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Sunday, August 08, 2004

"Literary recycling of this nature is as much about a savvy sense of marketing opportunities as it is about a literature coming of age. The point at which out-of-print works are canonised in glossy and prefaced new editions is the juncture at which commercial publishing decisions and informed literary evaluation meet. But such a meeting of the commercial and the aesthetic motive remains dependent on fairly arbitrary and happenstance decisions often based on selective considerations of taste. "
Getting onto the A-list

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Books and Contemporary Authors I've Read & Loved - Abridged Version:

(Absolute favourites marked with bold)

Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace.
Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory, The Bridge
Pat Barker: Regeneration, The Eye In The Door, The Ghost Road
Erna Brodber: Myal
A.S. Byatt: Possession, The Virgin in the Garden, A Whistling Woman
Jonathan Coe: What A Carve Up!, The House of Sleep
Michael Cunningham: A Home At The End of the World, The Hours
Jasper Fforde
Alasdair Gray: Lanark, 1982 Janine, Unlikely Stories, Mostly, Poor Things
Keri Hulme: the bone people
Guy Gavriel Kay: Tigana
David Lodge: The Rummidge Trilogy
Jamie O'Neill: At Swim, Two Boys
Arturo Perez-Reverte: The Dumas Club, The Flanders Panel
Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials Trilogy
Jeanette Winterson: Sexing the Cherry

Other than contemporary authors, I've read and enjoyed: Lord Byron (esp. Don Juan), Thomas Carlyle, Hart Crane, Allen Curnow, HD, John Donne, T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Heinrich Heine, James Joyce (The Dead is sheer perfection), John Keats, Tom Kristensen, D. H. Lawrence, Iris Murdoch, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Pope, Ezra Pound (esp. early stuff like "Lustra", "Personae", "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" and also the Malatesta Cantos), Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Alexander Trocchi (Young Adam is amazing), Emil Aarestrup..

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Eight Formative Books

1. Margaret Mahy - The Changeover

At the age of 14, I found it difficult to relate to most of the books I was reading. The Young Adult books I read depicted a teenage life filled with drugs, teenage pregnancies and parents divorcing. Huh? When I picked up Mahy's
book, I suddenly found a heroine with which I could identify - Laura Chant was strong, stubborn and a touch apart from everybody else - and the plot was filled with supernatural elements, an interesting backdrop (New Zealand!) and this mysterious, bookish, dysfunctional guy Sorenson Carlisle who quoted Lewis Carroll and read Regency romances in order to connect with his mother. I kept borrowing this book from the local library and eventually ended up buying it in English as soon as I got to London. Not only did it spawned a lifelong fascination with New Zealand - and I simply had to photograph the road sign saying "Paraparaumu 3 miles" when I was in NZ - and not only did it land me a lifelong crush on Sorry Carlisle, but it also injected a lifelong love for books that mix realism and supernatural elements seamlessly. I still re-read The Changeover every summer and force friends to read it too.

2. C.S. Lewis - The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
I loved the Narnia series - apart from The Magician's Nephew and that one about the horse and the boy. I loved the talking animals, the scary monsters and the fearless children. It was not until I reached adulthood that I looked back and realised it was all a Christian allegory with a demeaning view of women. But the Narnia series brought me to the Dragonlance series (oh, Raistlin!) and, of course, to Tolkien. Furthermore, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe gave me all the wonderfully geeky friends I have nowadays: immersed in fantasy novels, I began throwing polygon dice and met lots of great people - and I probably would never have read a single Choose Your Own Adventure.. book or read any Guy Gavriel Kay, Ursula LeGuin, or Marion Zimmer Bradley, if it hadn't been for C.S. Lewis.

3. Johan Fjord Jensen - Den Ny Kritik
An 1960s Danish book on New Criticism. I picked it up for 50p at a book fair and, by chance, this book became my introduction to literary theory as a whole. I remember sitting outside in the summer of 1996 and not understanding a word, only to pick it up three months later and thinking it all terribly lucid. It is not all that informative, well-written or anything, but it became my gateway into the insane (and somewhat inane) world of textual materiality, reader-response theory, decentralised structures and all that jazz.

4. Jacob Korg - Language in Modern Literature: Innovation & Experiment

The first I read which emphasised how language shapes our way of perceiving meaning and how modernist literature experimented with language forms and usage in order to depict the Modern World. It sounds so basic now that I'm typing this, but this book was a real eye-opener for me. I even tried to track down a used copy so I could own it. Alas.

