Monday, 20 June 2011

Down in the paper mines

Ah me, more books today and this weekend. Though I did read two novels as well as a newspaper each day: Rupert Thomson's dreamlike speculative fiction Divided Kingdom, and Chris Adrian's bonkers but spectacular San Francisco retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Great Night. Recommended. I've ordered and am looking forward to his The Children's Hospital.

So, the weekend's haul from the Oxford University Press Summer Sale (I looked only at the literature section to avoid temptation):
Neil Rhodes's Shakespeare and the Origins of English (the curriculum, not the language).
Jocelin of Brakelond's Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds (translation of a 12th-century monk's chronicle)
Yet another Arthurian translation, this time the French short version of Lancelot of the Lake from the 13th-century (I was already teaching bits of Arthurian literature, but Red Witch bears the blame for getting me back into this stuff in a big way).
Steven Clingman's The Grammar of Identity: Transnational Fiction and the Nature of the Boundary, which I'm going to pillage for my own work.
Waller's massive Writers, Readers and Reputations: Literary Life in Britain 1870-1918, which tells us about reading and publishing history, the book trade, reviewing, canons, popular fiction;
Thomas Bartlett's new Ireland: a History;
Graham Swift's Ever After (another campus novel);
Jane Austen's Selected Letters and a collection of her short works and juvenilia, Love and Friendship;
Michael Arlen's 1920s period piece, These Charming People;
and Neil Gaiman's Stardust (see the excellent film too)

That should be enough to get on with. Right now I'm reading Kate Atkinson's When Will There Be Good News?, prompted by the current BBC adaptation.

As for music: John Adams' Son of Chamber Music has come in, including his String Quartet (I'll never fathom the imaginative depth to which he goes for his titles), and I picked up 5 CDs for £10 too: the Long Blondes' Someone To Drive You Home, Mark Eitzel's 60 Watt Silver Lining, Julian Cope's Peggy Suicide and The Collection, and Shelleyan Orphan's We Have Everything We Need, which I now discover I had via iTunes. Ho hum.


The Red Witch said...

Thank you. :-) I do try to show people these stories are still relevant. My end of term paper made a couple of friends decide they needed to read The Nibelungenlied.

The Plashing Vole said...

Well that's their social lives on hold for a couple of years!