Myths, Mummies and Nonsense

9 08 2011

Category; Literature, Middle East, Politics

Professor Roger Luckhurst

For academics to lure media interest their theories need to be catchy and controversial. Radio 3 had a discussion recently on the dangers that arise when academics appear on the media.

Roger Luckhurst is a good example of what can happen to scholarship when the media calls. He’s Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, University of London. See here for biography. The media calls him, a lot, and he has a theory that’s leakier than a wedding marquee on an August Bank Holiday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andrei Platonov

3 04 2010

Category; Literature

It can feel like Proust has a monopoly on literary memory with his Madeleine moments; he should have stronger competition from the writer Andrey Platonov:

He knew from a childhood memory how strange and sad it is to see a familiar place after a long separation. Your heart is still bound to the place, but the unmoving objects have forgotten you and do not recognise you; it is as if they have been living an active and happy life without you, and you have been alone in your feeling – and now here you are before them, an unknown and pitiful creature.

From Soul, published by New York Review Books

Andrey Platonov is a writer of such depth and beauty that discovering his work for the first time can be a shock. How on earth could such great literature be found by chance, on a pile in the remainder section, rather than on the shelves of the world’s classics? Read the rest of this entry »