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"Dorset Voices" (Roving Press); an anthology edited by "Poundbury Voices" - a reminder

Roving Press: publisher's information and details Overview "This delightful mixed bag showcases a thought-provoki...

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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Bob Dylan - What They Are Saying in Sweden

From Svenska Dagbladet - Per Wästberg, ledamot i Svenska akademien, säger i SVT Nyheter att det är unikt: ”Det är mycket ovanligt. Det har säkert aldrig förekommit att någon har varit tyst så länge.”
Han fortsätter: ”Vi har varit beredda på alla slags beteenden från hans sida. Han har ju ett visst rykte om sig att vara besvärlig om man säger så. Han får bestämma själv om han vill komma hit eller inte. Det är hans sak, men vi har så att säga gjort vårt med det här valet”, säger Per Wästberg.

More - Det var under fredagen som akademiledamoten Per Wästberg i en intervju med Kulturnyheterna uttryckte inte helt mild kritik mot hur Dylan agerar.– Man kan ju säga att det är oartigt och arrogant. Han är den han är, sa Wästberg bland annat.

"The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins", James Angelos

I've only just come across this book, and I've been dipping into a few chapters while I'm in Washington DC. What I've read so far makes it almost too painful and depressing to read in full.

A Greek-American's account and portrait of Modern Greece, published in 2015, it's the sort of book that needs updating every year.

He tells it 'like it is', or how many journalists have come to believe it was, has been - and perhaps still is.

New York Times book review

'In “The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins,” James ­Angelos documents the dysfunction at the heart of Greek society and how it led the country to an economic meltdown. A freelance journalist and former Wall Street Journal correspondent, as well as the son of Greek immigrants and a fluent Greek speaker, Angelos was well positioned to report on the financial crisis that erupted there in 2009 and is still roiling the country, as well as much of Europe'.

You can read an excerpt here.

Poundbury, Dorset - A Royal Get-Together

"A royal get together in Poundbury"

Oxford, 1970s: Summerfield's Oxford; Photography

Paddy Summerfield's Oxford - Critic Gerry Badger’s 1976 essay on Paddy Summerfield, who captured 1970s Oxford life. Oxford Today

Friday, 21 October 2016

Social Media and Friendship

From Oxford Today - Why social media won't get you any more friends

"Our social world is often small, limited by our psychological ability to manage friendships and our free time. Does online networking allow us to increase the size of our social world?"

Second Story Books, Dupont Circle, DC; Blues and The Beats

When in Washington DC I always call in at Second Story Books, Dupont Circle, where I usually find some interesting secondhand books.

I tend to look for books by the Beats or about the blues. When I get them back to England, I often find I already have a copy of the same book, like "Doctor Sax", by Jack Kerouac, or "Delta Blues" by Ted Gioia. Still, it's good to dip into them again, whilst in the USA.

Here's a passage I like from "Delta Blues":

"John Lee Hooker showed that a single musician vamping on  a primitive riff could still achieve a chart-rockin' hit record in the nuclear age. Muddy Waters did the same, teaching the Chess brothers that less could be more, earning his first big hits with reworkings of the simple field recordings he had made for the Library of Congress back on Stovall Plantation. Now Howlin' Wolf was reinforcing the point, building a series of hits from songs that were little more than vamps, a wisp of harmony backed by a bump-and-grind beat, tunes you didn't so much hear as feel".

I've also taken delivery of a well-worn (just about playable) copy of an old 78 rpm record -  Muddy Waters' "You're Gonna' Miss Me (When I'm Dead and Gone"), on the Aristocrat label.

Now that's a work of art.

(not my copy)