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Tag Archives: literature

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. There are more fragrant white flowers than of any other colour. — The Nelson Evening Mail, July 13 1908 . The inhabitants of Ipswich are the least passionate in the UK, having sex on average only 18 times per annum. Gazelles are quite amenable to snuff. Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich was a fully-trained football referee and [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The telephone has a tendency to render the girl operators left-eared. — The Nelson Evening Mail, July 4 1908 . Eight wickets for eight runs is the worst batting collapse in Twenty20 international cricket. St Blaise is the patron saint of sore throats, and of knitting. Estonian literature suffers from a dearth of stories [...]

Intellectual MOT

Some thoughts on the enquiring mind, slang, and judging a book by its cover - in correspondence with Tia Goonaratna. – For The Sunday Leader

Flak Jacket to Dust Jacket

Men at War: What Fiction Tells Us About Conflict, from The Iliad to Catch-22 By Christopher Coker (Hurst 325pp £25) My Life as a Foreign Country By Brian Turner (Jonathan Cape 240pp £16.99) Seamus Heaney once remarked upon the heroes of antiquity that it is ‘not so much their procedures on the page which are [...]

Feats of Klay

Redeployment By Phil Klay (Canongate, 291pp, £15) ‘Nobody wants to do a year in Iraq’, mutters one of the narrators in Phil Klay’s Redeployment, ‘and come back with nothing but stories about the soft-serve ice-cream machine at the embassy cafeteria.’ No kidding. And Klay (rhymes with ‘guy’) will not have been the first soldier, American [...]

Found

3 times in the Literary Review (October edition): ‘cunts’ – or variant thereof.* What do I win?

Golding the lily

Review of Arena’s The Dreams of William Golding. – For theartsdesk

theASHtray, vol.7

From the arts desk at the end of the universe, reflections on Douglas Adams, Erwin Schrödinger, Joseph Kony, YouTube, Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry, Bilbo Baggins, Saul Zaentz, trademark and copyright law, Lewis Hyde, Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch, Queens of the Stone Age, MUSE, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, and the many and various meanings of Liff. [...]

War Horse: (a tangent to) the real story

Channel Four runs with variation on Michael Morpurgo’s dubious theme – reviewed. – For theartsdesk

theASHtray, vol.3

In which Whitney Houston spoils my Valentine’s evening. – For theartsdesk