The cover has just been revealed for Jerusalem, Alan Moore's long, long brewing novel about 6000 years in the life of his hometown Northhampton. There's a good reason writing it took so long. it's one million words long, longer than Moby Dick, longer than Lord of the Rings, longer than the Bible. It's TWICE AS LONG as these behemoths. It's Moore' second novel after Voice of The Fire from 1996, and he considers it one of his life's works.Display Comments Add a Comment
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: earth day, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 18 of 18
Blog: PW -The Beat (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Alan Moore, Books, jerusalem, Add a tag
Blog: OUPblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: *Featured, Oxford World's Classics, Religion, Barry Windeatt, Calvary, Crucifixion, face of jesus christ, Gerald of Wales, Golden Legend, jerusalem, Julian of Norwich, OWC, Revelations of Divine Love, St Veronica, Tiberius, vernicle, Vespasian, Add a tag
During her second 'revelation', Julian of Norwich has a bewilderingly dark vision of Christ’s face, which she compares with the most celebrated relic in medieval Rome. This was the ‘Vernicle’: the image of Christ’s face miraculously imprinted on a cloth that St Veronica lent Christ to wipe his face on his way to Calvary.
The post Jesus takes a selfie: the Vernicle and Julian of Norwich appeared first on OUPblog.Add a Comment
Blog: PW -The Beat (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Alan Moore, Top News, books without pictures, jerusalem, Add a tag
600,000 1 million words long, he’s been working on it for over a decade…and Alan Moore’s epic novel Jerusalem is getting published next year. Knockabout will publish it in the UK while W.W. Norton imprint Liveright will publish it in the US. As described in many interviews, the novel involves Moore’s hometown of Northhampton and is written in many styles:
He has also mentioned the varying styles of each chapter: among them, one modeled after a Samuel Beckett play, another written in “a completely invented sub-Joycean text” and another “somewhat in the style of Dos Passos.” The book will include appearances by John Bunyan and Buffalo Bill.
This isn’t Moore’s first novel—that would be Voice Of The Fire. It should be quite the literary event, however, and it will be interesting to see how a mainstream literary publishing house handles the rollout.
(Photo by Murdo Macleod from The Guardian.)Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: OUPblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: *Featured, Books, Middle East, Politics, Carl von Clausewitz, Defense, deterrence, Iran, israel, jerusalem, Louis René Beres, Nuclear Question in the Middle East, nuclear weapons, palestine, Palestinian state, Principles of War, Sun Tzu, synergy, The Art of War, war, Add a tag
“Defensive warfare does not consist of waiting idly for things to happen. We must wait only if it brings us visible and decisive advantages. That calm before the storm, when the aggressor is gathering new forces for a great blow, is most dangerous for the defender.”
–Carl von Clausewitz, Principles of War (1812)
For Israel, long beleaguered on many fronts, Iranian nuclear weapons and Palestinian statehood are progressing at approximately the same pace. Although this simultaneous emergence is proceeding without any coordinated intent, the combined security impact on Israel will still be considerable. Indeed, this synergistic impact could quickly become intolerable, but only if the Jewish State insists upon maintaining its current form of “defensive warfare.”
Iran and Palestine are not separate or unrelated hazards to Israel. Rather, they represent intersecting, mutually reinforcing, and potentially existential perils. It follows that Jerusalem must do whatever it can to reduce the expected dangers, synergistically, on both fronts. Operationally, defense must still have its proper place. Among other things, Israel will need to continually enhance its multilayered active defenses. Once facing Iranian nuclear missiles, a core component of the synergistic threat, Israel’s “Arrow” ballistic missile defense system would require a fully 100% reliability of interception.
There is an obvious problem. Any such needed level of reliability would be unattainable. Now, Israeli defense planners must look instead toward conceptualizing and managing long-term deterrence.
Even in the best of all possible strategic environments, establishing stable deterrence will present considerable policy challenges. The intellectual and doctrinal hurdles are substantially numerous and complex; they could quite possibly become rapidly overwhelming. Nonetheless, because of the expectedly synergistic interactions between Iranian nuclear weapons and Palestinian independence, Israel will soon need to update and further refine its overall strategy of deterrence.
Following the defined meaning of synergy, intersecting risks from two seemingly discrete “battle fronts,” or separate theatres of conflict, would actually be greater than the simple sum of their respective parts.
One reason for better understanding this audacious calculation has to do with expected enemy rationality. More precisely, Israel’s leaders will have to accept that certain more-or-less identifiable leaders of prospectively overlapping enemies might not always be able to satisfy usual standards of rational behavior.
