Ann Quin

November 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just stumbled across this facebook page set up by Carol Burns, about Ann Quin. (Carol Burns, I imagine, is the Carol Burns who wrote Infatuation in New Writers 7 (Calder and Boyars, 1967) and The Narcissist (citation ditto), and was married to Alan Burns, who wrote Europe After the Rain (Calder, 1965)?):

I am bowled over by it. And it is on facebook! And I am especially bowled over by the reading list.

Berg is a very good novel. And I think Passages has its labyrinthine, hot-summer-journey, S&My charms too. And Three always seemed to me a good product of its time.

A few years ago I picked up a first edition of Passages  from Foyles on Charing Cross Road. It was sandwiched in between two other books, flat, flattened, completely block-like, sort of an echo of an uncut book, and truly looked liked it had never been picked up, never been touched. I bought it for £6.95 and felt I might get arrested on the way out for accidentally coming across a book, bought new, about 40 years after it was published.

(Another top-dog Jupiter Book front cover – not from my own collection, sadly)


Blog Rabbit Holes

November 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m sure that this is a pretty familiar occurrence to more regular and well-trafficked bloggers, but it hasn’t happened before to me and it made me pretty excited, really…

I have a Google Alert set up for various things I’m interested in, one being Nathalie Sarraute, and the other day, I got an alert for a new posting on Nathalie Sarraute. I clicked on it, and, to move forward quickly in the story, I’ve now discovered the very wonderful VerySmallKitchen, which is full of wonderful writing and wonderful images, and situates its discussion at this very juncture. But to resume where I left off there, looking down on this post (which, quickly, to digress again, also draws on the staggeringly good and staggeringly underrated writer of fictions and criticism, Christine Brooke-Rose), I thought I recognised the images. And why? Because they were linked from…this blog. Which was kinda humbling really, nice to see someone’s looked at this blog, and also, as the title suggests, pretty enjoyably labyrinthine.

I seem to remember a bit in Nabokov’s Pnin, where someone has got on order one number of a specific journal (I think, I don’t have the book to hand, so this is no doubt entirely wrong) that Pnin wants, and he is surprised that someone else is interested in it, because he wouldn’t expect anyone else to be interested in it. Excitedly, he seeks to track down this intellectual soulmate of his to discover that the person who has it on order is…himself – he had just forgot.

Take Time Out

November 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Shamefully I’ve been too busy to update here of late. It’ll be my new year’s resolution to be here more, I promise.

But for the while, here’s something I found falling out of a copy of New Worlds SF I was looking at in The Library.

It hit me afterwards that this would probably fall under the category of “ephemera”.

This feels as unephemeral as you can get: the design, the boldness seem to help it transcend its immediate purpose to make you “buy!”.

We love Penguin, eh?


Where Am I?

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