More than a quarter of the Nobel prizes in literature awarded since 1901 have gone to authors writing in English. But English is not the mother tongue of all of them. Kazuo Ishiguro is the fourth Nobel prize winner in literature who writes in English but whose mother tongue isn’t English. Continue reading “Kazuo Ishiguro and other Nobel Prize winners writing in English”
What’s the difference between writers and journalists? Journalists write to inform the public about what’s happening in the world. Writers can write about themselves and imaginary worlds. I was reminded of the difference while reading the book, Why Write?
The author, Mark Edmundson, does not contrast writers and journalists. But he could be alluding to journalists when he talks about writers who “write to learn something”. They are sociable, equally at home with others, gathering material, and alone, writing, at their desks, he says. Continue reading “Why write?”
It’s after midnight, the small hours of a new day, the birthday of Dylan Thomas (October 27, 1914 – November 9, 1953). Since he was born on this day, I am reading his poem, In My Craft or Sullen Art. Continue reading “Reading Dylan Thomas on his birthday”
Ah, the “sensual strut” of Dylan Thomas! I can’t forget those words of his.
I couldn’t recall the poem where he wrote those words, so I searched Google and found it. It’s not one of his best known poems, but those two words from it – “sensual strut” – sum up the appeal of Dylan Thomas, at least to me. Continue reading “The sensual strut of Dylan Thomas”
John Le Carre once said, ” ‘The cat sat on the mat’ is not the beginning of a story, but ‘the cat sat on the dog’s mat’.” He knows how to hook a reader. Yesterday, on his 85th birthday, I opened his very first book, Call for the Dead, published 55 years ago, in 1961. Continue reading “John Le Carre: The cat sat on the dog’s mat”
Reading a book of poems can be such a pleasure. There’s the thrill of discovering a poem that absolutely bowls you over, the pleasure of re-reading an old favourite and learning something about the life of the poet or poets whose poetry fills the book. I derived all three pleasures from Life Saving: Why We Need Poetry, Introductions to Great Poets by Josephine Hart. Continue reading “Life Saving: Why We Need Poetry”
You don’t have to know Shakespeare to quote him. Every day we quote Shakespeare, without even knowing we are using his words. He has become part and parcel of our language. Continue reading “Unknowingly quoting Shakespeare”