With such complex considerations in mind, Israel must plan a deliberate and systematic move beyond the country’s traditionally defensive posture of deliberate nuclear ambiguity. By preparing to shift toward more prudentially selective and partial kinds of nuclear disclosure, Israel might better ensure that its still-rational enemies would remain subject to Israeli nuclear deterrence. Over time, such careful preparations could even prove indispensable.
Israeli planners will also need to understand that the efficacy or credibility of the country’s nuclear deterrence posture could vary inversely with enemy judgments of Israeli nuclear destructiveness. In these circumstances, however ironic, enemy perceptions of a too-large or too-destructive Israeli nuclear deterrent force, or of an Israeli force that is plainly vulnerable to first-strike attacks, could undermine this posture.
Israel’s adversaries, Iran especially, must consistently recognize the Jewish State’s nuclear retaliatory forces as penetration capable. A new state of Palestine would be non-nuclear itself, but could still present an indirect nuclear danger to Israel.
Israel does need to strengthen its assorted active defenses, but Jerusalem must also do everything possible to improve its core deterrence posture. In part, the Israeli task will require a steadily expanding role for advanced cyber-defense and cyber-war.
Above all, Israeli strategic planners should only approach the impending enemy threats from Iran and Palestine as emergently synergistic. Thereafter, it would become apparent that any combined threat from these two sources will be more substantial than the mere arithmetic addition of its two components. Nuanced and inter-penetrating, this prospectively combined threat needs to be assessed more holistically as a complex adversarial unity. Only then could Jerusalem truly understand the full range of existential harms now lying latent in Iran and Palestine.
Armed with such a suitably enhanced understanding, Israel could meaningfully hope to grapple with these unprecedented perils. Operationally, inter alia, this would mean taking much more seriously Carl von Clausewitz’s early warnings on “waiting idly for things to happen.” Interestingly, long before the Prussian military theorist, ancient Chinese strategist Sun-Tzu had observed in The Art of War, “Those who excel at defense bury themselves away below the lowest depths of the earth. Those who excel at offense move from above the greatest heights of Heaven. Thus, they are able to preserve themselves and attain complete victory.”
Unwittingly, Clausewitz and Sun-Tzu have left timely messages for Israel. Facing complex and potentially synergistic enemies in Iran and Palestine, Jerusalem will ultimately need to take appropriate military initiatives toward these foes. More or less audacious, depending upon what area strategic developments should dictate, these progressive initiatives may not propel Israel “above the greatest heights of Heaven,” but they could still represent Israel’s very best remaining path to long-term survival.
The post Ominous synergies: Iran’s nuclear weapons and a Palestinian state appeared first on OUPblog.
Blog: PW -The Beat (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Alan Moore, Books, Top News, jerusalem, Novels, Add a tag
According to the FB post from his daughter, Leah, Alan Moore has finished the first draft of his long gestating novel. Jerusalem, which he’s been talking about for years and years. It’s billed as the history of a small patch of Moore’ native Northhampton, with characters coming and going from history, as he told the New Statesman:
That we have our lives over and over and over again an infinite number of times and, each time, we are having exactly the same thoughts, saying exactly the same things, doing exactly the same things as we were doing and saying the first time. If it’s even meaningful to talk of a first time.
I thought I’d thought of this idea myself because I was a genius . . . It turns out that the Pythagoreans had some sort of version of a great recurrence. They were basing it upon the idea that when this universe ends, because time is infinite, then there are bound to be other universes and, since those universes are finite, there will eventually be another universe exactly like this one, which I don’t really think holds up scientifically.
Whereas this idea of the dimensionality of our existence, it does hold up. I can’t see a way around it that doesn’t involve completely contradicting one of the main conceptual lynchpins of modern physics and, halfway throughJerusalem, I came across this beautiful quote from Albert Einstein that completely summed up everything that I was trying to say but very eloquently and at a lot shorter length than three quarters of a million words.
As described, the book sounds a lit like Bryan Talbot’s Alice in Sunderland, which also took a kaleidoscopic look at a British home town, and also Richard Maguire’s Here, a comic which similarly looks at a single location through time. It also recalls the themes of the great abandoned Moore opus, Big Numbers, which remains his only attempt at a story set among vaguely normal humans, although fractal theory was set to upset that apple cart.
