Monday, November 23, 2009

A Hooker Unmasks, A Diva Retires, and A Poet Appropriates

Really, my apologies for not being a very good blogger over the last week or two. I'm not sure what's happened to me, but I seem to be more easily distractible than usual. (I just spent 20 minutes getting distracted by this nice blog while looking to see if I had spelt the word right!).

This being the case, I offer you some quick links to stories that have caught my eye over the last week or two and hope you enjoy them :

Margaret Atwood turned 70 and on The Guardian books blog Daragh McManus celebrates the work of a writer whose versatility astounds. (I am currently reading and relishing After the Flood and reckon it needs to be the second book of a trilogy.)

Zadie Smith suffers from what she calls 'novel nausea' and turns to the essay in a piece that is both erudite and refreshing.

Oprah Winfrey announces that her talk show is coming to an end and Bookninja gets very emotional.

Call-girl blogger Belle De Jour (one of the earliest to be successfully "blooked") reveals her real identity after years of speculation in the press - she's Bristol-based researcher named Dr. Brooke Magnanti and she turned to prostitution to finance her education. (As Rowan Pelling at The Telegraph says, the revelation is shocking because it turns on its head what we think we know about the world's oldest trade.)
I stand behind every word with pride ...
Magnanti says on her blog. A fellow blogger called Darren unearthed her secret way back but - bless him - gave away nothing about:
... the greatest story in the history of blogging, and probably the biggest literary puzzle in the UK this century.
British poet laureate Andrew Motion is accused of "shameless burglary” by a military historian for "extracting sexy soundbites" from his work on military psychiatry. The creation of collages of words - often called found poetry - is though a time-homoured technique. Motion's resulting poem for Armistice Day, An Equal Voice, is far better than the usually trite stuff offered up by laureates on official occasions. But still, the argument raises interesting questions about what plagiarism is and what poets can get away with. (Ellen Whyte tagged me with a link to this article on Facebook, feeling properly angry I think.)

Apologies to those who have asked me to blog this and that. I am slowly sorting myself out and plan to put up some local book news very soon.

1 comment:

Madcap Machinist said...

Shocking thing about Andrew Motion. It's found poetry when it's gathered from varied sources -- newsies, post-it notes, overheards; and the resultant poem is defined by the process of finding -- but here the process is simply copy-paste en block, lazy boy Andrew Motion.