Friday, July 22, 2011


A new edition of The Last Samurai arrived on the doorstep this morning via FedEx.  I flip through the book with the sense of foreboding which greets each new translation, and find:

Οχυπέφθ y άυδ ςώ ξηιγωφ έοέκωτ Μυρφ θ φ

above the transliteration

muromeno d'ara to ge idon eleese Kronion

[I omit macrons in the depth of my despair]

As so often I am consumed with guilt.  I expect I should have tracked down this new publisher when it first expressed interest in the book and insisted on proofreading the Greek.  It seems to me, though, that they sent in their request in the early days of my representation by Mr Clegg; there were a lot of other things going on.

I should say that, randomised Greek apart, it is a lovely edition.  But oh my poor head.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MR had a post on the Khan Academy, had a look at what Salman Khan is doing; this is extraordinary. But no Ancient Greek, I see.  (Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese . . . ) This is what I should be doing. (Of course, if I knew Java I would be doing it already.  Shame. Shame.) Mr Khan, Mr Khan, PLEEEEAAAAAAAAAZ.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A writer is not for Christmas

Employees say they stress how much work it is to own a dog. They say they would rather lose a sale than send a puppy into an unsafe home.

 Drunken puppy buying, HT MR who HTs Daniel Lippman

Friday, July 8, 2011

Back in 2007, in the early days of this blog, Yvain Dewaele sent me a terrific account of Serbian writers he admired.  I then expected to be moving to Wordpress in the next week or so, having been thwarted by Blogger's failure to provide what's known in the trade as a fold - a device permitting one to publish part of a post on the front page of the blog, the rest available to anyone who clicked on Read More.  So this excellent post went over to the Wordpress blog; day followed day, week followed week . . . and sloth prevailed.  PP was still on Blogger, and went on being on Blogger . . .

Who, in the fullness of time, introduced a fold feature! Ha ha! 

I like Wordpress better for all kinds of reasons; sloth being what passes for a work ethic at PP, we seem unlikely to move any time soon, so I now reintroduce this excellent post.

En ce qui concerne les auteurs serbes. J’ai découvert Branimir Scepanovic avec son recueil de nouvelles “La mort de Monsieur Golouja”. Ce sont des nouvelles assez noires, écrit dans un style vif et le plus souvent sans fioritures. Son chef d’oeuvre est “La bouche pleine de terre”, qui en moins d’une centaine de pages en dit plus sur l’humain que des bibliothèques entières…

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

elegance in bribery

Lovely post at (where else?) MR on bribery in China.

The First Scenario:
The corrupted official can sell a fake painting at any rigged gallery. After coordinating with the official, the briber will go to the designated gallery and buy it at the agreed price plus the commission of the gallery owner. All of the three parties know that the painting is fake, but eventually they are all benefited. This fake painting can be reused and it can go through another bribery circulation of other “elegant” buyers and sellers.
The whole thing here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Triple Canopy

Triple Canopy is running a Kickstarter campaign (now in its final week) to raise funds for 155 Freeman.  I quote:

About 155 Freeman and the Kickstarter campaign
This September, Triple Canopy will be opening a new arts-and-culture center at 155 Freeman Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with our friends Light Industry, a cinema, and The Public School, an open-source classroom with no curriculum. Together, our groups will organize performances, classes, artist talks, readings, panels, workshops, concerts, and weekly film screenings—all of which will be open to the public. We've signed a five-year lease, which means relying on the continued generosity of donors near and far—which is to say we're relying on you. We're currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for our first year of programming. By contributing to our campaign, you can help us establish this truly alternative space and support the work of the many innovative artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and educators with whom we collaborate. 

This sounds terrific.  New York hates me, but this is the kind of thing that makes me wonder whether it would be so terrible, after all, to spend some time there.  If any New Yorkers are reading, they might want to send ten bucks along.