Some more dispatches from the past:
In 2013 he told the Guardian:
“I am currently on the last official chapter, which I am doing somewhat in the style of Dos Passos. It should be finished by the end of the year or close to it. I don’t know if anyone else will like it at all,” he muses. I say that I can’t wait, and that it strikes me that the style he and the likes of Iain Sinclair and Michael Moorcock pioneered has become central to literary culture. He sighs, shaking the walls: “Oh God, have we? Oh no, we’re the mainstream!”
And he told The Beat:
I’ve done a chapter that’s like a mid-sixties New Wave, New Worlds Michael Moorcock-era science fiction story. There’s one that’s like a piece of noir fiction. It’s all these different styles, so I was getting to chapter 33, I know what I’m going to be doing in chapter 34 and chapter 35, but chapter 33, I thought, how shall I handle this? And I was thinking of all these different ways that I could do it, and none of them really worked. People were suggesting things – they were saying ‘well, could you do it in an epistolatory form?’, you know, as letters. I was saying, nah, that for one thing this third book is all in the present tense, and it wouldn’t really work with the plot that I’ve got for this chapter, and then finally, when I was talking to Steve, I said – when I first thought about this chapter, and was wondering what kind of approach to take to it, the first thing that I thought, and immediately dismissed, was I could do it in verse. And I said, I think the reason I said that I immediately dismissed is because it would far too fucking difficult.
Jerusalem does not yet have a publisher; despite its length given Moore’s stature as a literary figure I imagine it would still fetch an advance, should Moore desire it. Or maybe Top Shelf/Knockabout can have another go at it.
Now, how many years do you think it will take to give the first draft a run through?
No matter how long it takes. Jerusalem will be an event when it finally appears.Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 4stars, Children's Books, Holiday Book, Library Donated Books, Bethlehem, Bible, birth of Jesus, book reviews, Candle Books, children's book, children's book reviews, Christmas book, Jerusalem, Jesus, Karen Williamson, Kregel Publishing, Marie Allen, Mary and Joseph, Nazareth, north star, picture book, reviews, shepherd, The Christmas Story, three wise men, Wise Men, young children's book, Add a tag
4 Stars The Christmas Story Karen Williamson Marie Allen 104 Pages Ages: 3+ Back Cover: The Christmas Story retells simply but memorably the whole story of the first Christmas—from the angel’s wonderful news for Mary to the quest of the wise men. ………………………. The Christmas Story is a four-chapter book for ages three and up, [...]Add a Comment
Blog: OUPblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: *Featured, Europe, History, Latin America, Military, adoly eichmann, argentina, gerald steinacher, Germany, hannah arendt, Hitler, Holocaust, israel, jerusalem, jewish, Nazi, nazis on the run, riccardo klement, vatican, eichmann, riccardo, eichmann’s, steinacher, klement, Add a tag
By Gerald Steinacher
April 11, 1961 marked the beginning of the trial against Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. In the course of the trial, the world came face to face with the reality of the Holocaust or what the Nazis called the “final solution of the Jewish problem” – the killing of 6 million people. Newspapers around the world published thousands of articles about Eichmann and his role in the Holocaust. But what none of the international journalists touched upon was probably the most intriguing aspect of Eichmann’s story: the way in which he, the bureaucrat of the Holocaust, managed to escape justice soon after the war and flee to Argentina.
The prominent philosopher Hannah Arendt, who closely followed the trial in Israel, was one of those who wondered why Eichmann’s escape never attracted more international attention. In her famous book Eichmann in Jerusalem she wrote “the trial authorities, for various reasons, had decided not to admit any testimony covering the time after the close of the war.” It seems that there was a conscious effort to restrict the dissemination of information on how Eichmann managed to escape to Argentina. This part of his story was to remain largely a secret, which took historians more than fifty years to uncover.
We now know what the Israeli authorities kept hidden during the Eichmann trial: the involvement of Vatican circles, Western intelligence services, various governments and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the escape of Eichmann and thousands of other Nazis, war criminals, and Holocaust perpetrators. A picture has emerged that raises many uncomfortable questions. It is clear that the agencies involved knew exactly what they were doing, but were able to justify the decisions they made and the actions they took with the Cold War. After all, as the Third Reich lay in ruins, the only enemy left for the Western Powers was the communist Soviet Union. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, communism was a ‘godless, deadly enemy’, even worse than Nazism.
