Posts Tagged “Books”

Lolita and Woolworths: the advantages of education

by David on February 2, 2008

Bedroom furniture for young girls with the brand name Lolita has been withdrawn by Woolworths following complaints from parents

BBC, Woolworths withdraws ‘Lolita’ bed

Easily the most startling fact in this farce was that nobody at Woolworths knew of Nabokov’s great novel, one of the best known and most controversial examples of 20th century literature; nobody had seen or heard of either of the two films (the James Mason/Peter Sellers pairing, directed by Kubrick being far better than the later Adrian Lyne version); and nobody at the company was even remotely aware of the enormous popular cultural impact of Lolita. According to BBC radio news this evening, Woolworths staff had to look up Lolita on Google to discover what the fuss was about, which might have given them a little shock.

Pronouncing Don Quixote in La Mancha

by David on December 4, 2007

This summer in Spain I read, for the first time, Don Quixote – and I ploughed through some parts of the rather thick book in the Don’s homeland, the region of La Mancha.
Pizarro, Trujillo
I thought I’d solved the puzzle of the protagonist’s name: Key-Ho-Tay or Kwiksot?

The Handmaid’s Tale

by David on November 30, 2007

Gavin wondered if anyone had predicted that an Orwellian, totalitarian state might come in a religious guise.

Well the answer’s yes, of course. Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale describes a totalitarian theocracy that specifically (for this is Atwood) oppresses women. She just picked the wrong religion.

No regret for call to murder Rushdie

by David on June 21, 2007

Assistant Secretary-General at the Muslim Council of Britain, Inayat Bunglawala, on not expressing regret for murderous threats:

So on February 14 1989, when the Iranian Islamic leader, Imam Khomeini delivered his fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie’s death, I was truly elated. It was a very welcome reminder that British Muslims did not have to regard themselves just as a small, vulnerable minority…

Looking back now on those events I will readily acknowledge that we were wrong to have called for the book to be banned.

Inayat Bunglawala on Comment Is FreeI used to be a book burner

Satanic Verses Death Timeline

  • February 12, 1989: Six people are killed and 100 injured during anti-Rushdie protests in Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • February 13, 1989: One person is killed and 60 injured in anti-Rushdie riots in Srinagar, India.
  • February 24, 1989: Twelve people die in anti-Rushdie rioting in Bombay, India.
  • 1990: Five bombings target bookstores in England.
    July 1991: Hitoshi Igarashi, the novel’s Japanese translator, is stabbed to death
  • July 1991: Ettore Capriolo, its Italian translator, is seriously wounded.
  • July 2, 1993: Thirty-seven Turkish intellectuals and locals participating in the Pir Sultan Abdal Literary Festival, die when their hotel in Sivas, Turkey, namely the Madimak Hotel, is burnt down by 2000 members of various anti-democratic, pro-sharia radical islamist groups protesting against Aziz Nesin, Rushdie’s Turkish translator.
  • October 1993: The novel’s Norwegian publisher, William Nygaard, is shot and seriously injured

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

by David on May 28, 2007

In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a
Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End of
Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case
against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the
major religious texts, he documents the ways in which
religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual
repression, and a distortion of our origins in the

Facial hair as metaphor

by David on February 8, 2007

Zeldman’s redesigned Happy Cog and his story about his science teacher suggests a tricksy, sly, and clever man. By the way, buy his book, I did (and I’m not getting an Amazon referral for that).

Pale Fire

by David on January 6, 2007

The moon’s an arrant thief
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun

The Story Of The World In Pictures

by David on January 4, 2005

Helen picked up a book called The Story Of The World In Pictures for £4.99 in a local charity shop. It doesn’t seem to have a publication date but there is a small copyright notice dating it to 1934.

Queueing Up For The Cinema In Malaya

The caption reads: