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Tag Archives: writing

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. All over China temples have been turned into schools with surprising alacrity. — The Nelson Evening Mail, July 26 1906 . The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk. Though rare, there have been exactly 201 documented cases of spontaneous combustion. J Sainbury plc is cutting 2000 Human Resources employees. The collective noun for brown [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Only about three in every hundred amateur novel-writers find their way into print, except at their own expense. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 22 1907 . The erection of a verandah is a useful way to extend one’s living quarters. Seven American states observe Abraham Lincoln’s birthday as a public holiday. There is only one [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. On the body of a man who committed suicide in the canal at New Gravel Lane, Stepney, a hospital card was found marked “delusions”.’ — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 6 1909 . The new Norwegian Bible translation is by no means a rush job. Gieves & Hawkes is the cheapest Top 10 London tailor. [...]

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

. There are always 1,200,000 people afloat on the seas of the world. — The Nelson Evening Mail, January 22 1907 . It is a German conceit, that the vertebrae are absolutely undeveloped skulls. Vladivostock is 1000km east of Beijing. The Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association allows for two spaces after a full stop [...]

Brief lives: Samuel Derrick

Samuel Derrick (1724-69), was an Irish writer, friend of Dr Johnson, Boswell, and Tobias Smollett, and master of the ceremonies at both Bath and Tunbridge Wells. He published, among other works: The Dramatic Censor, No. 1; Sylla, a dramatic entertainment, from the French of Frederick II of Prussia; A Voyage from the Moon, from the [...]

Freelance Writers’ Regiment

Who Dares Whinge

My literary career thus far – as narrated by the Shipping Forecast

Good, becoming moderate. Occasionally very poor.

Translator’s Note (after Khemiri, after Heti, after Valtat, after Coetzee, after Nooteboom, after Martin, after Kierkegaard)

What I would like to say by way of introduction to my essays on the art of writing, by A.B.C.D.E.F. Godthaab* (* Bear with me, please, while I endeavour to explain what is going on here.) . Twelve years ago, I wrote, with considerable emotional anguish, a long novel about a war against the languages. [...]

Eight debut novels

Currently sitting at 12 to 1 for this year’s Booker Prize, first-time novelist Paul Kingsnorth has set the cat among the pigeons through the disarmingly original expedient of submitting his offering in a fictional language. Composed in what Kingsnorth calls the ‘shadow tongue’ of ‘eald anglisc’, The Wake (Unbound 365pp £16.99) explores one angle of [...]