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Friday, 31 October 2014

Modern Greek Literature in Translation

Richard Pine in the Irish Times

"It’s the power of Greek writing that makes it so rewarding. It’s emotional, it’s visceral, it’s passionate. Of course the perennial themes of love, jealousy and ambition are present, but Greek novelists seem to be preoccupied, very instructively, with the events of history in the past century, and the emotions they evoke....What these stories have in common is an earthiness, a deep sense of history and tradition, a seemingly infinite capacity to engage with social issues, and a sensitivity to what it means to be Greek, how to celebrate life in all its horrors and joys".

I will add some more titles to Richard's list.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Germany and Greece: Finance Ministers on Reform Progress and an "Early Bailout Exit"

Kathimerini, Mark Deen and Rainer Buergin

"Germany denied it’s given support to proposals that would help Greece exit its bailout early, dealing a blow to a plan that’s already unnerved investors in the nation’s debt. The German government issued the statement after a meeting between Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble (photo) and his Greek counterpart, Gikas Hardouvelis, in Berlin on Wednesday. While they discussed progress on reforms, media reports that Schaeuble backed an early exit for Greece are incorrect, the German minister’s spokesman said on Thursday".

A different story

Greek News Agenda

Also relevant

Greece: World Bank, Ease/Difficulty of Doing Business; Greek Economy Profile- and some spin

From Keep Talking Greece

Greek News Agenda

Business Reforms

Greece Data

Full profile of the Greek Economy (pdf)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Australia, Tasmania, Port Arthur, Island of the Dead; Convicts from Dorset and Somerset; Edward Spicer; Henry Savery

Edward Spicer, from Poole, Dorset; died Port Arthur, 1854, aged 47:
Photo Jack Thwaites

"Affliction sore
Long time I bore
Physicians were in vain
Till God did please
That death should ease
Me from my pain"

Henry Savery, born Butcombe, Somerset,
died Port Arthur, Feb. 1842

Port Arthur: Island of the Dead

The first two stones we're shown
When we've been transported
To the Island of the Dead-
They stand alone on the lower ground-
Commemorate two convicts
Who had creative flair.
From Poole in Dorset,
Edward Spicer,
Who penned his moving epitaph,
Soon to disappear,
By erosion of the sandstone face;
Henry Savery,
A Somerset man,
Inveterate forger -
Remembered by a modern stone,
A forgery itself,
As befits the maker
Of Australia's first novel;
He cut his own throat,
And died of a "stroke".
They are part of a long tradition,
Death in custody, dishonourable graves;
From Rottnest Island
To Tasman Peninsula
The story's much the same.
The stones of soldiers, officers, guards
(Those on higher ground, along with wives and children),
Face North, not East:
Face not the rising sun, but Home. The convicts' headstones do not mark their graves.
But somewhere hereabouts, a few paces more or less,
Two sons of Somerset and Dorset share
A common plot
Of broadly
British Earth.


Henry Savery biography


South-West Dorset; Powerstock; The Independent Walk of the Month

A good walk

"It takes a while for Mark Rowe to find Powerstock, but he’s rewarded with a revelatory walk amid sublime scenery".

An American Poet: Denise Duhamel

I bought an anthology called "The New Young American Poets"  (edited by Kevin Prufer) at an open-air bookstall in Dorchester a few weeks ago.

It looked brand new, but it was published in 2000, so the poets are no longer quite so new or so young. But they are relatively new, compared to the Beat Poets!

I particularly liked the poems of Denise Duhamel

This poem is both witty and effective.

This one too.

More poems