Saturday, 29 August 2009

La Fée Verte

Both my recent trip to France and the fact that I've just finished reading Hemingway's 'The Sun Also Rises' reminded me about absinthe. I haven't drunk if for years and felt it was time to give it another go. Thanks very much to James for hooking me up.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Yevgeny Zamyatin - 'We'

'We' is the fictional diary of D-503, builder of the spacecraft INTEGRAL and citizen of Onestate. He begins the record hoping to describe the beauty and grandeur of the totalitarian society he lives in, but as the narrative progresses, his world is thrown into confusion as he falls in love with a resistance fighter named I-330.

Recognised as one of the key inspirations for George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', Zamyatin's novel has a somewhat strange history: after the book was banned by the Soviet censorship bureau in 1921, a rough translation appeared in England in 1924. Facing trouble at home over a book that had not been published in his own language, Zamyatin was eventually exiled to Paris in 1931, where he died in 1937. 'We' was not published in Russia until 1988.

I read this book in the Penguin Classics edition, translated by Clarence Brown. The cover artwork features Anton Brezinski's 'Painting of Futuristic Buildings and City' (above), but I also like the artwork featured on the Vintage edition (below).

Friday, 7 August 2009

Supersonic Festival 2009

I attended the Supersonic Festival in July and enjoyed sets by
Sunn O))), Remember Remember, Caribou, Head of David, Khyam Allami and Arbouretum. The highlight, however, had to be '70s/'80s Italian prog rockers Goblin (above) who played a lengthy selection from their career (including tracks from 'Profondo Rosso', 'Suspiria', 'Zombi' and 'Tenebre') and also took part in a Q&A session. They were by far the best dressed band.