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Literature

Round-Up For The Run Ragged

Over the past few days I’ve been busy. I’ll continue to be so over the next few days. Here are quick links to some of the things that have caught my eye lately. Following up my recent post about David Cameron, not only were the voting slips in yesterday’s Ealing Southall by-election labelled “David Cameron’s […]

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Bald Eagleton

I write short posts. Much goes unsaid. I often write ironically. Some subjects are better approached that way; or it’s just more fun for me to tackle them sideways. What I do say, I say in plain English in the hope that my words at least are clear to everyone who reads them. Reading Norm […]

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Missed Opportunity

Dave lives in Brighton and has a blog and I think I’ve been out for a drink with him—or rather his posse—on a couple of occasions. The only reason I know he has a blog is that he recently commented on Andrew’s. When I found Dave’s site I had a browse and found that he […]

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Worzel Gummidge Watch

Under the headline COME ON, LET’S GET IT RIGHT ABOUT THE LEFT yesterday’s Observer prints letters both pro and anti the thesis advanced by Nick Cohen’s What’s Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way (excerpted at length in last week’s edition of the paper). One letter in particular made me smile: [Cohen]’s caricature of the ‘liberal-left’ […]

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Mantel Piece

Hilary Mantel is a novelist. I haven’t read any of her books. I have read her review of magician Derren Brown’s Tricks Of The Mind in yesterday’s Guardian. Near the end of her mostly negative assessment she tries to set up a weak joke: she “hopes” that “no intellectual snobbery” will prevent Richard Dawkins from […]

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Critical Mess

Clive Davis is discouraged from seeing Casino Royale, the new new Bond, by of this review by Cosmo Landesman. He shouldn’t be. Landesman fails to grasp even the basics of the (not particularly complicated) plot and then complains that what he thinks is going on is “absurd”. It’s worse than that: understanding what is actually […]

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A Sound Of Blunder

EDWARD BURNS: Yes, I am Edward Burns, the legendary molecular bio-something-or-other. Like all world-famous interdisciplinary scientists I have a cuboid jawline and impeccable upper-body development. You can tell I’m an intellectual from my stubble, my carefully ruffled hair, and my slightly messy luxury urban apartment. No, they couldn’t afford Matthew McConaughey. ASTOUNDINGLY UNCONVINCING STROLL AGAINST […]

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The Ludlum Retirement

Best-selling thriller writer Robert Ludlum, author of The Bourne Identity, The Acquitane Progression, and The Moscow Vector, announced the end of his blockbuster career yesterday. Speaking to a packed meeting at the American Publishing Society conference in Florida, Ludlum said, “There comes a time when a man has to accept that he has run out […]

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Notices

Miraculously, unlike Fisking Central, Tim Worstall missed this gem of a Comment Is Fatuous article today, one that neatly combines economic illiteracy, snobbery, and a reassuringly ethnic byline. It’s sad that an interesting question is obscured by article’s stupidity. But he didn’t miss this collection of Amazon reviews of Great Works, which should appeal more […]

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A Combination of Biblical Awfulness

I do like it when I find an interesting discarded section of a newspaper that I haven’t read: the Friday film and music supplement or the Saturday review from the Guardian for example. I didn’t notice it at the time, but last Saturday The Guardian printed a review by Douglas Hurd of a book about […]

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The Channel Is Narrow But Deep

On my way to have my teeth checked yesterday morning I was listening to BBC Radio 4. Woman’s Hour was recounting the forgotten history of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The best bit was when one of the experts recited the original French words to the tune of the nursery rhyme and reminded us of how […]

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Spooky Selection

When I wrote my latest post this morning, I truly had no idea that later on Norm’s “Writer’s Choice” today would be by Jeffrey Wainwright. Since it is, you should go over to Norm’s place and have a read.

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Po-Mo Pomes

I’m planning a technical how-to about writing lyrics so I’ve been doing some background research. During meals I’ve been swotting up on my villanelles and my anadiplosis and my recurrence from a copy of Jeffrey Wainwright‘s Poetry: The Basics that I picked up at the library. It’s informative and an excellent read. At the start […]

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Test Drive The New Volkswagen Pantheon

One of PooterGeek’s current side projects is The New Uxbridge Encyclopedia Of The Classical World, a vital and relevant guide to what has often been dismissed as a dead discipline, specifically designed to appeal to comprehensive school pupils. Just like the compilers of the OED, the staff of the NUECW welcome submissions from the general […]

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Licensed Killer Fact

Given that there are a number of famous urban myths about UK TV teen quiz host Bob Holness in circulation, it’s surprising to discover that he really did play James Bond in 1956. Here’s the trailer for the upcoming Casino Royale. Eric the Unread has a link to the French version, Royal Casino.

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Flayme Werre!

One of my toff friends lectures history. She’s been looking for good blogs in her subject area lately and “Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog” is her favourite so far. I can see why. It’s clever and it’s funny. (And even funnier now she has explained some of the jokes to me.) As I am in […]

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One Shot

I know it’s not Friday, but this is too topical and too tempting to resist. You are an air marshal. You have been called to deal with a disruptive passenger on a plane full of British slebs. As you walk down the aisle to sort out the trouble, this is the view that greets you. […]

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Shelf-Reflection

Two of the many dangers waiting for me on the road to the local supermarket are second-hand shops with tables full of old books outside them. I know that, if I am not strong, I will not only forget what I set out to buy, but will wind up wasting time, space, and money. There […]

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The Da Vinci Lode

It takes nerve to claim in public you originally extruded the pseudohistorical baloney that was the meat in one of the worst-written bestsellers of all time, but if Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh win their case against Dan Brown it could be the beginning of a long haul. On the “3 for the price of […]

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Lots Of Bollox

If you frequent the eBay auction site you will be familiar with the capitalist haiku that is the eBay feedback message, the window through which users signal to other users their experience of a seller’s or buyer’s reliability. The majority of feedback messages are boilerplate rendered in txt msg English: Delivrd on time. Goods well […]

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