben Jelloun
Borges' verzamelde poëzie | The Three Percent Problem
TIR Forum on Literature and Translation | Sexist literary juries ?
100 x On the Bookshelf

       Q & A: Adonis

       At Qantara.de Khaula Saleh has a Q & A with Syrian poet Adonis, who maintains: "I'm One Hundred Percent on the Side of the Syrian Revolution".

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Q & A: Tahar Ben Jelloun

       At Der Spiegel Jess Smee has a Q & A with Tahar Ben Jelloun, who argues Arab Writers 'Should Not Be Invisible Anymore'.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Borges' verzamelde poëzie

       Via De papieren man I learn that De Bezige Bij is bringing out a 1152-page edition of Jorge Luis Borges' Verzamelde poëzie -- yes: Alle gedichten. Alle !
       Meanwhile, in the English-speaking world we wait and wait, making do with odds and ends, the most comprehensive collection being a very limited (but at least bilingual) edition of Selected Poems (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) .....
       (Who do I blame ? Well, who 'represents' the Borges estate ? Oh, you know who .....
       And don't get me started on the Borges non-fiction, huge masses of which remain unavailable in English .....)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       The Three Percent Problem

       If you're a regular reader of this Literary Saloon you, of course, also follow Three Percent, and they've now collected the best blog posts -- Chad Post's own rants, as well as some guest commentary -- in an ebook, The Three Percent Problem: Rants and Responses on Publishing, Translation, and the Future of Reading, available for $2.99 at Amazon.com (and just £2.12 at Amazon.co.uk); Chad asks that, if possible, you make your purchase today at noon (to game the Amazon rankings ...), though given that it was already a stellar "10,462 Paid in Kindle Store", last I checked, it seems many couldn't wait to get their hands on it.
       And who can blame them ? It looks good (and not just content-wise -- though admittedly my copy is a pdf version, not the "Kindle"-format, so I can't judge how it looks on your Kindle). Close to 400 (!) pages of material, covering may of the translation/publishing translations/bookselling issues that have been much discussed over the past few years. And, sure, this material is all available on site -- but how nice it is to have it all assembled in this form, pieces grouped together by topic, etc.
       I just hope they make a print version available as well .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       TIR Forum on Literature and Translation

       The Iowa Review has opened up a Forum on Literature and Translation, which looks very promising.
       First up is a piece by Lawrence Venuti, the plenary lecture he delivered to the annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association in October of 2010, Towards a Translation Culture.
       They say: "Feel free to chime in" -- so go ahead !

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Sexist literary juries ?

       In Le Figaro Etienne De Montety wonders, Les jurys littéraires sont-ils machistes ? as it occurs to the French to look at the percentage of women who win prominent literary prizes and find that, at 10 per cent, it seems to fall a bit short.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       100 x On the Bookshelf

       At Tablet Josh Lambert looks back at two years of writing the 'On the Bookshelf'-column (covering some 874 new books), in Around Reading.
       He concludes:
Literary superabundance does present a real threat to authors: As more books are published, less attention can be devoted to each one as an individual achievement. So, one suspects it's with them that the gripes about the death of the book originate. But from a committed reader's perspective, there has never been a more vibrant literary marketplace: Books are more plentiful, cheaper, and easier to find than ever before. Anyone kvetching about the death of the book is just giving him- or herself a half-assed excuse for not reading more of them. The rest of us are busy enjoying a literary renaissance.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



15 September 2011 - Thursday

Prize long/shortlists: German Book Prize - DSC Prize - FT Goldman Sachs Business Book
Europa Editions Q & A | Jail libraries in ... India | Misterioso review

       Prize long/shortlists: German Book Prize

       They've announced the shortlist for the German Book Prize.
       love german books offered her Take on the Longlist a few days ago, which gives you some idea of the books that were (and the ones that remain) in the running.
       None of the books are under review at the complete review, but as I've mentioned, I'm very curious about Lewitscharoff's Blumenberg, and will be getting to that.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Prize long/shortlists: DSC Prize

