Blog Profile / The Literary Saloon

Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:7021
Posts / Week:16
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive


This weekend they held the 40th (!) 'Tage der deutschsprachigen Literatur' ('days of German-language literature'), the centerpiece of which is the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis, the (in)famous/notorious read-a-text aloud competition whereShow More Summary

Mr. Zed's Reflections review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Hans Magnus Enzensberger's Mr. Zed's Reflections: or Breadcrumbs He Dropped, Gathered Up by His Listeners, which came out recently from Seagull Books. I'm not quite sure...Show More Summary

Great/essential US book ?

With the 4th of July around the corner variations on picking the great American (i.e. US) novel apparently are popular summer-filler-material: in The Los Angeles Times they ask a couple of authors for their choice of What is the Great...Show More Summary

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

As widely noted, Elie Wiesel has passed away; see, for example, The New York Times' report. Wiesel's 1986 Nobel Prize was, of course, in the peace-category, not literature, but he is well-known for his writing -- most notably for Night; get your copy at or

Geoffrey Hill (1932-2016)

The great English poet Geoffrey Hill has passed away; see, for example, obituaries in The Guardian (by Robert Potts) and The Telegraph, as well as The Paris Review's The Art of Poetry Q & A with him. As the number of his books underShow More Summary

Yves Bonnefoy (1923-2016)

Leading French poet Yves Bonnefoy has passed away; see, for example, reports in Le Figaro and Le Monde (because there's essentially nothing yet in the English-language press...). Seagull Books have brought out a couple of his works in...Show More Summary

Prix Jean Monnet de Littérature Européenne

No surprise that this year's prix Jean Monnet de Littérature Européenne does not go to a UK author..... I mean, none whatsoever -- Jean Monnet is spinning even more wildly in that grave 'Brexiters' have dug than the rest of us.... (Nice...Show More Summary

Questions ?

I'm looking forward to my to-be-podcast conversation with Tyler Cowen, and at his Marginal Revolution weblog he invites readers to tell him What should I ask Michael Orthofer ? So if you have questions..... (35 responses so far, last I checked -- though I haven't read them, yet. Should I ? Don't want to be over-prepped. (Oh, who am I kidding, of course I am going to peek....))

My Secret Book review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Francesco Petrarca's (yes, Petrarch's) My Secret Book: The Private Conflict of my Thoughts, just out in a new translation -- and bilingual edition - in Harvard University...Show More Summary

Siegfried Lenz Preis

The Siegfried Lenz Preis is pretty new -- this is only the second time they've handed out the well-endowed (at €50,000) prize, with Amos Oz picking up the inaugural one last year -- and it's not really clear how it is meant to standShow More Summary

Elechi Amadi (1934-2016)

Nigerian author Elechi Amadi has passed away; see, for example, obituaries in Vanguard and Punch. None of his work is under review at the complete review but he's significant enough that he rated a (very brief) mention in my The Complete...Show More Summary

Cynthia Ozick Q & A

Of Cynthia Ozick Q & As there can surely never be enough, so after I just mentioned one it's still good to see yet another, by Eric Farwell: A Story Made Purely of Feeling: The Millions Interviews Cynthia Ozick.


They've announced that this year's Georg-Büchner Prize -- the leading German author award -- wil got to Marcel Beyer (on 5 November, since they always announce these thinsg way in advance); see also the DeutscheWelle report, Top German...Show More Summary

Vaseline Buddha review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jung Young Moon's Vaseline Buddha, just about out from Deep Vellum.

Maurice G. Dantec (1959-2016)

French science fiction author Maurice Dantec has passed away; see, for example, the Le Monde obituary (where they note he was born in Grenoble, "dans une famille communiste"). His Babylon Babies had the distinction of being US-published by Semiotext(e) and was made into a movie by Mathieu Kassovitz -- starring... well, Vin Diesel... (yeah, so much for that...).

Académie française palmarès

They'll only announce their big ' Grand Prix du Roman' in the fall, but the Académie française has been busy with their award deliberations, and have now... spewed forth their 'palmarès' -- no less than '65 distinctions'. The full list...Show More Summary

Harmful and Undesirable review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Guenter Lewy on Book Censorship in Nazi Germany, in Harmful and Undesirable, just out from Oxford University Press. Not really relevant to the book per se but certainlyShow More Summary

'Best of past 75 years' list

At Parade Ann Patchett and friends came up with a list of The 75 Best Books of the Past 75 Years. The most significant limitation is buried in the explanation -- "we defaulted to books written in English" -- which certainly narrows things...Show More Summary

Review of The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction

Great to see another review of my The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction -- Jaya Bhattacharji Rose's at, with the hard-to top headline No book can tell you about all books, but this one comes close (and sub:...Show More Summary

In Parenthesis as opera

David Jones' In Parenthesis is a truly great work (a rare "A" rated one at the complete review ) but doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves; a new opera-version from the Welsh National Opera might help change that. (Of course, considering the it premiered over a month ago and this is the first I'm hearing of it... Show More Summary

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