Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'reading'

Well Read – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 6th, 2011 · Comments Off on Well Read – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Culture, Reading Related

Eckstein was enormously well read. He just couldn’t bear to admit that there was something he had missed. It is very easy to get that reputation. When strangers know that your speciality is books, their usual way of breaking the ice is to ask you if you have read such-and-such a book. The penalty for […]

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Beatrix Potter – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 4th, 2011 · Comments Off on Beatrix Potter – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Parenting, Reading Related

Beatrix Potter got her poetry from prose: which is to say, from speech, concentrated. Written in an age when it was still assumed that children would not suffer brain damage from hearing a phrase they couldn’t immediately understand, the books are plentifully supplied with elevated verbal constructions. The bright child sees unfamiliar phrases going by […]

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Grammar and Reading – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 2nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Grammar and Reading – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Elitism, Reading Related

As Kingsley Amis acutely noted, the person who uses “disinterested” for “uninterested” is unlikely to see your article complaining about the point, because the person has never been much of a reader anyway.

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The Challenges of Reading Gibbon – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 1st, 2011 · Comments Off on The Challenges of Reading Gibbon – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Civilisation, Culture, History, Reading Related, Writing

There was never much to the assumption that a sentence is only ever read diachronically from left to right with never a backward glance: the eye doesn’t work like that and neither does prose. But there is still something to the assumption that a sentence, however the reader gets to the end of it, should […]

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Writing and Memory – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

September 28th, 2011 · Comments Off on Writing and Memory – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Admin, Culture, Reading Related, Writing

I would never have taken a note in the first place except out of the fear that what I was reading would soon slip away: a fear all too well founded. The Russian symbolist writer Andrei Bely once said that what we keep in our heads is the sum of a writer: a “composite quotation.” […]

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Books and Cross Cultural Understanding – “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea” – Barbara Demick

September 20th, 2011 · Comments Off on Books and Cross Cultural Understanding – “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea” – Barbara Demick · Culture, Fiction, History, Humanism, Reading Related, Totalitarianism

At the University, behind the librarian’s desk, was a small selection of Western books that had been translated into Korean. They were forbidden to the general public; only top students could have access to them. At some high level of the government, somebody had decided that the nation needed an intellectual elite with some knowledge […]

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