Recent links of note:
In Praise of Asymmetry
Kevin Jackson, Literary Review
More than thirty years after his death, William Empson remains an obscure—if appreciated—figure in literary history. His well-deserved reputation will only be bolstered by the discovery of what was thought to be his oeuvre perdue, The Face of the Buddha. Until recently, the work was presumed to have been lost in the London Blitz. The truth is, of course, more literary. It was not bombed away; rather, it was left in a taxi by John Davenport while in his cups. Discovered in the British Library in 2005, the book sets out Empson's theories of asymmetry in representation and serves as a reminder of the never-diminished gravity of Empson’s work.
A bookseller’s guide to thieves
Emily Rhodes, The Spectator
During the 2011 London riots the only shop to elude looting was Waterstone’s, the high-street bookseller. Cultural critics lamented that here was firm proof of our civilizational decline: indiscriminate thieves couldn’t even be bothered to grab the latest bestseller. But fear not, says Emily Rhodes in The Spectator. Book-thievery is flourishing. Maybe we’re not doomed, after all.
Country Life isn’t snobbish—it’s just right
Clive Aslet, The Telegraph
And finally, on a lighter note, Clive Aslet offers a defense of Country Life, the magazine he edited for thirteen years. Derided as snobbish by some, Aslet argues that the magazine stands as a “bulwark against declining standards of literacy and visual taste.” Anyone who has had the pleasure of viewing Annie Tempest’s Tottering-by-Gently comics will know exactly what Mr. Aslet means.
From our pages:
The architect of the Reich
Michael J. Lewis
On the architectural horrors of Albert Speer.