( the facebook page - @MarkHaddonAuthor
is run by vintage books / doubleday
i don't have any input
and i don't see any of the comments...
predictably it has far more visitors )

  swimming

just cycled to thames and swam around in circles for a while. the water now warm enough to stay in pretty much indefinitely. cows, ducklings, saturday walkers, piper cherokees buzzing lazily overhead. i love this place.

very nice photo from joanagps' photostream on flickr under creative commons.

  n.e.o.

   

nasa earth observatory. i stumbled on this via a recent satellite image of the flooded mississippi (above left). a whole archive of images of the earth. true colour, false colour, photographic, diagrammatic. obviously they're crammed with nutritious scientific facts but i love the look of them, especially the way they hover on the border between representation and abstraction.

    

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/

  nox

by the poet anne carson. an elegy for her estranged brother. a facsimile of the collaged text she created after her brother's death (handwritten passages, typed passages, cut-up photographs, bits of old letters...), printed on a very long paper concertina and housed in a box. a beautiful thing in and of itself. but a strange and moving reading experience, too. a poetic exploration of his two absences (he cut himself off from the family early on, and carson found out about his death overseas only after the event). all of this interspersed with definitions of successive words in Catullus 101 (multas per gentes at multa peraequroa vectus...) which is an elegy for his dead brother. though as the book progresses you begin to realise that these definitions are not lifted from a latin dictionary, but carson's own, the examples of usage given becoming more and more appropriate to her brother's death and more and more infected with the word nox, night.

this is the kind of book i'm referring to when, faced with the inevitable kindle question, i say (among other things) that the book-as-object, the book-as-artwork is going flower as more and more straightforward texts leave the world of paper behind.

andrew motion describes the 'book' at greater length (and sings it praises) here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jul/03/andrew-motion-anne-carson-nox

  mcsweeney's 37

 the latest edition (lying flat; it's a slightly diamond-shaped optical illusion kind of object). inc. some contemporary stories from kenya. consistently good all the way through.

 

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