Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Book burning is back in fashion. This piece sums up the whole pointless affair, describing superbly how the actions of self-righteous nonentities were inflated by a stupid and lazy media to global significance.

In the meantime, just as Shuggy argued:
More than a dozen people were killed and scores injured in confrontations in Kashmir today following a report on an Iranian TV channel of the desecration of the Qur'an in New York on the anniversary of 9/11.
Deeply depressing.

To continue on the theme, but change the subject, I wanted to understand the references in George Szirtes' The Burning of the Books so I have just read Elias Canneti's Auto da Fé. The poem is a set of reflections on the novel and what an impressive and strange novel it is, though I have not come to terms with it in my own mind yet. At times disturbing and at others darkly funny, it is based on constant thought and communication leading to total incomprehension, collective and individual, breeding misogyny, murder and madness. And, centrally, it is about books, libraries, "those burning places of the intellect"*, their lives, their destruction.

It could not be more relevant to the folly of bigots.

It is Autumn and all we should be burning are the fallen leaves. The first poem in George's collection is Chet Baker, so this seems appropriate.

*George Szirtes - Postscriptum

1 comment:

Jim Denham said...

Nice clip, even though Chet seems to have been a complete arsehole at a personal level (see the film "Let's Get Lost."

There's a great story about Chet and Mussolini's son that I'll tell you sometime...