I’m reading this little book for work, and it’s such an odd thing. It’s a sort of feminist tract: in his roundabout way Soren is arguing that older women have as much, if not more, to offer as younger women. He’s particularly upset that older actresses are often ignored in favour of new ones. Plus ça change.... But really it’s a book about real and false values in the world.
Zadie Smith - 10/08/2012
Mayakovsky, Vladimir; Almereyda,...
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Rather than any specific novel, this book was more influenced by poetry. Bill Shankly was a great admirer of Robert Burns and Burns is a presence throughout the text. But many other poets are in there, too: Alexandr Blok, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Edwin Morgan and Ian Hamilton Finlay. But Burns aside – if that is possible – the greatest other presence is probably Vladimir Mayakovsky. 'Art From All, Art For All' was a credo for Mayakovsky and, to be very presumptuous, I like to think Saint Bill would have agreed. And for anyone else who might, I'd recommend Night Wraps the Sky, an anthology with some illuminating essays on Mayakovsky's life and work, edited by Michael Almereyda.
David Peace - 25/07/2013