       They've announced the longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, which offers what looks like an interesting mix of titles -- quite a few I'd like to have a look at. (The only one under review at the complete review is The Patience Stone, by Atiq Rahimi.)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Prize long/shortlists: FT Goldman Sachs Business Book

       They've announced the shortlist for the (ridiculously over-titled) Financial Times Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year, and Andrew Hill has the run-down [Updated: Sorry, the FT piece apparently turns out to be registration-requiring (great way to publicize your prize ...); check out Katie Allen's overview, Six on "stimulating" business book shortlist at the more user-friendly The Bookseller instead].
       (Nope, none of the shortlisted books are under review at the complete review.)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Europa Editions Q & A

       At Publishing Perspectives Brittany Hazelwood has a Q & A with the editor-in-chief of Europa Editions, Michael Reynolds, From Italy to NYC: Europa Editions Translates Success.
       Among the points of interest: the success of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, "which started with a print run of 15,000 and has gone on to sell an extraordinary 800,000 copies so far".

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Jail libraries in ... India

       In the Times of India P.V.Shyam reports on a Library of a different kind, the Viyyur central jail library -- which: "witnesses a footfall of 200 every day".
       As Welfare Officer and In-Charge of the Library Santhosh TG explains:
Viyyur Central Jail Library is the most utilized library in its category in the district. We hope to make the library in Viyyur jail one of the best jail libraries, if not in the country, in the State as a whole

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Misterioso review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Arne Dahl's Misterioso.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



14 September 2011 - Wednesday

'Writing the Arab Spring', in Berlin | Transcript 38 - Malta
Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture site

       'Writing the Arab Spring', in Berlin

       At Deutsche Welle Anne Thomas reports that Authors at Berlin festival talk about 'writing the Arab Spring', reporting on what's happening at the internationales literaturfestival berlin.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Transcript 38 - Malta

       Transcript 38: Malta is now (largely) up, and offers some interesting perspectives on and examples of this tiniest of European literatures -- including Ivan Callus asking, among other things, "What does Maltese-language Maltese literature do next ?", in Incongruity and Scale: The Challenge of Discernment in Maltese Literature.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture site

       I'm very pleased to see that there is now a dedicated site for the Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture, which runs this year from 27 to 30 September --:
a four-day festival celebrating the work of 2011 NSK Neustadt Prize laureate Virginia Euwer Wolff and the nine internationally-known writers who make up the 2012 Neustadt Prize jury.
       I've long complained that the Neustadt events -- this festival and the whole to-do around the biennial Neustadt International Prize for Literature (which, I'd argue, still easily beats out Man Booker International Prize in the international-author-prize hierarchy) -- don't get nearly the press coverage and attention they should, and I hope (and imagine) this helps.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



13 September 2011 - Tuesday

Australian Literary Review done for ? | The literature of the siege of Leningrad
Where are The Colonel reviews ?

       Australian Literary Review done for ?

       At Crikey Andrew Crook reports that the Australian Literary Review shuts up shop [registration required for access to full article], as:
ALR editor Luke Slattery confirmed this morning that the monthly supplement, published as part of The Australian, will close its doors in October
       That's disappointing .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       The literature of the siege of Leningrad

       At signandsight.com Oleg Yuriev finds: 'The siege of Leningrad, which began 70 years ago, has found a harrowing witness in literature', in In the vortex of congealed time, pointing to some recently (re)discovered/published work by authors such as Gennady Gor (Геннадий Самойлович Гор) and Pavel Salzmann (Павел Яковлевич Зальцман).

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Where are The Colonel reviews ?

       So what I consider one of the major works to be published in translation this year, Mahmoud Dowlatabadi's The Colonel, came out a few months ago -- it was Haus' lead title in July --, and I still can't find any English-language reviews (print or weblog or other) of the translation. There was a panel on it last week in London (see, for example, this report), so maybe that will spur some interest, but, come on .....
       What am I missing here ? Is the Middle Eastern quota currently being filled entirely by Arabic-writing authors ?
       Come on, book review editors, assign this title .....