After laying low in Germany for several years, in 1950 Adolf Eichmann decided to immigrate to Argentina. He used a tried route through Italy, where he acquired a new identity as Riccardo Klement, a South Tyrolean from Bolzano, and a travel document from the Red Cross. In Italy he was helped by the Vatican Aid Commission for Refugees, in cooperation with a small group of catholic priests, former SS comrades and some Argentinean officials. The ease with which he reached Argentina was also the result of Western intelligence services, such as the CIA and the German BND, turning a blind eye to where Eichmann was hiding. Research suggests that they knew of his new identity as Riccardo Klement, but ignored the information. But why would the Israeli government be so careful not to reveal any of this during Eichmann’s trial? The true reasons are unclear, but it is possible that Israelis simply did not want to embarrass governments and institutions who were now their allies.
Riccardo Klement’s life on the run came to an abrupt end in May 1960, when he was kidnapped by Israeli government agents just outside of his home in Buenos Aires and taken to Jerusalem: “I, the undersigned, Adolf Eichmann, hereby declare out of my own free will that since now my true identity has been revealed, I see clearly that it is useless to try and escape judgment any longer.” Eichmann had to stand trial and in the process the world came to know the horrible details about the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany, from their forced emigration to centrally- planned industrialized genocide. But the world had to wait 50 years longer to finally learn the truth about how some of the worst Holocaust perpetrators fled justice and who were the institutions helping them do it.
Blog: A Year of Reading (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Earth Day, Add a tag
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: THE CRISIS OF GLOBAL WARMING
Adapted for a New Generation
Viking (Penguin Group)
The text is accessible. The photographs are vivid. The charts and graphs are compelling. Al Gore clearly spells out the crisis, but he begins and ends the book by saying that it is not hopeless. In the beginning he says, "I like the fact that in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is made up of two characters...The first one means 'danger.' But the second one means 'opportunity.' " In the end he points out, "Another big problem with global warming is that an astonishing number of people go straight from denial to despair, without pausing at the step in between. Yes, there's a crisis...but we can do something about it."
So what are YOU going to do? Switch to fluorescent bulbs? Turn down the thermostat? Turn off your computer rather than just putting it to sleep? Buy a Prius? Take shorter, cooler showers? Check here if you need ideas. There's a pdf poster of 10 things we can all do.
Just today, I got an invitation from Gather.com via American Public Media to join the "Go Green On Gather Contest" for Earth Day 2007.
This Earth Day, April 22, make a commitment to live today without compromising tomorrow. Living a sustainable life is easier than you might think—take one step at a time, incorporating eco-friendly lifestyle changes that will make our planet healthier for future generations. It’s never too soon to start!Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Wilde Teen Books (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: recycling, planting trees, Earth Day, conservation, Greening the planet, Add a tag
Dell Recycling recycles your old PC and monitor at no cost when you buy a new Dell computer. HP rewards you with up to $50 towards your next purchase when you recycle your old computer hardware.
Verizon Wireless' Hope Line program collects wireless phones from any provider to refurbish and donate them to victims of domestic abuse. Last year it donated 10,000 phones with airtime to shelter victims, and raised $750,000 to support awareness and prevention of domestic violence.Visit Eiae.org for a list of other tech companies that recycle.
Blog: Children's Illustration (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Earth Day, should have read it by now, Tiny Hobbits, Add a tag
Blog: Three Men in a Tub (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Earth Day, environment, Add a tag
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd, so I thought I would post a small list of environmental picture books.
This list is by no means complete.
Do you have a favorite environmental picture book? Tell us about it in the comments area!
BIG MAMA MAKES THE WORLD by Phyllis Root
When Big Momma makes the world, she doesn't mess around. With a baby on her hip and laundry piling up, she demands light and dark, earth and sky, creepers and crawlers, and lots of folks to trade stories with on the front porch.
THE LORAX by Dr. Seuss.
My favorite Dr. Seuss book.
I love how the colors of the illustrations become dim and brooding as the situation gets more serious.
THE EARTH AND I by Frank Asch.
A boy thinks about the many ways he and the planet benefit and enjoy each other.
MISS RUMPHIUS by Barbara Cooney.
To make the world a more beutiful place, Miss Rumphius begins by sowing flowers all over the countryside.
THE SALAMANDER ROOM by Ann Mazer.
A young boy finds an orange salamander and gradually imagines his room into a perfect home for it.
THE GIFT OF THE TREE by Alvin Tresselt.
An oak tree lives and dies in the forest, providing food, shelter, and safety for the animals and life all around.
WELCOME TO THE GREEN HOUSE by Jane Yolen.
A tropical rain forest brims with bright colors and sounds as hummingbirds and ocelots, fig trees and orchids grow and thrive.
