Reading Around

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E19970927

Concluding the magazine series for omnivorous book readers.

This week, Kevin Jackson explores the writing and beliefs of one of the world's most bizarre literary movements - the OULIPO.

As if creative writing were not hard enough, this group choose to write under self-imposed restrictions, a practice illustrated by Georges Perec's novel without the letter `e'.

Kevin Jackson discusses the origins of the movement with Perec's translator Gilbert Adair and talks to Oulipian poet Harry Mathews.

The weekly `Guilt List' reaches Dante, and Richard Cohen delves into the poison-pen world of literary feuds.

The Guilt List19970830

Kevin Jackson presents a five-part magazine series for promiscuous book readers.

Has quality kept up with quantity when it comes to the growing number of collected essays on film? Gilbert Adair attacks standards of modern criticism.

Also, `The Guilt List': each week, `Reading Around' tackles one of those must-read, never-finished classics.

First off the shelf is `The Iliad'.

Edith Hall and Ruth Padel discuss new ways of reading Homer and recommend related books including a study of combat trauma in Vietnam.

Plus an insider's view of literary life: novelist Anne Enright reflects on deadlines - if she makes it.

The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire19970913

Kevin Jackson presents the third in a five-part magazine series for omnivorous book readers.

Today, he seeks short cuts through Gibbon's `The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'.

Michael Holroyd reflects on the loneliness of the long-distance biographer.

And novelist Nicholson Baker contributes to a short feature on the fascinating history of footnotes.

The Last Sorcerer19970920

The fourth in a five-part magazine series for omnivorous book readers.

Alchemy may be laughed out of the lab, but it continues to fascinate writers and readers from fantasy fiction to science history - Kevin Jackson goes in pursuit of the philosopher's stone and reviews some of the many modern publications devoted to this ancient art.

Michael White discusses his forthcoming biography of Isaac Newton, `The Last Sorcerer', which sees the founding father of modern science as more of a magician than a logician.

And, as the Guilt List reaches Proust, Alain de Botton offers tips on tackling `Remembrance of Things Past'.

War And Peace19970906

Kevin Jackson presents the second in a five-part magazine series for omnivorous book readers.

The radical French thinker Paul Virilio has worked on stained glass with Matisse and Braque, studied philosophy, and campaigned on the streets of Paris.

Kevin Jackson profiles the writer who some claim to be the most important cultural critic of his time.

Historian Orlando Figes confesses to skipping the history in `War and Peace', and Tony Briggs offers advice for first-timers tackling Tolstoy.

Plus an artist who changed the writing of art history only to be written out of the history books.