Friday, February 10, 2012

Unusual tongues

At the FT, Daniel Cohen interviews Brian Stowell, author of the only full-length novel written in Manx (site registration required):
In 2006, I published a novel in Manx, The Vampire Murders, satirising life on the Isle of Man. It was serialised in one of the papers here and now bits of it are being used for the Manx equivalent to an A-level. It’s the first full-length novel in Manx. The potential readership is very low indeed – only about 200 people can read it without much difficulty. You could rationalise why I went ahead by saying, “oh, it will be used for studying Manx.” But I never had that in mind at all. I just thought it’d be a great laugh to write a novel in Manx. Now there are a few other people writing original material.
About to be fairly fiendishly busy for the next three or so weeks.  Had a good visit for some days this week from cousin George and her boyfriend Jeremy, although I am slightly ashamed that I didn't make it to either of his gigs (inertia and fatigue were very strong, and Williamsburg and the Lower East Side far away...); Olympia, WA looks like it was fun....

Slightly annoyed with myself due to belated recognition that I have rather been letting Facebook cannibalize amusing but non-literary links that come my way.  Resolved for future not to waste stuff over there: Light Reading is a better archive if I want to find anything later on!  A couple of the best ones I did double up on here also (i.e. black cat auditions), but I hereby offer up the following handful of recapitulations: wings and more wings, presidential aspirations in the youthful professoriat, a day in the grinding room, mattress flip.

Radium-age re-releases!

Light reading around the edges: Carol O'Connell's latest Mallory novel, The Chalk Girl.  I thoroughly enjoyed it (it's better than the last few have been); I find O'Connell an intriguing case, as she basically ignores pretty much all the rules of good writing and yet produces these books that are strangely mesmerizing despite their evident shortcomings in the matter of narration, characterization, plausibility, etc. The books for the Young Lions award seem to me very good this year, and there are certainly a couple I'll blog about at a later stage once confidentiality isn't an issue.

Nice glimpses here of my little nephew as well as of my sister-in-law's very lovely Austin store.  I am trying to figure out when I might get down to Austin: I'd love to go for the 70.3 in late October, though I fancy that even in late October Austin might feel rather warm to me.  I am going to San Antonio for the big eighteenth-century studies conference in March, but teaching obligations on either side mean that there is no way to extend that trip with an Austin leg.

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