PLANTZILLA by Jerdine Nolen.
Third-grader Mortimer Henryson has successfully petitioned his parents and his science teacher, Mr. Lester, to allow him to bring the class plant, Plantcilia (nicknamed "Plantzilla" by the students), home over summer vacation.
Blog: Just One More Book Children's Book Podcast (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Ages 4-8, Cartoony, Busy, Fun, Creativity, Picture book, Girl, Boy, Friendship, Contributing, Podcast, Community, childrens book review, David Roberts, earth day, Janet S. Wong, recycling, The Dumpster Diver, Add a tag
Crawling with cockroaches, crankiness and whole lot of creativity, this imaginative story of community recycling makes saving the earth a cheeky adventure.
For information about MagazineLiteracy.org’s KinderHarvest magazine recycling initiative, click here.
Podcasts mentioned:childrens book review, David Roberts, earth day, Janet S. Wong, Podcast, recycling, The Dumpster Diverchildrens book review, David Roberts, earth day, Janet S. Wong, Podcast, recycling, The Dumpster Diver Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Poetry for Children (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: tree, Earth Day, children, poetry, Add a tag
Today is officially Earth Day and many people also celebrate Arbor Day sometime during the month of April. And although there is an abundance of nature poetry for children available, I think it would be appropriate to focus on TREES, in particular. Living on the prairie in Texas, I’m a big fan of trees, since we don’t have many. I was a tree climber as a kid and a tree planter as an adult. And there are many poems about trees to share with young people beginning with Joyce Kilmer’s classic, “Trees” which begins “I think that I shall never see/ A poem lovely as a tree.”
In fact, once I started looking, I found that many of my favorite poems were about trees, from David McCord’s “Every Time I Climb a Tree” to “Arbol de Limon/ Lemon Tree” by Jennifer Clement and translated by Consuelo de Aerenlund, presented in both English and Spanish (in Naomi Nye's anthology). Here’s a poem by Karla Kuskin that is also a fine example of “concrete” or “shape” poetry in which the words of the poem also suggest the shape of the poem’s subject.
If you stood with your feet in the earth
Up to your ankles in grass
And your arms had leaves running over them
And every once in awhile one of your leafy fingers
Was nudged by a bird flying past,
If the skin that covers you from top to tip
Wasn’t skin at all, but bark
And you never moved your feet from their place
In the earth
But stood rooted in one spot come
Then you would be me:
Kuskin, Karla. 1972. Any Me I Want to Be. Harper & Row.
For more “tree” poems, look for these anthologies:
Brenner, Barbara. 1994. The Earth is Painted Green: A Garden of Poems about Our Planet. Scholastic.
Bruchac. Joseph. 1995. The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet: Native American Poems of the Land. Philomel Books.
Fisher, Aileen. 2003. Sing of the Earth and Sky: Poems about Our Planet and the Wonders Beyond. Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
George, Kristine O’Connell. 1998. Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems. Clarion Books.
Greenfield, Eloise. 1988. Under the Sunday Tree. Harper & Row.
Gunning, Monica. 1998. Under the Breadfruit Tree: Island Poems. Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
Jones, Hettie, comp. 1971. The Tree Stands Shining: Poetry of the North American Indian. Dial Books.
Kuskin, Karla. 1980. Dogs and Dragons, Trees and Dreams: A Collection of Poems. HarperCollins.
Kuskin, Karla. 1975. Near the Window Tree. Harper.
Levy, Constance. 1994. A Tree Place and Other Poems. McElderry.
Lindbergh, Reeve. 1990. Johnny Appleseed. Joy Street Books.
McCord, David. 1999. Every Time I Climb a Tree. Little Brown.
Nye, Naomi Shihab, comp. 1995. The Tree is Older than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems and Stories from Mexico with Paintings by Mexican Artists. Simon & Schuster.
Singer, Marilyn. 2002. Footprints on the Roof: Poems About the Earth. Knopf.
Yolen, Jane. 2000. Color Me a Rhyme: Nature Poems for Young People. Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
And of course this begs for a poet-tree display! Create a paper tree trunk and branches and encourage children to choose their favorite poems to display on large green paper leaves hanging from the branches.
