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The Literary Saloon Archive

1 - 10 July

1 July: Much ado about Jung ... in Germany | Daniil Kharms | Missing urban literature ? | Anonymous reviewing
2 July: Long Barn Books venture | Mistranslation of Culture ? | Reviewing fun
3 July: Penguin - India and beyond | Julian Barnes profile | Mars books
4 July: Perfect book ? | Christopher Fry (1907-2005) | The Kakutani
5 July: Caine Prize | FLIP ! | Bookselling in Taiwan | Until I Find You review
6 July: Get this man some writer's block ! | Can't get the originals ? Get photocopies ! | Literature and psychiatry | Blogs promoting books: an international phenomenon | 10 years of | Iraqi money
7 July: Gorey War of the Worlds | Markson interview | MBI Prize (non-)coverage | Pamuk interview
8 July: More Bush-book fun | David Ferry profile | Assia Djebar profile | The Pillowman review
9 July: Premio Strega | Conradi on Canetti | Evangelical fiction | Get less serious ! | Discovering African literature
10 July: Incendiary too incendiary ? | Claude Simon (1913-2005) | Mulisch reviews

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10 July 2005 - Sunday

Incendiary too incendiary ? | Claude Simon (1913-2005) | Mulisch reviews

       Incendiary too incendiary ?

       In The Guardian Charlotte Higgins reports that Bookshop acts on terror novel.
       It's not much of an act, but:
The bookselling giant Waterstone's yesterday pulled advertising for a new novel about suicide bombers creating mayhem in London.
       The book is Chris Cleave's Incendiary, published on Thursday (in the UK) -- and:
The novel remains on sale despite the events of Thursday. "The book stands as a woman trying to make sense of her life after a tragedy," said a spokesman for the publisher, Chatto and Windus.
       But beside the Waterstone's efforts they've scaled back what seems to have been a pretty big publicity campaign: the most noteworthy change (not mentioned by Higgins) is the re-routing away from the dedicated minisite the publishers had set up at A Flash-advert that began with a big boom, it has now been axed, the URL now forwarding users to the plain-vanilla (and far less 'incendiary') publicity page.
       The book will probably still do well enough. Too bad: we found it piss-poor.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Claude Simon (1913-2005)

       The 1985 Nobel laureate, Claude Simon, -- we're pretty sure he's the only laureate who was born in Madagascar ! -- has passed away.
       Shockingly little death-coverage so far: even the French reports available online at, e.g., Le Fiagro and Le Monde are based on AFP and Reuters reports. For some English coverage, see the BBC and Reuters, for a German dpa report, see the FAZ.

       For more Simon-background, see also:
(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Mulisch reviews

       More Harry Mulisch coverage ! Yes, the most recent additions to the complete review are our reviews of:
(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

9 July 2005 - Saturday

Premio Strega | Conradi on Canetti | Evangelical fiction
Get less serious ! | Discovering African literature

       Premio Strega

       Il Viaggiatore Notturno ('The Night Traveller') by Maurizio Maggiani takes this year's Premio Strega, probably the top Italian literary prize. (Previous winners include: Cesare Pavese, Alberto Moravia, Giorgio Bassani, Elsa Morante, Dino Buzzati, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Natalia Ginzburg, Primo Levi, Umberto Eco, and Gesualdo Bufalino. Very impressive.)
       See this official site or (slightly less up-to-date) this one, as well as this brief report about the five finalists.
       ANSA offers a report,which begins:
Former plumber Maurizio Maggiani picked up this year's prestigious Strega Prize for Italian literature
       We hope he still has a plunger he can employ on the journalist who penned that .....
       For additional information, see also the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore publicity page -- or get your copy of the Italian edition at ( doesn't carry it; other works by Maurizio Maggiani have been translated into French, German, etc., but apparently none are available in English).

