Terror terror

Terror is a means to excite or depress the political enthusiasms of a population. Terror can be a tool of revolt and also of reactionary retribution, and its ultimate ethical […]

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Countering the Contrarian – Richard Seymour’s ‘Unhitched’

Hitchens’ personal branding as a contrarian (armed with logic strong enough to corrode sentiment, fashion, prejudice or cant) became a cloak for a kind of vigorous, journalistic machismo which relied on the warped charisma of the bully to attract consensus and approval.



Taking his lumps – Murray Whelan in ‘Stiff’

The best crime novelists draw on the psychological insight and emotional drama of literary realism. With Maloney as well, it’s the extra things he does as a writer that breathe life into his good-natured narratives of detection and suspense. Maloney has created a resourceful survivor who is frequently a victim of circumstance. For all his ingenuity and experience, Whelan is routinely taking his lumps.



History and Class Consciousness – Jeremy Chambers’ Debut

In The Vintage and the Gleaning, as in so many novels by educated men of refined sensitivities, there is an underlying idealisation of men who do things with their hands. These men socialise happily with one another, they know how to get along, they live free of pretension, and no matter how lyrical their language or how poetic their turns of phrase, the idea of writing something down would never cross their mind.



Norwegian Wood – Munch’s Prints

It’s a matter of taste perhaps, but the distilled language of basic forms, colour and composition which Munch developed in his woodblock prints makes many of his fully realised oils look gauche and overblown. Munch customised his block printing methods to give more immediate results – he was impatient for the full effect and wanted to see the image whole in one pull.

The Corner Window

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    Fearless – Jennifer Mills’ short fiction

    I am rather surprised this book hasn’t been greeted more noisily. Nam Le lifted the bar, but Jennifer Mills has certainly risen to it, with a tough, unsentimental grace and storytelling gifts to burn.

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    Read and digest

    Regular visitors will have noticed The Ember has been on a go-slow over the last few months. We have been busy preparing for phase two of Ember publishing. For the […]

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    A smoky brew – ‘Tarcutta Wake’ by Josephine Rowe

    Rowe’s stories show us new possibilities for the fusion of prose and poetry at every turn. Tarcutta Wake is a seductive and rewarding collection, and I will enjoy rereading it often, like the best poetry and short fiction.

A Distempered Tongue

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    Staff in Cahoots with Looters

    Police and customs officers today raided four major museums across the country in the culmination of an operation that has been tracking down antiquities looted from palaces and temples in […]

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    Intelligent Design

    The first step of her clever campaign was to make a video diary in which she explained her intention and her strategy. And so, after she had begun to garrotte […]

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    Where the Streets Have No Lanes

    - David Free Last Christmas I did a Sigrid Thornton and moved out of the city for what I hope is going to be ever. I’d like to say, for […]

The Pixel Press

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    The Sum of History: A story by Nathan Russo

    The Sum of History Illustration: Maria Mosquera The conversation cupped together some six or seven persons on the patio of the café, shook them gently, and finally separated the two […]

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    Bird by Wheeler Sparks

    Illustration: Maria Mosquera Behind the cracked glass door of a small, inconspicuous bookshop, Bird sat in his favorite chair and looked out on the street. A herd of armored vehicles […]