Picture credit: www.phong.com
Blog: Farm School (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Earth Day, seasons, farm life, poetry, Frances Frost, Add a tag
The frogs are singing loudly now from the ditches, dugouts, and sloughs, the ducks -- especially the goldeneyes -- are pairing up, the grass is greening, gophers are running about, hawks swoop around overhead, and the prairie crocuses are up. I missed Poetry Friday again -- too many visitors here and places to be there. We had our mandated semi-annual home school facilitator visit (who last timeAdd a Comment
Blog: Crazy For Kids Books (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Jerusalem, middle east, folk tale, peace, Jerusalem, middle east, folk tale, Add a tag
Chris Smith and Aurélia Fronty, author and illustrator respectively, tell the story of the city that is the spiritual home to the world's three largest religions. The Jews call the city Yerushalaym, the Arabs call it Al-Quds, and the English - Jerusalem. It is a story of love and generosity handed down through the centuries as a folk tale as a reminder to all that a city and its inhabitants can live in peace with one another.
Blog: DRAWN! (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Blogs, burma, Comics, guy delisle, jerusalem, traveller, Add a tag
Beautiful sketches and fun comics. I suspect a book will come out of this…Add a Comment
Blog: An Awfully Big Blog Adventure (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Rooster Byron, Jerusalem, Lars Porsena, Horatius, Mark Rylance, Dianne Hofmeyr, Add a tag
I loved the idea of Lars Porsena so much that I can still quote the opening verses without stumbling. It wasn’t who or what he was that appealed, it was the sheer joy of invoking Macaulay’s words… shame on the false Etruscan who lingers in his home when Porsena of Clusium is on the march fro Rome. What was an Etruscan? And who or what was Tarquin? And where was Clusium? I absolutely didn’t care. Magical too were Ocnus of Falerii, Lausulus of Urgo, Aruns of Volsinium and Lord of Luna… never mind that they all died. They were my invocation of power. I shouted the words at the ceiling from my bed, in front of the mirror, brandished them at the trees with my stick-sword whipping through the air and whispered them into the grass until my sisters were sick of me.
Last week I went to see the play, Jerusalem, with the mesmeric award-winning performance by Mark Rylance playing Johnny (Rooster) Byron, a drug-dealing hell-raiser who lives in a forest in Wiltshire. There are a few more weeks left of its run at the Apollo, London, so I won’t spoil it by saying too much. But he tells a story of meeting a giant on the motorway when staggering home one night and relates it with such conviction, even his doubting listeners are reluctant to bang the drum that he says will awaken the giants and bring them from the four corners of the earth. I think it was The Guardian newspaper that said: he tells stories with the touch of an enchanter… someone who sees everyone but seems to be looking only at you. Life is conjured so vividly that wafts of wild garlic seem real.
At the end with only him and his young son who has crept back on stage, he invokes his brothers, every Byron who has ever lived, and all the giants of this earth, Magog, Og, Anak, Havelock, Beowulf, Goram… (I wish I could remember the litany) He shouts their names and drums incessantly louder and louder… a giant of a man infusing his son with bravery. (Brave too the young boy actor who has to witness such an invocation!) I couldn’t move. I was totally gripped… spellbound.
Blog: The Penguin Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: books, bookslam, jerusalem, patrick neate, twelve bar blues, Add a tag
Patrick Neate certainly didn’t when he wrote his first novel Musungu Jim and the Great Chief Tuloko: I remember so well reading it when it first came to Penguin in 1999, and thinking what a fantastic young talent, and how we must, must buy his book. All of Patrick’s themes that would recur throughout the trilogy which also includes Twelve Bar Blues, and now Jerusalem, are there in that book – the funny well-timed satire, the controlled fury and political astuteness of a British novelist writing about colonialism and its aftermath; the themes of culture, myth and music; oh, and the great jokes about farting…but the endearing thing, re-reading that book now, is that they are clearly written by a younger writer than the one writing Jerusalem.
Since that first book, we have published Patrick in paperback and hardback and trade paperback. He has always been fun to work with – and it was odd to discover quite far into our editorial relationship that there’s also another bond: we both read Social Anthropology at the same university in the same faculty, albeit years apart. Sometimes he and I have had long bouts of editorial fighting, sometimes not. He’s written two other novels outside the trilogy in between books 1 & 2; he’s won the Whitbread Novel Award for Twelve Bar Blues; he’s built a house in Zimbabwe; he got married; he reviews film; he started and still runs the best evening writers’ event anywhere (the totally brilliant Bookslam); and now he’s even having a baby…
So I feel a sense of aging melancholy now that this trilogy is done. It’s been thrilling to watch how his writing has changed; and hasn’t at all – all three of those books are inimitably Patrick, and also inimitablyAdd a Comment