23 March, 2007

Another book about reading

So many books, by a Mexican author called Gabriel Zaid. This was an interesting short little book, in which Gabriel Zaid argues that in focusing on bestsellers, the publishing industry has lost sight of the way that books are part of a public debate, or conversation, as he puts it. He has some lovely things to say about how cheap and successful the book is as a technology, but ultimately stops short of saying anything very radical about the publishing industry. [19]

I'm also reading four different poetry books at once at the moment - The Penguin book of Spanish civil war verse, The terrible rain, an anthology of WWII poetry, and the two Oasis collections of Second World War poetry. The Spanish civil war book also includes letters of the writers who fought in the International Brigades, and a fascinating introduction about the perception of the war as the poets' war. The Oasis books focus almost entirely on poems by combatants and are marvellous because of this; there's a certain amount of barrack room doggerel but some of the poems are really wonderful. I've decided to use my spare blog as a poetry blog, now that I have a bit more time to spend on such a thing (some of my readers may have realised I've stopped posting on GU indefinitely) so I may post some of my favourites over there.

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