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Conradi on Canetti

       The first British review of Elias Canetti's Party in the Blitz we've seen, and wouldn't you know it, The Guardian gets Iris Murdoch-biographer Peter Conradi to tackle it.
       He likes it well enough (he calls it: "splendidly entertaining") -- and still gets to bash Canetti, with much of the review devoted to the Murdoch-aspects.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Evangelical fiction

       In The Guardian Douglas Kennedy tries to explain the evangelical fiction phenomenon in the US to a (presumably baffled) UK audience, in Selling rapture.
       He learns:
Says Kate Duffy, an editor at the New York publishing house, Kensington: "There are two types of books that are really selling in America these days: erotica and inspirational romance," she says.
       So what we're wondering is when the first erotic inspirational romances (i.e. evangelical porn) will start appearing (or have they already ?)

       Kennedy doesn't quite get it all:
Many a troubled American secularist (this one included) wouldn't mind the sort of divine intervention depicted in LaHaye's Left Behind series, in which all true believers get whisked off to paradise, leaving the rest of us fallen souls to ricochet doubtfully through the one and only life we will ever have. But, alas, the rapture isn't on the cards just yet.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Get less serious !

       Howard Jacobson thinks things have gotten too serious, going so far as to diagnose that: "We are back in a new dark age of the imagination." This in The joke's on us in -- yet again ! -- The Guardian:
By some perverse twist of intellectual history, the very reason we once read novels -- to be liberated from solemnity and absurdity, to be engaged in a merry war with everything around us -- is the very reason we won't read novels which perform such a service now. The isolation of comedy from everything else we do is symptomatic of this. We are right to shrink from the very idea of a "funny" book. There should be no such genre. We should expect laughter to be integral to the business of being serious. We are back in a new dark age of the imagination. We read to sleep.
       Worth thinking about.
       Also worth thinking about: Jacobson is probably the most popular British author who, despite repeated efforts, has had the least success in the US (the similarly comic Nigel Williams is among the few other contenders for the title that come to mind); recall his recent (US) flop, The Making of Henry. If this sort of light fiction has a tough time in the UK, it's absolutely D.O.A. in the US.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Discovering African literature

       And one more piece from today's issue of The Guardian: in Journey to the interior Lisa St Aubin de Teran writes about her adventures in African literature. We always like it when someone realises there's a world out there:
For readers and writers alike, African literature can be a revelation. It gave me an entirely new dimension to everything I knew and thought I understood, not only about writing but also about life. Such is the impact, the culture-rush, the sensory enhancement and the emotional excitement of such a discovery that it cannot easily be described or categorised other than as an experience of which one can say, "there was my life prior to and after encountering it".
       And it doesn't just work for African literature ! Fiction in translation, for example, often offers similar experiences -- as do other approaches in your local literature ! Experiment, look around, try different stuff !
       But, yeah, African literature ain't a bad place to start.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

8 July 2005 - Friday

More Bush-book fun | David Ferry profile | Assia Djebar profile | The Pillowman review

       More Bush-book fun

       We recently mentioned that George 'not that George' Bush's Prophet Mohamed biography (from which even the US State Department had felt compelled to distance itself) had passed the Egyptian censors.
       In Al-Ahram Weekly Gihan Shahine now reports that not everybody is very happy about the decision, in Bush book incites controversy.
       Our favourite titbit:
An Arabic translation of the Bush book, appended with a refutation of the 1938 edition, has been reprinted five times since it was published in 2004, and is currently available in bookstores. Abdallah El-Maged, the book's Saudi Arabian publisher, told the Weekly that after 9/11, "we wanted to explore the books available [in the West] to understand the western mentality and refute misconceptions. We decided to start with this book because it is particularly offensive to Arabs and Islam."
       (Reminder: this book was basically unavailable for ages in 'the West' -- see, for example, the State Department press release -- and surely there are literally thousands of books that would give a better perception of "western mentality" (most surely also filled with quite as many misconceptions ...). But maybe its antique feel (first published in the 1830s) make it seem more authoritative and significant. Or maybe just the fun fact that its author has the same name as the sitting American president makes it more appealing .....)

