Author: Lavinia Greenlaw
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw's poetic reflections on William Morris's Icelandic Journal, one of the overlooked masterpieces of travel literature The great Victorian designer and decorative artist William Morris was fascinated by Iceland and wrote a book documenting his travels there. He gets caught up with questions of travel, noting his reaction to the idea of leaving or arriving, to hurry and delay, what it means to dread a place you’ve never been to or to encounter the actuality of a long-held vision. He is sensitive to the emotional landscape of his band of travelers and, above all, continuously analyzing and fixing this “most romantic of all deserts.” Lavinia Greenlaw follows in his footsteps, and interposes his prose with her own “questions of travel.” The result is a new and composite work that brilliantly explores our conflicted reasons for not staying at home.
William Morris's routes through south-west Iceland can still be followed, possibly, though not necessarily as for Morris's party, on horseback. Morris was plump, unfit and relatively untravelled, but his enthusiasm, grit and phenomenal eye for detail sustained him for six weeks in 1871 and a further two in 1873 through 'the most romantic of all deserts'. Morris kept very few diaries and the Icelandic Journals are the most complete. Written daily, in pencil, in small black-covered notebooks, they are unguarded, spontaneous and by turn discouraged and excited. He records wild flowers and wilder landscapes, spectacular sunsets, vast expanses of lava, magnificent waterfalls, dangerous tracks and more dangerous rivers to be forded on or beside his practised and indomitable ponies. Morris grew to love his ponies, bringing one back to England for his daughters. He loved too the Icelanders: priests, farmers, scholars and children. He observes their crops, including the constant presence of angelica in their gardens, though he never finds what it is for. Their kindness, generosity and hospitality despite common poverty moved him greatly; the Icelandic experience had a profound influence on his political thinking: 'the most grinding poverty is a trifling evil compared to the inequality of classes'. Morris had translated several Sagas by 1871 and was teaching himself Icelandic. His journey, with his co-translator, Eirikr Magnusson, was routed around many of the main Saga sites - a journey that is still taken by lovers of Iceland and William Morris.
This bilingual book presents poems from Pálsson's ten collections written between 1980-2008. Swirling with imagery, they reveal a poet committed to unearthing the joy of living connected to the natural world. For Pálsson, poetry contains such energy and force to upset chronology, ideas run amok, views close and open. Space is compressed so the various fabrics of the world are folded into each other, creating a causal layering of the natural and man-made. This is a thrilling sweep across this poet's work.
This is the story of a teenager at several turning points in her life -- a richly detailed and suspenseful novel about various kinds of courtship gone wrong. The day Tom Hepple returns to the English village of Allnorthover, he stops at the local reservoir, beneath which lies his childhood home. Looking for a sign, he sees a girl walking on water. Not just any girl -- it is Mary George, an uncommonly sympathetic seventeen-year-old, who seems at first to be more important to others than she is to herself. As nearsighted Mary tries to locate herself in the world, struggling with growing up, falling in love, and breaking away, Tom makes her the focus of his attempt to regain his past. Secrets and misapprehensions surface as the village reveals its stories and unwittingly helps Tom toward the catastrophic conclusion of his plan. MARY GEORGE OF ALLNORTHOVER takes place in Essex in the 1970s -- a small, orderly world disrupted by power cuts, petrol shortages, and drought. The brash color and noise of punk rock is infiltrating the disco in the village hall, and London is getting closer all the time. Mary George is as caught up in all this change as she is in her own history. Her story brings to new life the great themes of family, property, inheritance, and belonging. The traditions of the nineteenth-century novel are both adhered to and subverted in Lavinia Greenlaw's remarkable first book of prose.