5. John Baxter - A Pound of Paper
I bought this a few weeks ago, but it transformed my world in a few hundred pages. It is the memoir of a book collector and is filled with anecdotes about dust jackets, first editions and fellow book junkies. Reading it was like discovering that place for which you never knew you had been searching. Suddenly everything made sense and I immediately logged on to eBay to search for those hardback editions. I also looked at my bookshelves and decided what books would form the backbone of my collection and what books I could discard without a pang in my heart.

6. E.M. Forster - A Room With A View
The first real book I ever read in English - that is, it was not abridged, made easier to read for 'learners' or anything. It was the first 'straight into the vein' book in English I read and I remember savouring every single word. I had already seen the film several times, but nothing could match the actual prose (thus this book also launched my 'No, I haven't seen the film, but I've read the book' quirk). Nowadays Forster's prose does not strike me as particularly lyrical, but I loved his sentence structure and use of words before I could
name what it was I loved. A Room With A View led me to read Forster's Maurice (which led to those other things which for several reasons we shall not mention, to paraphrase Rufus Wainwright), but much more importantly it made me read as many books in English as I could possibly find. And that led to a University degree in English.

7. Shane Weller (ed.) - Great Love Poems
It is a thin volume - 113 pages, actually - issued by Dover Publications, which prints very cheap paperback editions of great literature. I bought this anthology for 95p in 1992 and it was my introduction to English poetry. It has all the classic stuff: Sir Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, John Donne, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron etc. And where did that led me? Well, I'm a bonafide poetry nut nowadays and know most of the poems contained in this anthology by heart. If there was a fire and I could only rescue one book, I'd go for this one although it is a cheesy paperback with modernised spelling. After all, this book features my teenaged self's handwritten notations to my favourite poems and I'm pleased to see that I still love the same poems that I did more than a decade ago.

8. Dorothy L. Sayers - Murder Must Advertise

I don't know about you, but I'm surrounded by Sherlock Holmes fans (not to mention a few Miss Marple devotees) and I've always been much fonder of Lord Peter Wimsey, his beloved Harriet and the unflappable butler Bunter. I'm not sure, but I think that reading Dorothy L. Sayers started my lifelong love of Chesterfield sofas, cricket-playing men and women sipping lemonade. All that pre-Great War gentility stuff mixed with a good dash of murderous intent and Donne-quoting men with stiff upper lips. Every year I dress up in Laura Ashley-esque clothes and sell home produce at the Anglican church fete - and I fully blame Sayers for enjoying myself so much.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Reviving the raison d'etre of sixth.edition:
+ Bible Translations and Editions - links
+ KJV - brief history
+ Wikipedia - KJV

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

That 100 Things thing - as inspired by Jens.

