Monday, 26 January 2009

Magic Moments

Heard this interview with John Sutherland, Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literaure (that's Litracha for Flinthart) at University College London. And if somebody with a title like that doesn't know shit about litracha, then no body does. And the best thing about the interview is, he sounds just like Badger of Wind in the Willows, but the even better best thing is to listen to Ramona Koval flirt outrageously on air with an incredibly old, but obviously still desirable in a brainac kind of a way Lord thingamejig professor!

I listen to the Bookshow pretty regularly, but this interview is just delicious. It's all about the way brushes with art change your life, the theme of this Sutherland bloke's new book, Magic Moments (Profile Books).

And don't miss the RN book reading of Demetri Kakmi's Mother Land. It is very beautiful. No, really, it is flat out beautiful. The author reads it with the most extraordinarily musical voice which is completely arresting. His intonation at the end of each clause and sentence seems to indicate continuous action, whereas anglos use that upwards interval for a question. The reading sounds like a song, with unfamiliar but repetitive musical patterns and intervals and before you know it, you're swept up into its story, but with the added effect of an intensification of the imagery that the words convey.

It's as if a flower of greek lyricism and culture has taken root and burst into bloom here, on the edge of a vast desert in the south pacific. Who'd have thought? A new Odyseus arrived, hot on the heels of Captain Cook.


  1. Geez Hughesy. Each time I end up with more titles for my 'to read' list. My brain's starting to ask me how much work do I require of it. The lazy bastard.

  2. You're going to get me hung with all your book recommendations. i don't know how far Marcela is going to swallow the "Well Hughsey recommedning it" line.

  3. This is why I don't have TV. Get rid of the tele and I reckon you could easily fit another thousand odd books into your life span.

  4. "Get rid of the Tele"?!
    Guards! Guards! Take her to the dungeon! At once!
    Chaz - but it sure makes it easy when you've run out of titles on your 'to read' list.

  5. Sounds to me like Hughesy is voice activated..LOL Maggs

  6. Indeed a side bar with 'Recommendations" of the books you suggested would be welcome.

    and with "It's as if a flower of greek lyricism and culture has taken root and burst into bloom here, on the edge of a vast desert in the south pacific"... that not too shabby a turn of phrase either.

  7. Dear Annette

    I wanted to thank you for your very kind words about my reading of Mother Land. It's very kind of you to say those marvelous things about my reading style.

    Thanks again,