Tag Archives: Christopher Hitchens

Rojak: Spot the reference.

Rojak is a regular collection of assorted links as well as a bulletin summarising the week (or thereabouts) on this blog.

Assorted

Random House of Canada Limited has this new website. [via Random House of Canada Limited] It has tasty articles such as this one by Christopher Hitchens on Andy Warhol. [via Hazlitt]

I’m Ajax. I’m Odysseus. We’re best friends. [via The Paris Review]

China Miéville on the future of the novel. [via The Guardian]

Certainly, the very premise of such a poll suggests that one should probably look at it with a healthy dose of scepticism, but I found Pitchfork’s top albums of 1996-2011 largely predictable but interesting in minor places. [via Pitchfork]

Magical Mystery Tour to be restored and released this October. [via Consequence of Sound]

Aidan Higgins’s Blind Man’s Bluff seems like an interesting book. [via Totally Dublin]

Video of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s “Only in my Dreams”, off of the new album Mature Themes. [via YouTube]

Bulletin

Waiting for Godot is coming to Singapore. Also:

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Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011.

Christopher Hitchens has died. An obituary at the Guardian. [via The Guardian]

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Rojak: Education and science.

Rojak is a weekly collection of assorted links as well as a bulletin summarising the week on this blog.

Assorted

tUnE-yArDs performs “Bizness”. [via YouTube]

Martin Amis on Christopher Hitchens. [via The Guardian]

A lengthy and intriguing article about the crisis in American higher education. [via The Millions]

The seven ages of Bob Dylan. [via The Telegraph]

The Picture of Dorian Gray, new and uncensored. [via The Book Depository]

Winners of the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards. [via Three Percent]

Bulletin

This week:

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Christopher Hitchens on Philip Larkin.

There’s a great article by Christopher Hitchens on Philip Larkin over at the Atlantic.

This is the world of wretched, tasteless food and watery drinks, dreary and crowded lodgings, outrageous plumbing, surly cynicism, long queues, shocking hygiene, and dismal, rain-lashed holidays, continually punctuated by rudeness and philistinism. In Orwell’s early fiction, all this is most graphically distilled in Keep the Aspidistra Flying, but it is an essential element of the texture of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and was quarried from the “down and out” journalism of which he produced so much. A neglected aspect of the general misery, but very central once you come to notice it, is this: we are in a mean and chilly and cheerless place, where it is extraordinarily difficult to have sex, let alone to feel yourself in love. Orwell’s best shorthand for it was “the W.C. and dirty-handkerchief side of life.”

Larkin’s own summary was, if anything, even more dank: he once described the sexual act as a futile attempt to get “someone else to blow your own nose for you.” These collected letters reflect his contribution to a distraught and barren four-decade relationship with Monica Jones, an evidently insufferable yet gifted woman who was a constant friend and intermittent partner (one can barely rise to saying mistress, let alone lover) until Larkin’s death in 1985. During that time, he strove to keep her to himself while denying her the marriage that she so anxiously wanted, betrayed her with other women sexually, and eagerly helped Kingsley Amis to employ her as the model for the frigid, drab, and hysterical Margaret Peel in Lucky Jim.

[via The Atlantic]

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