#1: I'm 5'6", but people often think I'm shorter.
#2: Green plants love me. I try to kill them off, but they love me so much that they refuse to die on me. Pesky things.
#3: I once had pink hair. It was during my ironic phase.
#4: I was 19 when I was drunk for the very first time.
#5: I recently bought my own flat which I’m doing up inspired by Bauhaus. Er, the architects, not the band.
#6: I've had two bouts of Lyme's Disease. I hope it's not a recurrent thing.
#7: The closest thing I have to a father lives in New Zealand.
#8: I play RPG. I tend to play big men with huge weapons. How very Freudian.
#9: I’m not very emotional and get in a terrible state if I’m forced to confront my feelings. I’m far better at working through things intellectually.
#10: I have a thing for office supplies. I have spent a lot of money on various pencils, pens, staplers and sheets of paper.
#11: I've sported grey hairs since age 16.
#12: I’m an excellent cook.
#13: I'm an ENTP
#14: I have worked for a magazine focusing specifically on computer games.
#15: I’m a lousy housekeeper. I tend to lose interest halfway through whatever chore I’m supposed to be doing.
#16: I want to move to New Zealand one day and grow old by the sea.
#17: I’m very particular about how I fold the empty milk containers.
#18: I've lived in Great Britain in a number of places.
#19: My books are alphabetised and then sorted by the publication date under each author.
#20: I know "Married To The Mob" (1988 film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Modine) by heart. I've seen it 40+ times.
#21: I grew up watching MGM musicals on Sundays. I can still get weepy at the thought of "Gigi" and I worship film musicals.
#22: I've sung with Neil Finn.
#23: And danced on stage with Tim Finn.
#24: There is one thing I’m worse at than housework: math.
#25: It takes a lot to piss me off. When I finally get angry, I get very, very, very angry. Hint: never apologise to me more than once if I’m angry.
#26: I paint non-figurative paintings. People claim to like them.
#27: I’ve never been offered drugs - even at huge outdoors music festivals. Sometimes I wonder about this wholesome image I must be projecting.
#28: I’ve never lived on my own - I’ve always shared my space with others.
#29: I started an amateur theatrical company in Copenhagen in 1995 together with six of my closest friends. We staged 5 productions before closing shop in 1999 due to "creative differences". We have begun talking again now.
#30: I look like Monica Lewinsky. An indie/intellectual Monica.
#31: I’ve never understood the appeal of Friends. I want to bitch-slap every single member of its cast.
#32: Politically I lean heavily towards the Left. Certain parts of Middle America would probably call me a raving Commie. I prefer to call myself a liberal Leftist.
#33: I associate places and people with music. Ask me about the places I've lived and I'll tell you exactly what pieces of music spring to mind.
#34: I am terrified of spiders.
#35: I now live in a posh area of Copenhagen, which this wee white trash girl finds very unsettling.
#36: I used to be pierced. Note the past tense.
#37: I have no tattoos.
#38: I was 15 years old before I owned a pair of jeans.
#39: If my neighbours annoy me by playing crap music in the middle of the night, I get up early, put on an opera CD and turn up the volume. If I'm really mean, I put on my Belgian avant-garde rock CDs. I’m often very mean.
#40: Gin & Tonic, baby. It’s my poison.
#41: I own around 200 vinyl records - mainly teen pop from the late 1980s. The horror.
#42: My favourite shoes are a pair of knee-high black leather boots from the 1960s.
#43: I do not smoke, except when I'm drunk, under a lot of stress or in need of courage.
#44: The first music video I remember was Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It". I was intrigued by the male lead singer Dee Snider's make-up. I think this explains a lot.
#45: I'm nuts about typography and fonts. I collect fonts and used to do a lot of calligraphy.
#46: I'm allergic to pistachio nuts if I eat more than a pound in less than 30 minutes.
#47: I taught myself to read when I was four.
#48: When I was 19, I decided to be anti-fashion and only wore second-hand clothes, which I altered myself. This was also when green Doc Martens went with everything.. even silver-and-black 1970s ball gowns.
#49: I’m not very comfortable talking on the phone.
#50: I dislike direct sunlight - yes, yes, I’ve heard the vampire joke a lot of times.
#51: I’m opposed to monarchy.
#52: I used to teach ickle firsties at University. It was a great job. No students ever showed for that Monday morning class, but I still got paid.
#53: I've had an anti-prose phase.
#54: I own around 2500 books.
#55: My favourite ice cream flavour is coconut.
#56: I own no Stephen King books. I've read two and was decidedly underwhelmed.
#57: When I was 14, I decided to read every single book in the Western Canon before I turned 15. I made it through Plato's "The Republic" ('a jolly good sci-fic yarn'), "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights" before getting stuck ten chapters into "War & Peace". That was the end of it, really.
#58: I've read Tolstoy in Russian.
#59: And Thomas Mann in German.
#60: I can’t stand Mozart.
#61: My favourite painter is Kasimir Malevich
#62: And I’m such a Star Wars geek.
#63: I never read manuals. I believe in intuition and poking about.
#64: I’m told my nose is "stubborn", whatever that means.
#65: I'm the first in my family to attend university.
#66: I was also the first to graduate from High School.
#67: I’m 1/16th part Jewish.
#68: I was once reported to the Ministry of Education because I played truant constantly when I was in primary school. Around the same time I was also moved up one year. Go figure.
#69: I can’t fall asleep in blue bed linen or in a blue room.
#70: I own an awful lot of handbags.
#71: The police have manhandled me during a protest march.
#72: The one thing I'd save during a fire would be a stuffed toy dog called Vaks. I've had him since I was three years old.
#73: I made quite good pocket money as a teen making outfits for kids' Barbie dolls. I still have three books filled with patterns.
#74: I can put a diaper on a grown man using only one hand.
#75: I do not know how to drive a car.
#76: But I can make you a tailored jacket complete with lining.
#77: I have difficulties eating anything within the first hour of being awake. I may as hungry as heck, but I can't squeeze anything down.
#78: On the other hand, I get very grumpy if I do not get any caffeine within the first 30 minutes of waking up.
#79: My favourite perfume is Burberry's "London" scent. It's horrifically expensive.
#80: I speak English with a very British accent - mingled with either a touch of Kiwi or Scottish brogue depending on my level of intoxication.
#81: I am a member of a political party.
#82: I’m good at networking. Some might even call it my greatest skill.
#83: The best night on town I've ever had was in Dunfermline, Scotland completely sober and in the company of three women all old enough to be my Mum.
#84: I do not like scented tea or fruit teas.
#85: I couldn’t swim until I was 22.
#86: Tinka is actually my long-time nickname - not my given name.
#87: Originally I was going to be called Eva, Gertrud or Nikoline. I ended up with one of the most common names in Denmark instead. I'm pretty happy to have escaped "Gertrud".
#88: I've seen Radiohead play to a crowd of 200 disinterested people. I also caught Placebo, The Flaming Lips and The Cardigans before they made it unto MTV.
#89: I admit to have a serious boyband thing. Heck, I can tell them apart.
#90: I have a friend who is named after a Bowie album.
#91: I own no dance or techno CDs.
#92: A Lord Byron fridge magnet adorns my kitchen. He's right next to my Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon fridge magnet. It makes perfect sense in my head.
#93: I used to collect moose teddy bears. Actually I *didn't* but all my friends thought it was a hoot buying moose teddy bears as presents. I still have no idea why, but they carried on for about two years.
#94: I’m quite into yoga - minus the entire New Age spiritual part of it.
#95: My hands are very, very small.
#96: Most of my clothes are black. It's because I'm such an aloof intellectual. Plus I cannot get my mind around matching clothes right after I get out of bed.
#97: I've never broken any bones.
#98: Never ever touch my lower back without warning me.
#99: At school I’ve only been given detention once. I asked a substitute teacher to make his reading of a children’s book a touch more exciting - and then offered to do the job for him, in case he wanted an early coffee break. I was nine years old and a horribly precocious child.
#100: I own a purple bike on which I cheerfully combat the traffic mayhem of central Copenhagen.