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       David Ferry profile

       In the Boston Globe David Mehegan offers a David Ferry profile, For poet, classics translate into success:
Ferry, who is 81, has published five books of poems (primarily his own, with some translations) between 1960 and 1999. In 1992, he published a "verse rendering" -- he says it's not a translation -- of the 3,000-year-old Sumerian epic Gilgamesh. Then he turned to the classic Roman poets Horace and Virgil, with The Odes of Horace and The Epistles of Horace, The Eclogues of Virgil and, just published, The Georgics of Virgil.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Assia Djebar profile

       As we mentioned last month, Assia Djebar was elected to the Académie française, taking over fauteuil 5. Now David Tresilian reports on this and her in Al-Ahram Weekly, in In search of Algerian women.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       The Pillowman review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is our review of Martin McDonagh's play, The Pillowman.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

7 July 2005 - Thursday

Gorey War of the Worlds | Markson interview
MBI Prize (non-)coverage | Pamuk interview

       Gorey War of the Worlds

       There's apparently yet another movie version of H.G.Wells' War of the Worlds out, but this Edward Gorey-illustrated edition from New York Review Books sounds considerably more appealing.
       In the Chicago Tribune Julia Keller offers some backstory in Now it can be asked: Was Edward Gorey from outer space ?

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Markson interview

       The July issue of Bookslut is now up. Of particular interest: Joey Rubin's interview with David Markson.

       (Our review of Going Down should be going up in a couple of weeks.)

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       MBI Prize (non-)coverage

       So it's been over a week since they gave Ismail Kadare the Man Booker International Prize in Edinburgh (see, for example, our mentions here), and we're amazed by how little coverage there has been.
       The British media did a decent (if largely unexceptional) job of covering the prize and the ceremony (with more focus on John Carey's speech than Kadare's). Elsewhere -- notably the US, but surprisingly also in France -- coverage was poor (to non-existent), which leads us to wonder how much impact the prize will have (remember: it's only awarded bi-annually, making it even harder to remember). It's certainly not anywhere near Nobel-competition yet, and looks to be overshadowed even outside the UK by the traditional Man Booker prize. How will they ever keep up interest in it, when there's so little interest now ?

       We haven't entirely given up hope yet: reports continue to trickle in: Rosemary Goring wrote about the ceremony in Is that freedom I see before me, or just the rain ? in The Herald on Monday. And we hope The Count of Monty Cristo's promised account will eventually also appear .....

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Pamuk interview

       The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has a long (German) interview with Orhan Pamuk.
       Among the interesting points: he thinks that of the 35 languages his books have been translated into, German was the one in which he was least-best well-known, at least until Snow (and, now, of course, his getting the German Peace Prize).

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

6 July 2005 - Wednesday

Get this man some writer's block ! | Can't get the originals ? Get photocopies !
Literature and psychiatry | Blogs promoting books: an international phenomenon
10 years of | Iraqi money

       Get this man some writer's block !

       Lizzie Murphy reports that Writer battles on with more war books at 78. Charles Whiting apparently churns them out at a Simenon-like pace: "Over the past 51 years the York man has written, on average, six books a year" -- he's working on number 326 (and 327).
       Admirable, of course, in a perverse way, but we do hope he slows down sometime over the next few decades.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Can't get the originals ? Get photocopies !

       The French (mis)appropriated 297 Korean books in 1866 and they still won't send them back. An agreement was reached in 2001 under which:
France would permanently loan the books to Korea and in return Korea would lend France other ancient Korean documents of similar historical importance
       But public outcry (in Korea, not France) scuppered that deal, so now the Koreans are reduced to asking for photocopies (!) of the stolen books. (Couldn't somebody just go to the BN and make photocopies, without making this a federal case ?)
       For the whole sad story, see Brian Lee's Seoul appeals to Paris for copies of Joseon books in JoongAng Daily and Bae Keun-min's Korea Asks France for Photocopy of Looted Books in The Korea Times.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Literature and psychiatry

       An article on literature and psychiatry using ... Hamlet as an example ? What a novel idea !
       Anyway, that's what Dinko Podrug does in Through Hamlet to Narrative Medicine and Neuroscience: Literature as a Basic Science of Psychiatry in Psychiatric Times.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Blogs promoting books: an international phenomenon

