what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

recent literary greats

Still in Bucharest – but an American article bemoaning the “fodder” (as the author put it) which the “urban middle class proletariat” there has been fed with over the past 20 years
encouraged me to review my list of literary greats drawn up in March.
I had noticed then that European writers constituted about half of the list and, on review today, I could add only Amos Oz and Andrew Greig from my recent reading – as well as the catalogue of travelogues. North American writers were represented by only Carol Shields (Canada) and Richard Yates (Saul Bellow should certainly be on the list but I would still resist John Updike). Some of the respondents failed to spot that the author was in fact focussing on the poverty of modern USA writing and suggested, sensibly, that he would be better off with a less parochial reading list which would include Latin American, European, Chinese and middle eastern literature. Their recommendations referred me to writers such as WG Sebald, John Banville and Qiu Xiaolong whose books I have not so far read – and which I have now ordered from Amazon.
On more critical matters, two articles about the difficult scenarios we now face – on such basic respources as waterand food

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