Friday, February 06, 2004

100 movies. As seen at Charlotte's. You know the drill; seen = bold, italics = must see as soon as poss, *=gave up/fell asleep/guests came over

1. Godfather, The (1972)
2. Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)
3. Godfather: Part II, The (1974)
4. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)
5. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)
6. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) (my favourite of the three)
7. Casablanca (1942)
8. Schindler's List (1993)
9. Shichinin no samurai (1954)
10. Star Wars (1977)
11. Citizen Kane (1941)
12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
13. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
14. Rear Window (1954)
15. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
16. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
17. Memento (2000)
18. Usual Suspects, The (1995)
19. Pulp Fiction (1994)
20. North by Northwest (1959)
21. 12 Angry Men (1957)
22. Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001) (loathed this one)
23. Psycho (1960)
24. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
25. Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966) *
26. Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
27. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
28. Goodfellas (1990)
29. American Beauty (1999)
30. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
31. Vertigo (1958)
32. Matrix, The (1999)
33. Apocalypse Now (1979)
34. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
35. Pianist, The (2002)
36. C'era una volta il West (1968)
37. Third Man, The (1949)
38. Some Like It Hot (1959)
39. Taxi Driver (1976)*
40. Paths of Glory (1957)
41. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
42. Fight Club (1999) (loathed this one too)
43. Boot, Das (1981)
44. Double Indemnity (1944)*
45. L.A. Confidential (1997)
46. Chinatown (1974)
47. Singin' in the Rain (1952) (Gene Kelly! Yay!)
48. Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
49. M (1931)
50. Requiem for a Dream (2000) (Never ever going to see this one again)
51. Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)
52. All About Eve (1950)
53. Cidade de Deus (2002)
54. Se7en (1995)
55. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
56. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
57. Raging Bull (1980)
58. Rashômon (1950)
59. Wizard of Oz, The (1939)
60. Sting, The (1973)
61. Alien (1979)
62. American History X (1998) (No idea why this is so highly ranked)
63. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
64. Léon (1994)
65. Vita è bella, La (1997) (I not only loathe this one, I hate it. Passionately)
66. Manchurian Candidate, The (1962) (fantastic)
67. Touch of Evil (1958)
68. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)*
69. Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
70. Great Escape, The (1963)
71. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
72. Clockwork Orange, A (1971)
73. Wo hu cang long (2000)
74. Modern Times (1936)
75. Amadeus (1984)
76. Ran (1985)
77. On the Waterfront (1954)
78. Annie Hall (1977)
79. Jaws (1975)
80. Braveheart (1995) (Grrrrr..)
81. High Noon (1952)
82. Apartment, The (1960)
83. Fargo (1996)
84. Aliens (1986)
85. Sixth Sense, The (1999)
86. Shining, The (1980)
87. Strangers on a Train (1951)
88. Blade Runner (1982)
89. Metropolis (1927)
90. Duck Soup (1933)
91. Finding Nemo (2003)
92. Donnie Darko (2001)
93. General, The (1927)
94. Princess Bride, The (1987)
95. City Lights (1931)
96. Toy Story 2 (1999)
97. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
98. Great Dictator, The (1940)
99. Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
100. Notorious (1946)