In this collection of essays, ten leading writers from different countries consider the conflicts that have informed their own literary lives. 1914-Goodbye to All That borrows its title from Robert Graves's "bitter leave-taking of England" in which he writes not only of the First World War but the questions it raised: how to live, how to live with each other, and how to write. Interpreting this title as broadly and ambiguously as Graves intended, these essays mark the War's centenary by reinvigorating these questions. The book includes Elif Shafak on an inheritance of silence in Turkey, Ali Smith on lost voices in Scotland, Xiaolu Guo on the 100,000 Chinese sent to the Front, Daniel Kehlmann on hypnotism in Berlin, Colm Toibin on Lady Gregory losing her son fighting for Britain as she fought for an independent Ireland, Kamila Shamsie on reimagining Karachi, Erwin Mortier on occupied Belgium's legacy of shame, NoViolet Bulawayo on Zimbabwe and clarity, Ales Steger on resisting history in Slovenia, and Jeanette Winterson on what art is for. Contributors include: Ali Smith - Scotland Ales Steger - Slovenia Jeanette Winterson - England Elif Shafak - Turkey NoViolet Bulawayo - Zimbabwe Colm Toíbín - Ireland Xiaolu Guo - China Erwin Mortier - Belgium Kamila Shamsie - Pakistan Daniel Kehlmann - Germany From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Giacomo Turbanti
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Release Date: 2017-09-15
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
The philosophy of language of Robert Brandom is based on a theoretical structure composed of three main elements: the normative analysis of linguistic practices, the inferential characterization of conceptual contents and the expressive articulation of the relations between the former two. Normative pragmatics aims to explain how linguistic practices are sufficient to confer contentful states in those who engage in them. Inferential semantics provides a theory of such pragmatic significances in terms of the inferential relations that articulate conceptual contents. Rational expressivism is the thesis that concept application is essentially a process of turning something that can only be done into something that can also be said. Such a threefold structure is the core of normative inferentialism. This book is a concise, self-contained and comprehensive presentation of this philosophical enterprise. It guides the reader through the analysis of Brandom's imposing theoretical apparatus, the discovery of the roots of his approach in American pragmatism and German idealism, till the exploration of some of its most interesting and recent outcomes in pragmatics and semantics. It is a valuable resource for both those who approach Brandom's work for the first time and those who are interested in the potential of normative inferentialism.
Galileo's wife, a young woman dying of radium poisoning, the first dog in space, a strangely obsessed concert pianist, an early beneficiary of plastic surgery, and a Russian boy whose adventures are sadly limited by the immature powers of the child who has conjured him up are just some of the figures encompassed by Lavinia Greenlaw's imagination. The poet's level gaze as she contemplates the more bizarre aspects of science and of human behaviour lends further distinction to this, her first collection.
Author: Karin Esterhammer
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Release Date: 2017-06-19
After job losses and the housing crash, the author and her family leave LA to start over in a most unlikely place: a 9-foot-wide back-alley house in one of Ho Chi Minh City's poorest districts, where neighbors unabashedly stare into windows, generously share their barbecued rat, keep cockroaches for luck, and ultimately help her find joy without Western trappings.
Lavinia Greenlaw's first collection, Night Photograph, made an immediately favourable impact. Her second collection, A World Where News Travelled Slowly explores more local and personal matters. Its central theme is the unpredictable act of communication, from the mechanical to the miraculous. There are also poems that are concerned with attempts at preservation - plundered relics, the stately home, an iron lung. This volume serves to confirm the gifts Lavinia Greenlaw showed in her first book.
Sarah Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland, sustained by a wild summer there when she was nineteen. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in Kent. The resulting adventure was shaped by Iceland’s economic collapse, which halved the value of her salary, by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and by a collection of new friends, including a poet who saw the only bombs fall on Iceland in 1943, a woman who speaks to elves and a chef who guided Sarah’s family around the intricacies of Icelandic cuisine. Moss explored hillsides of boiling mud and volcanic craters and learned to drive like an Icelander on the unsurfaced roads that link remote farms and fishing villages in the far north. She watched the northern lights and the comings and goings of migratory birds, and as the weeks and months went by, she and her family learned new ways to live. Names for the Sea is her compelling, beautiful and very funny account of living in a country poised on the edge of Europe, where modernization clashes with living folklore.