       You've read the articles in the US and the UK press (and presumably you're very, very tired of them -- we know we are), but look: it's an international phenomenon ! Seo Jee-yeon reports in The Korea Times that Blogs Emerge as New Book Marketing Tool.
       Yes, they can quote people who acknowledge:
We confirmed that blogs can be used effectively as a word-of-mouth marketing tool
       And at least these are probably examples you haven't read about before.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       10 years of

       Given the ubiquity of it's hard to believe (for us, at least) that they opened shop a mere decade ago. But that's the case: 16 July marks the ten-year anniversary.
       Marking the occasion, Elizabeth Gillespie writes that In 10 years, became a best seller of its own in a widely reproduced AP report. The most interesting titbits (to us):
  • "More than 900,000 third-party sellers now hawk their wares on Amazon, making up more than a quarter of last year's overall sales"

  • "International sales accounted for nearly half the company's revenue last year"

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Iraqi money

       Not very literary, but it is a link to an article published in the London Review of Books, and it's important enough for us to bother sending you there: Ed Harriman wonders: Where has all the money gone ? as he "follows the auditors into Iraq".
       Talk about depressing exercises.
       Talk about lack of accountability.
       Talk about .... well, we hope somebody talks about it.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

5 July 2005 - Tuesday

Caine Prize | FLIP ! | Bookselling in Taiwan | Until I Find You review

       Caine Prize

       The 2005 Caine Prize -- the big African short story prize -- was announced yesterday, and, as the BBC reports, Monday Morning (by Segun Afolabi) won.
       For very brief excerpts from all the shortlisted works, see this BBC report -- and have a look at Wasafiri, which published the prize-winning work. (Unfortunately practically none of the content is freely accessible online).

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       FLIP !

       Yes, the Brazilian Festa Literária Internacional de Parati starts tomorrow. Authors that will be there include: David Grossman, Enrique Vila-Matas, Jeanette Winterson, Michael Ondaatje, Orhan Pamuk, Jõ Soares, and Salman Rushdie

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Bookselling in Taiwan

       At MobyLives Dan Bloom writes about his experiences writing and selling books in Taiwan. Hey, if it works there ... ! (Okay, special circumstances, but there are always special circumstances .....)

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Until I Find You review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is our review of John Irving's new novel, Until I Find You.

       See, we can review English-language titles (American pop fiction, no less !) -- though admittedly one reason we made our way through this is because we do have a few other Irving titles under review.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

4 July 2005 - Monday

Perfect book ? | Christopher Fry (1907-2005) | The Kakutani

       Perfect book ?

       We liked Luis Fernando Verissimo's Borges and the Eternal Orangutans, too, but our praise is faint indeed compared to Thomas McGonigle's in The Los Angeles Times:
Luis Fernando Verissimo's Borges and the Eternal Orangutans is a perfect novel. I'll say it again: This book is a perfect novel.
       Much as we are favourably disposed to it, we can't quite agree. In hiding rather than merely disguising the essential for most of the book (there is no way for the reader to know or even guess the truth before he chooses to reveal it) the author offers something clever, not something perfect.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Christopher Fry (1907-2005)

       Playwright Christopher Fry has passed away -- and you'll probably be forgiven if you thought that happened decades ago. As the obituaries point out, his career peaked in the early 1950s. As the Daily Telegraph obituary notes:
Then suddenly, in the mid-1950s, Fry's star began to fade. (...) The critics of the late 1950s dismissed Fry's plays as escapist. (...) A Yard of Sun, was not completed until 1970. By that time, Fry was so unfashionable, he did not even consider offering the play to a West End producer.
       At least the obituaries are nice and long : see also the ones in The Independent and The Times.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       The Kakutani

       In The Independent Steve Paulson tries to explain to British readers who the Kakutani is.
       At least one person tries to put her (and her power) in perspective:
Paul Bogaards, publicity director for publishers Alfred A Knopf, doubts that any single reviewer has that power, not even Michiko. "No one, with the exception of Oprah, has the ability to advance a book singlehandedly to a mainstream audience," he said. "But there remains a coterie of readers -- readers who might be described as the high-minded literary, earnest academics and the media élite -- who view her as destination programming."