A very, very bloke-ish list. And whilst the top 50 is generally okay, the latter part of it contains some questionable, faddish films. IMHO.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Booklist meme; below is a 200-book list of BBC's Top Books. Copy the list, and bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you want to read next. (and those I began reading, but never finished are marked with a *)

1.The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks*
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy*
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot*
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez*
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens*
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth*
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce (currently reading it)
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens*
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake*
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley*
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac*
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho* (I loathe this book)
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie*
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. George's Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick O'Brian*
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving (dreadful)
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco*
175. Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh*
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells*
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

"Any disposition of printing material which, whatever the intention, has the effect of coming between author and reader is wrong."
- Stanley Morison: "First Principles of Typography", 1936

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Manuscript Studies - Medieval and Modern
Secondary sources for the histories of writing printing, etc.
Timeline of reading & writing
Basic introduction to the history of the type

Am currently reading Walter Ong, McGann and Adrian Johns. Thinking about s p a c i n g and SPACE. Thinking about blanks and white margins. Paper and parchment. Manuscripts and incunabula.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Back in academia. Doing well. Feeling good.

+ The American Printing History Association: Links to Online Resources and Other Organizations
+ The Virtual Museum of Printing-Press
+ Serif: The Magazine of Type & Typography
+ Printing: Renaissance & Reformation - An Exhibit for History 101: European Civlization I

"Everything you have experienced and are experiencing .. is made of one thing"
"Atoms," said Lanark.
"No. Print. Some worlds are made of atoms, but yours is made of tiny marks marching in neat lines, like armies in insects, across pages and pages and pages of white paper."
- Alasdair Gray: Lanark (1981)



Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Blogger Inside continued from Distant Sun

#3: Have you ever come upon a phrase that suddenly made you laugh, or shout, or cry? What was it, and where did you find it?
Oh yes. And this is why I keep commonplace books. I have four notebooks filled with quotations, phrases and short poems. I find these everywhere: newspapers, books, song lyrics..

# 4: My sympathies on recently losing your great grandmother. Even with the distance you two developed later in life, you sound as if you really love her, and will really miss her. What is your most cherished memory of Lily?
It changes every day. Right now it was her sudden bursts of laughter. She did not laugh very often, but when she did, it was always infectious.

#5: Your written English is more skillful and precise than that of many native speakers I've encountered! How long have you known English, or studied it? What other languages (aside from your native Danish) do you speak, read, or write?
I've studied English at various levels since I was 11 - which makes it 15 years. I've also lived in English-speaking countries. I read Swedish, Norwegian, some Icelandic and Faroese, basic Dutch, easy German and very, very, very basic Russian. I know enough Latin to pass myself off as well-educated and I can always try to decipher Ancient Greek. I can guess my way through some French and make a quasi-educated guess at Spanish. I have a long-standing interest in Indo-European philology so I attempt to use my knowledge of that whenever I encounter a language.

#6: Tagging back to the language question again: do you also keep a blog in Danish, or just the two primarily in English? I am a linguist by training, and I'm interested in learning why multilingual people, particularly anylanguage/English multilingual people, will choose to keep an online journal in primarily in their secondary language rather than their primary.
No. I tried to keep a journal in Danish, but I lost interest after two days. I suppose I view blogging as a relaxed extension of my 'academic being' - and my 'academic being' speaks, reads and writes English. It is my 'trade language'. I also read all my serious, high-brow academic books in English - even if they are written by Danes.