Author: Jon Day
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2016-09-13
Genre: Sports & Recreation
Cyclogeography is about the bicycle in the cultural imagination and also a portrait of London as seen from the saddle. In the great tradition of the psychogeographers, Jon Day attempts to depart from the map and reclaim the streets of the city. Informed by several grinding years spent as a bicycle courier, he lifts the lid on the solitary life of the courier. Traveling the unmapped byways, shortcuts, and urban edgelands, couriers are the declining, invisible workforce of the city. The parcels they deliver keep things running. For those who survive the crushing toughness of the job, the bicycle can become what holds them together.
Author: Margaret Willson
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Release Date: 2016-04-18
The plaque said this was the winter fishing hut of Thur�dur Einarsd�ttir, one of Iceland's greatest fishing captains, and that she lived from 1777 to 1863. "Wait," anthropologist and former seawoman Margaret Willson said. "She??" So began a quest. Were there more Icelandic seawomen? Most Icelanders said no, and, after all, in most parts of the world fishing is considered a male profession. What could she expect in Iceland? She found a surprise. This book is a glimpse into the lives of vibrant women who have braved the sea for centuries. Their accounts include the excitement, accidents, trials, and tribulations of fishing in Iceland from the historic times of small open rowboats to today's high-tech fisheries. Based on extensive historical and field research, Seawomen of Iceland allows the seawomen's voices to speak directly with strength, intelligence, and - above all - a knowledge of how to survive. This engaging ethnographic narrative will intrigue both general and academic readers interested in maritime culture, the anthropology of work, Nordic life, and gender studies.
Author: Roger Scruton
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2017-03-28
Genre: Political Science
Hard-hitting essays by acclaimed social commentator and philosopher Roger Scruton, guaranteed to provoke lively debate A wide-ranging selection that includes essays on architecture and modern art, the environment, politics, and culture. Each “confession” reveals aspects of the author’s thinking that his critics would probably have advised him to keep to himself. Roger Scruton challenges popular opinion on key aspects of our society: What can we do to protect Western values against Islamic extremism? How can we nurture real friendship in the digital age of social media and Facebook? How should we achieve a timely death against the advances of modern medicine? How should environmental policies be shaped by the government? This provocative collection seeks to answer the most pressing problems of our age.
In this saga, Grettir's life is told from beginning to end. As a child, he is rebellious and bad-tempered. He is described as red haired, freckled, and broad around the eyes. But he is also courageous. He takes on and defeats a draugr, a walking corpse or Norse equivalent of a zombie. But in doing so he is cursed, and this is thought to be the cause of his later misfortunes. At times Grettir falls into the role of a bona fide hero, but he is blamed for setting fire to a hall, killing many men, and is condemned by the Thing (assembly) to outlawry (although many suspect the validity of this sentence). This means that anyone may attempt to kill him without legal penalty and citizens are forbidden to help in any way. Many attempts are made but none succeed. This is not dissimilar to the Saga of Gisli. Grettir eventually becomes the longest surviving outlaw in Icelandic history. When he has completed nearly 20 years as an outlaw, his friends and family ask for his outlawry to be lifted, arguing that a man may not spend more than 20 years as an outlaw (in reality there was no such law in medieval Iceland). After a debate at the assembly, it is decided that the outlawry will be lifted when he has truly completed the 20 years, but not before. His enemies make one last effort, using sorcery causing him to wound himself and finally defeat him in the lonely, fortress-like Drangey off the northern tip of Iceland where he was staying with his brother Illugi, and slave Glaumur. Later, in Constantinople where the Norse served as the Varangian Guard to the Emperor, Grettir's half brother, Thorsteinn of Dromund, avenges his murder. 33% of the net profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charity.