       (Updated - 14 September): I'm very pleased to see that Damian Kelleher took up the call quickly -- see now his review. I hope many other follow suit !

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



12 September 2011 - Monday

Beinecke exhibits | Damascus International Book Fair
The Uses of Pessimism review

       Beinecke exhibits

       There are two exhibits that sound pretty appealing still on at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (at Yale, in New Haven), running through 1 October; see the exhibits page for details.
       One is; 'Multitudes: A Celebration of the Yale Collection of American Literature, 19112011'; see the Yale Daily News piece on it by Carolyn Lipka, Yale's archives get a little too excited.
       The other is: 'How is a Book ... . . . written ? illustrated ? printed ? bound ?'; see the Yale Daily News pieces How is a book ... made history ? by James Lu and Beinecke opens the book on bookmaking by Natasha Thondavadi.
       Disappointing, however, to hear from Lu:
In my three trips to the Yale Bookstore this past week, I saw flocks of people, many of whom were shelling out hundreds of dollars for their course books. In my three trips to the Beinecke this past week to see the current exhibit, "How is a book ...," I saw no one.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Damascus International Book Fair

       Yeah, this sounds like it'll be a ... rousing success: as DP news reports, the Damascus International Book Fair 2011 is now open. That's actually the Al-Assad Library International Book Fair, which "kicked off" on Thursday.
       Good to hear:
Vice-President Najah al-Attar offered special greeting for President Bashar al-Assad who worked hard to upgrade education process in Syria through supporting constructive cultural projects.
       Because, you know, there's entirely too much of a focus on things like books at your usual book fair, and those shout-outs to the homies are sorely missed.
       And, since it's a book fair, why miss the opportunity to try to score some regional-political points ?
Al-Attar said "Syria has always believed in the united Arab stance, the united Arab nation and the struggle to upgrade the Arab life to achieve victory and defend the rights."
       (Yeah, that's what Syria under the Assads has always been known for, upgrading the Arab life and defending any sort of the rights .....)
       Meanwhile, SANA (yes, the Syrian Arab News Agency) knows how to headline a report (at least for domestic consumption) on the bookfair, reporting (with lots of pictures !) Al-Attar: Syria Always the Greatest for Its Pan-Arabism and National Stances.
       But:
The participants stressed that the Fair constitutes an important cultural phenomenon in Syria's history, adding that knowledge and culture are the only way to overcome difficult circumstances.
       Well, it can't hurt, presumably. No report on how many -- if any -- foreign participants showed up, however.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       The Uses of Pessimism review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Roger Scruton's The Uses of Pessimism and the Danger of False Hope.
       (Interesting to note that this was brought out by Atlantic in the UK, but not Grove/Atlantic in the US; instead it's one of these books that was published by a university press -- Oxford University Press -- stateside.)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



11 September 2011 - Sunday

The Eye of the Storm, the film | A to Z of V&A PoMo
The Caves of Alienation review

       The Eye of the Storm, the film

       Patrick White's great novel, The Eye of the Storm -- it's one of the master's best -- has been made into a movie, directed by Fred Schepisi, and with a pretty solid cast headed by Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling, and Judy Davis; see the official site.
       It opens Thursday in Australia, and the Sydney Morning Herald already has Tom Ryan's review.
       Also of interest: in The Age White-biographer David Marr writes about White's Celluloid dreams, reporting that: 'he was also a cinephile who believed his novels were made to be filmed and even held ambitions to direct'.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       A to Z of V&A PoMo

       At the Victoria & Albert Museum the exhibit, Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990, opens 24 September and runs through 8 January.
       In the Independent on Sunday Marcus Field 'presents his bluffer's guide' to the exhibit and the subject matter, in The A to Z of PoMo.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       The Caves of Alienation review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Stuart Evans' novel, The Caves of Alienation.
       With a title like that -- not to mention the subject matter and approach --, and the fact that it's a volume in the Library of Wales-series, how could I not have a look ?

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



previous entries (1 - 10 September 2010)

archive index

- return to top of the page -


© 2011 the complete review

the Complete Review
Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links