Monday, 7 February 2011

Lovely books

Got some great dead tree media today.

Agitate! Educate! Organize! American Labor Posters by Cushing and Drescher. Beautifully reproduced trades union and political posters. The Americans seem to have more consciously artistic posters - perhaps because their unions aren't so institutionally prominent as European ones. I've now ordered the British volume…

James Shapiro's Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? The answer, of course, is Shakespeare, but Shapiro's book is an informed romp through this most British of conspiracy theories: the argument goes that Shakespeare was a thick Brummie, so couldn't possible have written these (mostly) wonderful plays and sonnets - it must have been an aristocrat like the Earl of Oxford. Blah blah blah. It's a fascinating story, and one which highlights why the British are generally so rubbish at critical theory - they so often stick to the pub-quiz level nonsense. Real critics don't care who wrote Shakespeare: it's what the plays do that matters.

Bassnett's Studying British Cultures for the Shakespeare and Wales essays, and Ian McDonald's Brazilian SF masterpiece, Brasyl.

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