Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Back to the books

In my absence, the flow of lovely books did not stop. Today's haul included Norman Cohn's The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages, a classic detailing the period in which religion and politics were nigh on indistinguishable, and in which political radicalism and heresy often went together. Thanks to Norbert for the recommendation! I've also dived into European literature - which we, and certainly I, shamefully neglect. I've bought Cees Nooteboom's postmodern The Following Story and volume 1 of Peter Weiss's The Aesthetics of Resistance: a novel. One day, I promise myself, I'll be able to read it in the original. I can read French and with some effort, Welsh, but I'm continually ashamed of my limited abilities in languages.

What else? A collection of Margaret Atwood's essays called Curious Pursuits, and David Horspool's The English Rebel: One Thousand Years of Troublemaking from the Normans to the Nineties. It looks like a slightly more conservative companion to Vallance's A Radical History of Britain. I love this stuff because despite the many evils perpetrated by English and then British imperialism, the British are also recalcitrant bunch who don't want to be pushed around. You decapitated a king before the French and staged numerous other revolts from the Peasants to the Poll Tax. Revive that tradition!

I also received a replacement Danish Literature Tree and Renaissance Tree posters - very beautiful.


Benjamin. said...

Good God, I thought the lady and I did well with our purchases earlier this afternoon in my village bookshop. In your absence I have taken a shine to William Hogarth's illustrations and life hence my blog details the comprehenshive study I've begun. Hopefully you had an enjoyable time on your travels.

Zoot Horn said...

Cohn's book is a gem. You really need it in an early 1970s Picador edition to appreciate its true context of consumption though.

Lou said...

Was just glancing over as I usually do when you post about book purchases as most of the time I don't even understand the titles but there's actually something I recognise there - I enjoy Margaret Atwood though not her essays I confess. Even so I feel clever!

The Plashing Vole said...

Atwood's one of my favourites, and I do read a lot of stuff for pure relaxation: SF, Kate Atkinson, Philips Pullman and Reeve, Alan Garner. I'm not a book snob, though I'd happily burn Archer (instead of his books).

OK, I am a book snob, but I don't just read theory. What else are you reading?