#7: Hurrah, another bibliophile! When did you develop your passion for reading?
I taught myself to read the local newspaper when I was four. I took it from there, really.

#8: You're in some interesting discussions with other bloggers about the warp and weft of blogs and their attendant comments. Are these discussions centralized anywhere? I would be fascinated to read them all one day, with my coffee mug near to hand (and I think other bloggers would be interested too, even if our blog voices are pretty casual.)
No, I do not think they are centralised anywhere. Actually, I think that plays well into an early point I made about about blogs: the de-centralised structure. Mind you, I think you could do worse than head towards Torill and Jill's blogs. They look at blogs from an academic point of view. And I think my voice is casual too!

#9: Speaking of that great substance, coffee: black? Cream? Sugar? Regular or decaf? Describe your best coffee experience, and also (if you have one) your worst. If you were to recommend a coffee drink to a non-coffee coffee drinker (someone who'd never tried it before, not someone who didn't like coffee) what would you recommend?
Firstly, I'd like to answer the last question: flat white. A milky, not very sweet bit o'coffee. Almost a latte, but not quite. It is not quite as agressive a taste. Add syrup to the latte for all I care, but try a flat white first. Secondly, my best coffee experience is the one with Matt. My worst? Microwave-nuked Nescafe.

#10: Folded. Given up the fight. Surrendered to current tech culture and bought a cell phone (me too...I still feel vaguely like a traitor at times.) What made you finally decide to go cellular? What one thing will you never ever do with your cell phone - not ever, under any circumstance, no way, not at all, inconceivable?
I was given my celluar and since I'm moving soon, I'd like a somewhat regular phonenumber so people can keep in contact. A call I'd never make with my cell? I have no idea. Except I'd never discuss my love life on the celluar in public.

Woo. Thanks to Laughing Muse for those.


Thursday, June 06, 2002

Interview with David Lodge (one of my favourite contemporary novelists):

So as always with writing, the pursuit of some device, like using the Grail legend as a structural principle, suggests things to put in the story which you wouldn't otherwise have thought of. It actually begins to dictate the modern level of the story.


The book he talks about is - of course - the brilliant Small World.

Friday, May 31, 2002

Links supplied by Des:

A Various Art and the Cambridge Leisure Centre:

The appearance of A Various Art created, although slowly, a considerable stir in English poetic circles. It was the acceptable face of the underground. It gave the lie to the mainstream myth that the small press scene consisted only of lumpish primitives, heedless spontaneists, self-alienating rock musicians without guitars; it showed a delicacy, reflexivity, and sensitivity which turned on a whole market sector of intellectuals who had given up on modern poetry.


a list of important poetry anthologies and collections 1959-1995.

John Matthias traces the state of British poetry after the aftermath of modernism. It is rather a good article which handles the subject with care instead of putting ill-fitting labels upon everybody and sundry.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

Trochee trips from long to short;
From long to long in solemn sort
Slow Spondee stalks; strong foot! yet ill able
Ever to come up with Dactyl trisyllable.
Iambics march from short to long; -
With a leap and a bound the soft Anapæsts throng;
One syllable long, with one short at each side,
Amphibrachys hastes with stately stride; -
First and last being long, middle short, Amphimacer
Strikes his thundering hoofs like a proud high-bred Racer.
-- Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Metrical Feet

Versification is a journal dedicated to prosody. They feature Metrici and Rhythmici: A Chronological List of Ancient and Medieval Theories of Meter among other things. Arnaut & Karkur have a very complete prosody resource. It is warmly recommended. See also the challenge on prosody as presented by L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry. Finally, a basic guide to metrics.

Monday, May 20, 2002

The metaphors and rituals of place and time - an introduction to liminality -or Why Christopher Robin wouldn't walk on the cracks

Just as the major calendar boundaries were considered to be times for communication with the Otherworld, so boundaries of place could incite inspiration or enchantment. A seer might seek stimulus at that still-fascinating liminal zone between high and low tide that is neither land nor sea (and which continues to be the chosen place of pilgrimage for millions of sun worshipping travellers every summer). More liminal places - still in the modern mind associated with perceived danger - include caves, wells and paths into forests.



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