Literature

Night lights

Paul Bogard’s scientific, literary, and philosophical account of why the end of night — driven by unremitting and ever-increasing light pollution around the world — should worry us all.

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A world of icons, not alphabets

Reviving a dead language is not normally a recommended practice in communications: road signs in Latin (say, NON DEXTER VICISSIM instead of “No Right Turn”) are certain to cause more accidents than not, and billboards written in runic Old Norse

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The factual refracted

Over the past century a important minority of writers have turned their minds to the philosophy of literature itself, or even simply of books — Jorge Luis Borges’ 1941 short story “The Library of Babel” (La biblioteca de Babel), a

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Where Milton slept

Travellers of a bookish bent will find a new website from Standford English professor Martin Evans to be of great use in guiding them to all of the spots in London where any of fifty great authors once resided or

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Interesting and ambitious

Worth checking out: ZAM, a high-energy magazine about Africa with a cheeky sense of style, some great art direction, and a focus on the continent’s most interesting and ambitious designers, artists, musicians, and writers. Published in the Netherlands, with editorial

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Recent best: Aminatta Forna

London-based novelist Aminatta Forna is the award-winning author of The Memory of Love, Ancestor Stones and The Devil that Danced on the Water. The Memory of Love recently won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa). Aminatta recommends: If you want

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Memories and four-letter words

The regional winners of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize were announced a few hours ago, and while the two African books honoured (and still in the race for the overall prize, to be announced on May 21) seem at first to

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Because reality is weird

When I was fourteen or so, I came across the works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft in a maze-like used-book shop that my parents used to take me to, and spent many evenings after that lost in discovery of Lovecraft’s

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Recent best: novels

Ian Garrick Mason: I’d like to thank Matthew Gallaway for inaugurating a semi-regular feature on SCOPE‘s blog. We call it “Recent best”, and it will be comprised simply of personal recommendations, by a person who ought to know, on the

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Nov 9th: Alberto Manguel in London

SCOPE readers of a literary bent who are in London in early November may wish to see Alberto Manguel read from his new book, All Men Are Liars, and discuss both lies and literature with author Tibor Fischer. Hosted by

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How novelists write novels — and survive

Funny and incisive, The Awl blog — whose aspirational tag line is “Be less stupid.” — has inaugurated what will be a series of posts on the topic of how writers write, and how they live while writing, and (in

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From polarization to universal respect

Great attention is currently being paid to the literary skills and political influence of Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. The Economist‘s Prospero blog is so effusive as to make him seem a Peruvian (if

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