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Twilight of Democracy: The failure of politics and the parting of friends by Anne Applebaum

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‘Our age,’ begins the epigraph to Anne Applebaum’s book Twilight of Democracy, ‘is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds.’ This disarming quote from French writer Julien Benda dates back to 1927; how little has changed in a century. Just one generation after the triumphant ‘end of history’ – and notwithstanding the impact of Covid-19, fleetingly referenced here – Western democratic societies are prey to institutional decline, increasing distrust, violence, and hatred.



Laurie Duggan is Poet of the Month

I’ve been fortunate enough to talk to a number of older poets, many of whom are no longer with us. I count myself fortunate to have met poets such as Carl Rakosi, Gael Turnbull, Ed Dorn, Jonathan Williams, Lee Harwood, and Tom Raworth. If I could use a time machine, I’d like to talk to William Carlos Williams, especially about the radical work he produced in the 1920s.



Open Page with Ceridwen Dovey

During much of my childhood, my mother was bravely and passionately insisting on teaching postcolonial African literature to (mostly) white university students in apartheid South Africa. I was probably way too young to fully understand it, but Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga’s 1988 début novel, Nervous Conditions, was one of the books my mother was teaching, and it had a huge impact on me.



Ali Alizadeh is Poet of the Month

In the first review of my poetry, I discovered that my writing was ‘headache-inducing’ and ‘best avoided’. I was pleased that my book had at least caused a headache for that sinister reviewer! Over the years, though, even hysterically negative reviews – and, boy, do I attract them! – don’t excite or bother me too much. The best thing I’ve got from a review is knowing that there are readers who pay attention to a book’s composition, to the labour that I’ve put into producing the thing.

From the Archive

September 2012, no. 344

Mike Ladd reviews 'Asymmetry' by Aidan Coleman

In July 2007, at the age of thirty-one, Aidan Coleman suffered a stroke as a result of a brain tumour. Asymmetry is a book in two parts. The first details the poet’s survival after this near-death experience, his struggle to regain full use of his body and to speak and write again. The second part is a group of love poems for his wife, Leana ...

From the Archive

From the Archive

November 2011, no. 336

Henry Hitchings: The Language Wars

Becoffined words Bruce Moore   The Language Wars: A History of Proper English by Henry Hitchings Hodder & Stoughton, $39.99 hb, 408 pp, 9781848542082  …

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