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Showing posts from August, 2008

Hell in Contemporary Literature

J.C., who writes the N.B. column on the back page of the TLS, is renowned for his wicked, witty and acerbic sense of humour. So it was with some suspicion that, in reading through back issues of the supplement recently, I approached his coverage of 'the Nicholas Mosley Award for the most inadvisable book title of 2007-08'. Sure enough, Googling its title only brings up another blogger's speculation as to the award's existence, which looks almost certainly to be one of J.C.'s inventions. What's best about the whole thing, however, is the seemingly unlikely titles of the award's shortlisted contenders, including Foreskin's Lament: A memoir by Shalom Auslander, Shut Up He Explained by John Metcalf, and Random Deaths and Custard by Catrin Dafydd, with previous winners including How To Shit in the Woods by Kathleen Meyer and Pox Americana by Elizabeth Fenn.

Too ridiculous to believe? Well, though the award may not, all of these books do actually exist. No, se…

Regina Spektor

I've been listening to Regina Spektor again recently, whose album Begin To Hope briefly catapulted the self-styled 'Bronx girl by way of Moscow' into the limelight a year or so ago; 'Fidelity' and 'On the Radio' getting a decent amount of mainstream radio airplay. But on reflection, I think I'm still a bigger fan of her EP, Soviet Kitsch, which feels less polished and rougher round the edges, all soaring vocals and inventive piano coming to together to create both heartfelt and frequently surreal narratives. The song above, then, is taken from Soviet Kitsch, and includes a wonderfully bizarre montage video that reminds me of some of the Smashing Pumpkins better ones, not least 'Thirty-Three' and the excellent 'Tonight, Tonight', inspired by Georges Méliès' silent film A Trip to the Moon.

Comment Moderation

Due to the persistent verbal diarrhoea and exuberantly witty comments (I must confess, so dexterously complex in their execution a hopeless mind like mine can barely fathom them) made by certain e-presences, I have, like many other poetry bloggers, decided to switch on comment moderation. As a result, comments will take a while to appear after they have been posted. This isn't because I think my inconsequential little corner of the internet precious, and nor do I want to avoid criticism where it's due (which is pretty much anywhere really). It's just that I'm a complete spoilsport, and can't be arsed with reading through seemingly pointless ramblings (again, I realise here that they must operate on an intellectual level well above my station) or dubious criticism of poems that consists of the same lengthy rewrites pitched somewhere between the supposedly suggestive (muddled, clunky syntax, deleted verbs) and the mindblowingly hilarious. Hell knows some of my poems …