Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Some recent reading or about-to-be-reading

One of the problems with teaching writing, translating writing, and writing writing is that one doesn't get to do much reading (apart, that is, from reading the writing that one is teaching, translating or writing).

My Christmas books therefore have been / are. Early proof version of Trezza Azzopardi's latest novel, The Song House; advance copy of Rose Tremain's latest to be, Trespass; Miklós Vajda's Anyakép, amerikai keretben (Hungarian text, translates as My Mother's Picture in an American Frame); Vera Forster's A Daughter of Her Century; Julian Rubinstein's Ballad of the Whiskey Robber; Arthur Phillips's Prague; Amos Oz's Rhyming Life and Death; Tim Dee's The Running Sky; William Oxley's Working Backwards and Michael Walzer's Thinking Politically.

I have read some of these or some of some of these and all of others. There is also the latest Hungarian Quarterly which is excellent on 1989 and on the dreadful situation of Roma in Hungary. Plus diving in and out of books of poetry by Linda Saunders, Caroline Carver, and the marvellous Marilyn Hacker's translations of Marie Étienne's King of a Hundred Horsemen.

If I could write about them all, I would, but time is always short and I am behind with projects. I receive on average four books a week through the post throughout the year. That is not including books by friends as and when they appear. For my choice of poetry books of the year (and others' choices) see today's The Morning Star...

I keep wanting to go back to older poetry - to the eighteenth century for which I have deeply sneaking fondness (all those discursive heroic couplets on every subject under the sun), to Chaucer and Langland...

Robert Hanks does a post around my Akhmatova Variations, along with a discussion of the word 'wimbly'; and Rob Mackenzie, to my delight, picks Burning... for one of his poetry books of the year

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