Review of The Reader Online

I’ve been editing The Reader Online, which is the blog of The Reader magazine, since June 2007, aided and abetted by many great contributors and in particular by Jen Tomkins, the marketing and PR intern at The Reader organisation. Last week the blog was reviewed by online literary magazine The Roundtable Review. Fiction editor Ann Morgan listed the blog as one of her ten of the best literary related sites on the web. Here’s what she said:

One of the most well-researched and informative literary blogs is to be found here at the website of the Liverpool University-based magazine The Reader. Updated frequently and often carrying news of the work of independent publishers – always a plus point for me – the dignified and thought-provoking commentary here is a far cry from the wailing and gnashing of teeth that many literary bloggers go in for. The site also carries a selection of links to some of the more polished and intriguing literary sites on the web.

Here’s the link to the Roundtable Review. And a link to The Reader Online.

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Let Us Now Praise Varied Work

I’ve been doing some editing and consultancy work and generally getting things back under control over the last two weeks. But I’ve also been getting back into the writing routine. On Friday I had a piece on the Guardian Books blog about James Agee and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, his account of life among the sharecroppers in 1930s Alabama. And I have some exciting things coming up. It won’t be long before the publicity work for Cain’s: The Story of Liverpool in a Pint begins to kick in, but in the mean time the Key Ideas book needs finishing off, I’m going to be working on articles for 100 American Crime Writers, and teaching a couple of hours a week.

I’m excited about what we have planned over on The Reader Online, which is gathering momentum nicely. This week we have another featured poetry anthology from Bloodaxe, entitled Earth Shattering. These poems are a great way to start the day.

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Key Thinkers Review

The journal Forum for Modern Language Studies has a nice short review of my co-edited book Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language. This is encouraging at a time when work on its sibling volume, Key Ideas is underway. Here’s the review, which appears in Forum for Modern Language Studies 2007 43(1):102-103:

Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language. Ed. Siobhan Chapman & Christopher Routledge. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005. xii + 282 pp. £55 (hardback); £16.99 (paperback). ISBN 0–7486–1757–4/1758–2

Eighty key thinkers in linguistics and the philosophy of language are each presented concisely and clearly here in articles penned by some thirty distinguished international scholars. The articles aim to give an overview and a closer analysis of one or more aspects of the individual’s work, not necessarily repeating perhaps well-known facts but endeavouring to cast new light on relevant facets and bring out the development of ideas. The articles enthuse, promote further interest, and are particularly handy in this relatively small volume. Thinkers featured include Aristotle, Bakhtin, Benveniste, Boas, Chomsky, Descartes, Firth, Greenberg, Halliday, Hockett, Humboldt, Kristeva, Labov, Martinet, Marx, Milroy, Peirce, Piaget, Popper, Quine, Sapir, Saussure, Skinner, Strawson, Trubetzkoy, Whorf and Wittgenstein, and the whole is concluded by an Index, enabling cross-reference and further investigation. Each article has in addition a list of Primary Works and of suggested Further Reading. One might, needless to say, think of other thinkers who deserve inclusion – R. M. W. Dixon, to mention one –, but the essential value of this considerable volume remains secure.