Archive for August, 2007

My copy of Life Is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, which I’ve signed up to review for Blog a Penguin Classic, arrived yesterday. It’s a play that begins with somebody falling off a horse. I like it already… Advertisements

The UK edition may be OP, but it looks as though Bordewijk’s book is still in print in the US: Character: A Novel of Father and Son. [Ivan R. Dee, Publisher].

From signandsight, again, Cees Nooteboom on a classic of Dutch literature: I know of no other book whose characters keep each other in such a stranglehold of withheld information, until it seems as if the story itself is being played out in a cocoon of silence… The book is Karakter, by Ferdinand Bordewijk (1938), a […]

Books this season a season or two ago: Fiction – signandsight German storytellers made a strong showing this spring, right across the age spectrum. And foreign books in translation tell of violence in holiday camps in Sweden, refugee smugglers in Piedmont and down-and-out writers in the streets of Sofia. Coming late to this, but what […]



If you missed design blog The Serif’s series of redesigned book jackets from a week or so ago, go back and take a look. Standouts for me were Mitchell McLain’s version of Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, Premjit Ramachandran’s Naked Lunch, and Ray Slater’s classic Penguin look for James and The Giant Peach. Babelio is […]

You can’t write the same book twice. Though I’ve been in historic musical situations, I can’t go back and do that again. And though I run into artistic crises, they keep my life interesting. Max Roach, 1924-2007, see, hear: Destination: OUT

Read or dead?


Two prints by the South African artist William Kentridge, from an exhibition at the Edinburgh Printmakers Gallery: “Newspaper unread” “Newspaper read”



Cormac McCarthy & the semi-colon, a cautionary tale. Apparently publishers get “very very unhappy” if your punctuation varies from the norm, as Helen DeWitt discovered. I particularly liked one response in the comments: Who are these people that your publishers said will think the book sloppy and unprofessional b/c of its punctuation? The only group […]

“Untitled”, 2005 – Job Koelewijn In the beginning was the word, the written word is unto eternity. A bookcase in the form of a lemniscate (the mathematical sign for infinity), full of books, words, shows the cycle of art. The way in which artworks endure, sometimes concealed, sometimes at eye level, close enough to touch, […]

Firefly Press, Somerville, Massachusetts. Prop., John Kristensen. The printed page as a tactile, humanly-made thing, something with “bite”…