Are you looking for a new, readable, intriguing history book to read? I introduce you to a shortlist of 6 top history books from 2023 in the latest episode (122) of The Burning Archive podcast. All 6 books come from the shortlist for the 2023 Wolfson History Prize, Britain and the UK's most prestigious history… Continue reading Six top history books in search of an invitation
The 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature is announced. Relive world literature's night of nights with this edited live reaction to the announcement. It covers all the predictions, the actual announcement, and an emotional introduction to why you might want to read the works of this year's winner. Whether you do not know who won, or… Continue reading Jon Fosse’s Slow Prose, 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature
https://johnmenadue.com/australias-aborted-cultural-decolonisation/ My thoughts on Australian cultural history on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Patrick White's #NobelPrize were published by the team @johnmenadue for publishing. Thanks again to Aran, John and the team. You can also listen to my podcast on Patrick White to explore this topic further. The main episode was Why read… Continue reading New Article: Reflections on Patrick White’s Nobel Prize and Australian cultural history
Why read Olga Tokarczuk, Winner of 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature? Find out in this fourth episode of my series on the Nobel Prize for Literature. It discusses the life of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature Laureate, the novelist Olga Tokarczuk. I give you 10 reasons to read one of the most celebrated Nobel… Continue reading Why read Olga Tokarczuk, Winner of 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature? Podcast Ep. 120
It turns out, despite his stern reputation, Patrick White can laugh, smile and even pat a purring cat. He was even once a spy, or should I say an intelligence operative. And the skills he learnt in that role during World War Two allowed him to field the questions of many inept journalists with consummate… Continue reading Podcast #119 Why read Patrick White, (1973 Nobel Prize), exile at home?
On the podcast this week I did the second of my series on the Nobel Prize, and featured the winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature, William Butler (W.B.) Yeats.
On the podcast this week I started a mini-series on the Nobel Prize for Literature, in the lead-up to the announcement of the prize on 5 October. I cover the history of the Prize, some favourite winners, and last year’s laurreate, French writer, Annie Ernaux.
I wrote in my previous post about the rhetoric of “as long as it takes” on Ukraine. How it is a feature of stubborn decision-makers, and the opting decisions of war. How NATO aligned elites might detach from this doomed path, but I am not holding my breath, too long. I doubt they will, not… Continue reading Endurance in War and Politics for Non-Political Souls
I watched a wonderful interview with Olga Tokarczuk, the author of The Books of Jacob and winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The third chapter of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat is the title essay, 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat'. It plays with Wallace Stevens' poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, and seeks to open up the reader's mind to the many unexpected, even poetic ways you can look at this plain, humble, even despised personality, the bureaucrat.
My new book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat, is now out! Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat: Writing on Governing, is both memoir and essay collection. I think it breaks new ground because bureaucrats don't publish memoirs. It will change how you see government, politics, working life, and bureaucrats.
I began reading a recent acclaimed biography of Fernando Pessoa, Richard Zenith, Pessoa: An Experimental Life (2021). Pessoa is a writer from the Burning Archive pantheon.
The story of Arthshastra is similarly fit for the Burning Archive. It was composed some time between the 2rd century BC and 3rd century CE. It was known to be influential until the 12th century, but then was lost or went underground, perhaps due to the Persian, Mughal or Muslim rule over India. It was known of, but considered lost by colonial era scholars. Then in in 1905 a Tamil Brahmin from Tanjore walked into the newly opened Mysore Oriental Library with a copy of the Arthashastra in Sanskrit, written on palm leaves.
I have posted this evening on my podcast and on Youtube a special episode. Here I talk openly for the first time about how I wrote my book, From the Burning Archive, which you can buy at the Amazon affiliate link or other online book retailers.
I have published From the Burning Archive: essays and fragments 2015-2022. You can buy it as print or e-book here at Amazon and also at other online retailers. Here is an excerpt of the introductory essay of that collection. It tells how a dream image became a poem became a blog became a podcast and then an author platform.
Yesenin's poetic celebration of rural life was itself far removed from Yesenin's real life.
A new Russian writer I discovered this morning is Nikolai Nekrasov (1821-78)...
In 2016 I wrote a couple of posts on lists of writers whose work survives or is best known in fragments, who could even be imagined as the precursors of bloggers.
The Russians of today show no sign of pulling down the great statue of Peter the Great that overlooks the Neva. Nor do they show any signs of cancelling Pushkin.
From this traumatised, divided old Russian Soviet poet, we learn about our own strange freedom.