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

3 July 2005 - Sunday

Penguin - India and beyond | Julian Barnes profile | Mars books

       Penguin - India and beyond

       In The Hindu Suchitra Behal interviews (via e-mail) Penguin Worldwide CEO John Makinson in Shifting gears, discussing Penguin (India)'s new line of Indian-language texts (see the press release announcing it) and more.
       Particularly interesting: the second (and additional) language leap -- and not just in India:
a country like India can't be looked at as a monolithic entity; it is too multicultural and diverse for that. Many Indian languages have a massive readership. (...) On a global scene, it doesn't make as much sense, for instance, to publish in German or French. But it does make sense to cater to the large Latino market in the U.S. and that's something we're looking at.
       Knopf already publishes some titles in Spanish; it'll be interesting to see if Penguin jumps into that market too.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Julian Barnes profile

       The Sunday Times offers a Julian Barnes-profile, England’s literary enigma cracks the mainstream -- though Barnes always seemed pretty mainstream to us.
       We're looking forward to his Arthur & George -- available now in the UK (get your copy at but outrageously only coming to the US next January (pre-order at The reviews have been good -- see, for example, Scotland on Sunday or the Sunday Times. See also the publicity pages at Jonathan Cape or Alfred A. Knopf.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Mars books

       In Astrobiology Magazine David Catling looks at Mars in Pop Culture: Literature.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

2 July 2005 - Saturday

Long Barn Books venture | Mistranslation of Culture ? | Reviewing fun

       Long Barn Books venture

       The Telegraph has a profile of writer Susan Hill, but it doesn't really touch upon her interesting new venture. She's run a small publishing house, Long Barn Books, for a couple of years, publishing non-fiction -- and now she's trying something more adventurous, publishing some first fiction.
       She explains what she's up to in In the footsteps of Virginia Woolf in The Guardian:
The initial plan is for Long Barn Books to publish one novel a year and put everything behind it. It will be a first novel (though the writer may have brought out non-fiction). Age and sex are immaterial though the writer must be a UK citizen. Long Barn Books has been egalitarian from the start. Every author receives the same advance on royalties of £1,000 and the same royalty contract. The novel will come out in paperback only and the good news is that Waterstone's has agreed, sight unseen, to stock and include it in its paperback promotions. That is a deal worth having.
       See also additional information at her official site.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Mistranslation of Culture ?

       In The Korea Herald there's a review (second title) of Lee Jae-ho's Mistranslation of Culture, which sounds fairly interesting:
After a meticulous and comprehensive inspection of translated texts and articles in Korea, Lee, professor emeritus of Sungkyunkwan University, found abundant examples of mistranslations that he says hinders Koreans' access of foreign cultures.
       The examples alone aren't too impressive, but the basic idea -- mistranslation contributing to misperception and misunderstanding (which, at 384 pages, we figure this book does eventually go into) -- is an interesting one.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Reviewing fun

       The Times has a fun piece, Author, critic and the power of a poison pen, in which Richard Morrison has "well-known writers and reviewers recall their critical experiences" (link first seen at GalleyCat).
       Amusing review stories include John Banville complaining:
I remember Auberon Waugh used to review in the Seventies. He would review books on the basis of the author’s photograph on the back cover.
       This sounds like a bit of an exaggeration ... and recall that Kate Kellaway claimed: "Waugh's critical 'ethics' included admitting that if he had not read a book, he always gave it a positive notice."
       Also fun: A.N.Wilson facing the consequences of reviewing Richard Adams' The Girl in a Swing ("I thought it was possibly the worst thing I had ever read"):
I met him seven years later and he proceeded to quote the whole review.
       And it didn't end there .....

