Monthly Archives: May 2010

Priceless profiles

My friend Ray recently gave me a copy of ‘First Edition Prices’. He writes and edits this authoritative analysis of 42,500 collectable books, and publishes it through his own Tartarus Press imprint. Many collectors and dealers fall back on this guide when trying to match pounds to publications. The prices make for interesting reading, but [...]

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On pictures and prose

There are times when a striking image expresses something in a more powerful or accurate way, but there are also countless occasions when words are an extraordinarily moving or precise media, when words can do more, say more, show more or achieve more.

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Dumb and dumber

Jemima Burrill’s visceral videos and photos set in prosaic locations question the way we think about bodies, sexuality and gender. Just back from DUMB where Jemima – accompanied by gagged sympathisers – stood on a bucket and staged a protest at the lack of women in the new coalition cabinet, and in politics in general. [...]

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Unfinished business

Absorbing talk from Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, last Friday night at the LSE – part of an event that included Professor Richard Sennett and a waggish Sir Howard Davies. Their theme: ‘On Narrative and Ritual’. Rowan began by talking about how we use narrative to make sense of things, and quickly anchored narrative [...]

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The Shops of Torino

Just back from a weekend in Turin to see the Shroud. I’m still mulling over the Sindone, so more on that at some point soon. One of the other astonishing sights in the city is the number of shops. We wandered on and on through the arcades and, at each turn, there was yet another [...]

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I, Claud, and that damn worm

Along with the incision of his analyses into hubris, oppression, corruption and war, ‘I, Claud’ is sustained by an inspiring belief in our desire and ability to change the world for the better. Whether you lean his ideological way or not, you might find his optimism refreshing.

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Blake Morrison

“When you spend all day working with words, sometimes you can articulate things that others are feeling in a way that a dry political approach cannot. That is the role of the creative writer, the poet, and the novelist. They can engage at the human level, touch people, move people and inspire people to take [...]

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