Saturday, June 17, 2006

Post books

James Reidel's translation of Thomas Bernhard second and third books of poems (In Hora Mortis / Under the Iron of the Moon) landed on the doormat this morning.

How many more days will there be like this - one with the presence of a new book by Thomas Bernhard? One, for sure, with Michael Hofmann's translation of Frost due in October. But after that? Perhaps a collection of his plays - though, in all honesty, the prospect of that leaves me indifferent. We'll have to settle for translations of books such as Karl Hennetmair's memoir Ein Jahr mit Thomas Bernhard. Oh I'd settle for that.

Reidel's instructive and mercifully concise introduction is notable for its relaxed inclusion of quotations from bloggers - an unnamed Spaniard and our own Michael Orthofer of The Complete Review. It's gratifying to see that, while we remain in the civilisation of the book, this new medium is being drawn slowly (or quickly - it's hard to tell) into its remote unity.

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