Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Jolly Diner

Sir Isaiah BerlinThe reputation of Isaiah Berlin, that “charming, witty, urbane” and “brilliantly talkative” man, takes a thrashing in A.N. Wilson’s merciless TLS review. The books under discussion are Enlightening: Letters 1946-1960 and The Book of Isaiah, a collection of personal impressions from those who knew the big man. I never got on with Berlin. His undernourished ideas cast long shadows into the gloom of my undergraduate years. Berlin was a big name lacking a big book. It’s refreshing to read Wilson saying what many have long thought, “…that the author of The Hedgehog and the Fox was not worthy to lick the boots of the author of Philosophical Investigations.”

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The Book of Things

The Book of Things

This is the first draft of Chris Hamilton Emery’s stunning cover for my new translation of Ilhan Berk, due from Salt later this year. It’s been a long journey. Chris, at Salt, and Tony Frazer, at Shearsman Books, have been introducing this important Turkish poet to British audiences for some time now, first with A Leaf About to Fall: Selected Poems (Salt) in 2006 and Madrigals (Shearsman) in 2008. At over 250 pages, The Book of Things almost doubles what we already have of Berk’s poetry in English. It’s Berk at his eccentric best: boundlessly creative, astonishingly beautiful.

You can pre-order copies of The Book of Things from Amazon or direct from the Salt website. Your support keeps poetry in translation. Help us to keep making that happen.

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Welcome to George Messo’s Blog.

Over the next few months I’ll be posting updates about my books, essays, reviews, poems, translations, and extracts from work-in-progress.

And from time to time I’ll post related news from Turkey as it intersects with some of the poets I translate and with projects in the broader translation community.

So, welcome again. I hope you’ll make this a regular stop.

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