Monday, 20 July 2009 poem of the week: Martial Diptych by Glyn Maxwell

I love the strange rhythmn of this poem - the line break comes before you expect and it just chnages the whole feel of the poem somehow. I'd never heard of Glyn Maxwell before - I'll definitely try and find some more of his petry.

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Friday, 17 July 2009

Great interview with Reif Larsen

Just came across this great interview with Reif Larsen, author of The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet (one of my favourite books of the year so far) in Bookslut.

I couldn't believe that Larsen said he didn't include the illustrations, map and diagrams until after he'd written the first draft - the seem like such an integral part of the text.

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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Video: Nick Cave reads from The Death of Bunny Munro | Books |

Posted via web from lauren's posterous Blog ©: D-Fuse: Endless Cities - Redux

I thought this was a really interesting video - and I loved the split screen shot where they man from the man washing at the well to the swimming pool.

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Saturday, 11 July 2009

Rutu Modan 'Exit Wounds' Interview

I've just finished Rutu Modan's Exit Wounds. I felt that it ended really abruptly - I had that weird feeling where you turn the page for more and experience the shock of the blank space of the inside of the back cover.
As a reader you come into the story long after it began and you leave before it ends - as you might expect from a comic, this is just a slice of the story, except in this case there's no preceding or following editions.
It wasn't a cliffhanger by any means though - the plot is ordinary, but in a good way (if that makes sense!). It narrates one episode from Koby's (the central character) life - and it seems that there will be great mystery and tragedy, with a soldier secretively revealing that she thinks his father may have been killed in a bombing. The truth as it unfolds, is less dramatic, but full of the emotion of a difficult father-son relationship and all the sadness and secrets there are in every family's history.
I also admired the way Modan deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Exit Wounds. The conflict shapes the text, it is never explicitly discussed. In this BBC interview, she says 'It's in the background, but it's my life' and explains that this is 'a very narrow view of life in Israel'. I found an interesting tension between the political and the everyday in this. I think Joe Sacco, one of my favourite graphic novelists and the author of Palestine, says it better than I can, describing Exit Wounds in Drawn and Quarterly as "a profound, richly textured, humane, and unsentimental look at societal malaise and human relationships and that uneasy place where they sometimes intersect."

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Friday, 10 July 2009

The Elephant Bed @fabricagallery

I Popped into Fabrica on my way home for the preview of John Grade's The Elephant Bed. It's beautiful - the rubbish picture I took on my mobile really doesn't do it justice. I will definitely have to go back for another look over the weekend.

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Book of the week podcast: Roma Tearne on Brixton Beach | Books |

The Sri Lankan-born author talks about how her life and fiction have been informed by a mixed heritage on both sides of a brutal conflict

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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Twitter 'should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize'

According to Mark Pfeifle, a former aide to George W Bush, Twitter should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize (former winners include Martin Luther King and the Dalai Lama) for it's recent role during civil unrest in Iran.
And I thought it was dubious when Al Gore won it...

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Monday, 6 July 2009

DC Comics' superheroes join forces with characters inspired by Allah | World news | The Guardian

Islamic superheroes 'The 99' to appear alongside American characters in a new collaboration between the US-based DC Comics and Kuwait's Teshkeel Comics.

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Amazon mulls in-book advertising on Kindle

'Amazon is hoping to further monetise content on its Kindle ebook reader, revealing plans to place ads within the electronic books it publishes....The ads, which will be related to content in the book, such as ads for a restaurant when a character in a novel is dining out, may be in the form of one or a few descriptive advertising words, pictures, or symbols, which direct the reader to a website when an internet connection is available.'

I don't think anyone would be happy about being hit with ads while they're reading...

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Friday, 3 July 2009

Online catalogue of books is the library that never closes | Technology | The Guardian

The Open library attempts to bring together the printed word and the electronic word with a web page for every book

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Thursday, 2 July 2009