Saturday, May 21, 2005

Issue #2 - Dateline 19 May 2005

For Workers' Power Selected Writings
Maurice Brinton

Solidarity was one of the most influential libertarian socialist groups in the history of British Socialism in the 20th Century. Its importance in providing a theoretical framework for the libertarian left was far greater than its tiny membership might suggest. Its well-written, often iconoclastic, pamphlets have been out of print for a couple of decades, but now AK Press have published this collection of the works of Maurice Brinton, the principal author of some of Solidarity's most important publications, edited by David Goodway. This collection includes writing on topics ranging from the Paris Commune to Paris 1968, via Wilhelm Reich, the Portuguese Revolution, The Irrational in Politics, The Belgian General Strike of 1960, The Bolsheviks and Workers' Control and the work of Paul Cardan (Cornelius Castoriadis). According to the publishers blurb: "From the workplace, to the streets, to the bedroom, Brinton writes critically and honestly on the nuts and bolts of a free humanity, laying to rest the arguments against a genuinely libertarian socialism".

Paul Auster
I recently read Auster's Book of Illusions. The slowly unfolding plot, and careful (at first it seems almost pedantic) attention to placing every word, and the exploration of every nauance made me think I might not go the distanceā€¦but somehow the slow burn of Auster's style crept up on me. The plot centres on a star of the silent screen who disappeared at the height of his success. Years later his biographer receives a copy of a previously unknown film. Like the biographer I was slowly drawn in, and before I realised what was happening I was so deeply engrossed that I just couldn't put it down. Nothing else got done until I had finished it.

Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo
The 17th century Italian antiquary Cassiano dal Pozzo made a bold attempt to catalogue and classify all human knowledge in a visual form through the medium of his "Paper Museum". With the help of his brother Carlo Antonio he left a remarkable legacy, meticulously recording classical and medieval ruins and monuments, as well as commonplace and exotic fruit flora minerals and fossils.
You can read more about him here:

Translation as Metamorphosis
The current issue of the international poetry magazine Agenda is devoted to translations of well-known and emerging poets

Strindberg at the Tate
August Strindberg (1849-1912) is known as a prolific writer of novels and plays but he was also an extremely radical painter for his time. This is the first major UK exhibition to explore largely unseen paintings and photographs an extraordinarily difficult but gifted man. _____________________________________________

Change in Store?
An investigation into the impact of the book superstore environment on use, perceptions and expectations of the public library as a space, place and experience.

Libraries 'in scandalous state'
The recent DCMS report on the "scandalous state of Britain's Library buildings.

Issue #1 - Dateline 19 March 2005

Five Leaves
This small Nottingham based publisher is rapidly making a name for itself with an impressive range of titles, including the recent book Talking Anarchy, in which David Goodway interviews anarchist writer Colin Ward. Ward is a prolific writer who in a quiet, almost understated way has outlined anarchism as a practical theory of social organisation. Touching on subjects as diverse as education, the motor car, housing and architecture he demonstrates that anarchism grows out of the every-day activity of ordinary (and often extra-ordinary) people.

Hermann Hesse
This website is a portal to the life and work of the remarkable German author Hermann Hesse. The site contains some good photos and excellent biographical information, including the 27 page "Life Story Briefly Told" by Hesse himself. There is also a gallery that features some of Hesse's paintings, and details of works on or by Hesse available from Suhrkamp Verlag.

I've always known that the radical press is under-represented in bookshops and Libraries - and you can now find what you are missing via the Ink Website. Ink is the UK based "independent news collective", the trade association of the radical and alternative press in the UK, and through their home page you can pick from more than 70 different magazines to subscribe to (and you pay less if you subscribe online). There are also e-mail addresses so you can contact the magazines direct, and links to relevant websites. Bookshops please note that Ink acts as distributor for the titles listed. There is also a short monthly news digest selected from some of the titles that you can have e-mailed to you.

Peter Owen
Publishers Peter Owen have been quietly establishing a strong back list of modern classics. Among the authors included in their list are Jean Giono, Violette Leduc, Anais Nin, and Jane and Paul Bowles.

Rexroth on Lawrence Durrell
Lawrence Durrell has slipped into partial obscurity over the last few years, so I was pleased to see that the Bureau of Public Secrets have republished Kenneth Rexroth's short essays on Durrell. _____________________________________________
--Internet Tips--

World Wide Web Virtual Library
I'm always surprised how many people settle for searching with Google when they're looking for information on the Web. Google is only one search engine among several, and the others often provide features that Google lacks, just as Google provides features that the others don't provide. I'm also bemused to find out how rarely people use Online Libraries and Portals when they are looking for quality information and resources. One of the best of these is the World Wide Web Virtual Library, which links to important sites in a structured way, making information easy to find and use.