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

1 July 2005 - Friday

Much ado about Jung ... in Germany | Daniil Kharms
Missing urban literature ? | Anonymous reviewing

       Much ado about Jung ... in Germany

       At About Last Night Terry Teachout makes us aware of a truly peculiar situation, as he writes about the forthcoming German edition of Deirdre Bair's Jung-biography. The statement Bair wrote that will appear in that edition is reproduced there in full, and the beginning is enough to knock your socks off:
The heirs of C.G. Jung, led by their spokesperson Ulrich Hoerni, have raised objections concerning the alleged invasion of their privacy that, due to German law, has forced Knaus Verlag to include their opinions of Jung's life and work within the pages of my book. These will appear as annotations to my extensive notes that follow the text. This unprecedented invasion of my book by the Jung heirs is an appalling act and is happening against my will.
       It's no wonder Bair is upset -- what author could stand an "invasion" of their book in this manner ? -- but we'd love to know how it came to this. For one, we wonder why Bair is permitting publication of the book in this form at all, since it's hard to believe that her contract would not allow her to kill publication, given what is apparently such large-scale tampering. And what German laws were involved ? (Clearly ones that don't apply in the US or the UK, where the book appeared in unadulterated form.)
       We'd love to hear the full story -- and one hopes the German press will dig into this. (The book is only scheduled for publication in October, and a quick look around didn't uncover any relevant German-press mentions yet.)
       One also wonders whether German reactions generally aren't anticipated to be more emotional (and that some people there -- more than in the US, anyway -- might actually care). It's worth noting that the publicity page for the German edition is much more sensationalistic that that for the American edition, beginning:
Selbstverliebter Egoist, Familientyrann, Frauenheld mit peinlichen Manieren und kindischen Ausbrüchen –- an keiner Person in der Geschichte der modernen Seelenkunde scheiden sich die Geister wie an dem Schweizer C.G. Jung; keiner provozierte in gleichem Maße Hass und Bewunderung wie diese Ikone der Psychoanalyse.

(Vainglorious egoist, family tyrant, ladies' man with scrupulous manners and childish eruptions -- no other person in the history of modern psychotherapy divides opinion as much as the Swiss C.G.Jung; no one else provoked in equal measure hatred and admiration as this icon of psychoanalysis.)
       We're always suspicious of literary (and similar) estates (see, for example, our piece on Literary Legacies); what Bair describes here isn't (unfortunately) a new low, but it's pretty damned bad

       For some American reactions to the book, see the reviews in The NY Times and The NY Times Book Review -- or Anthony Daniels summing it up in The New Criterion:
You will know a lot about the petty quarrels and squabbles in which Jung repeatedly engaged, and about the details of his domestic life, but relatively little about why any of these things matter in the first place.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Daniil Kharms

       Stephen Boykewich reports A festival pays homage to a Russian absurdist -- Daniil Kharms.
       Of interest also because readers will run across the name in the story "The Kharms Case" when they read (as we hope some of you will) Dubravka Ugresic's Lend Me Your Character -- itself, somewhat confusingly, a new, polished translation ("as revised by Damion Searls") of the book previously published as In the Jaws of Life (which we have under review). The venerable Dalkey Archive Press is behind the new version of the Ugresic book, and while we don't have a separate review-page for it yet, we soon will.
       Meanwhile, see the Dalkey Archive Press publicity page (and Matthew Goulish's Reading Dubravka Ugresic Through Six Selected Sentences in Context), or get your own copy at or And for a taste of Kharms, check out this online selection.

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Missing urban literature ?

       Different countries, different problems: Shenzhen Daily reports on The absence of urban literature in China:
Writers and critics all noticed an obvious omission of urban literature in the award-winning works of the prestigious Luxun Literature Awards presented in Shenzhen on Sunday. A discussion of the reasons for and solutions to this absence was initiated at a seminar on contemporary urban literature, held as part of the event.
Most critics agreed that Chinese literature was still influenced by agrarian themes and Chinese writers were more familiar with countryside subjects. Many writers lacked the ability to judge or portray urban life, as Chinese cities had undergone rapid development within the past 20 years

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

       Anonymous reviewing

       An old favourite: the subject of anonymous reviewing, tackled once again (fairly well) by an aggrieved author -- Quinn Dalton -- in Anonymous Reviewing: A Review.

       (We would, however, love to finally see an author who got a glowing anonymous review denounce the practise .....)

(Posted by: complete review)    - permanent link -

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