Sometimes Twitter seems designed to irritate. Courtesy of social media I find myself clicking on links to articles I’d never see, on sites I’d rarely visit, in the normal course of events. It seldom ends well. Usually I keep my opinions to myself but I found this one post particularly frustrating. Because reading a book is not a political act. At its best it can be … Continue reading The Politics of Reading
At what age do we as readers start requiring linear narratives? And demand that all books tell us stories? Continue reading What Do Margaret Wise Brown & Georges Perec Have In Common?
Dubravka Ugresic’s second collection of essays to be translated by Open Letter, Karaoke Culture, enjoyed quite a bit of success on its release in 2011. Since then Dubravka Ugresic’s fans have been rabidly awaiting the release of her next book. Though I haven’t read Karaoke Culture… yet. It’s a lapse that will soon be corrected. A copy was downloaded even before I finished Europe In Sepia. To truly appreciate the … Continue reading Europe In Sepia by Dubravka Ugresic (translated from the Croatian by David Williams)
The “phantoms” in the title is misleading. They aren’t what you think. Jacques Bonnet’s explains in his 2012 book of essays, Phantoms on the Bookshelves, that a fantôm is a “sheet or card inserted to mark the place of a book removed from a library shelf, or a document which has been borrowed.” Of course he delights in the play on words – who wouldn’t? … Continue reading Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet (translated from the French by Siân Reynolds)
Everything and Nothing is a collection of Jorge Luis Borges’ writings, released in a New Directions Pearl edition. I’m a huge fan of the Pearls – they’re throwbacks to a time when paperbacks came in 4-1/2″ x 7″ format and fit handily inside your jacket pocket. Ficciones holds a special place in my heart. But this particular collection is beautiful, compact and contains some of … Continue reading “I could live under a table reading Borges.” – Roberto Bolaño