Roger Luckhurst of Birkbeck talks to me about the enduring appeal of Dracula and I ask him: “It’s all about sex, isn’t it?”
Last week I interviewed David Bellos about his new book on translation, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? (Penguin Books) and he drew my attention to this wonderfully creative and witty animation produced by Matt Young and Alan Trotter.
David explained that the film was unscripted; the filmmakers simply chose a section of their conversation with him and came up with typography and images to illustrate it. Or perhaps “simply” is the wrong word, since clearly a great deal of thought and artistry has gone into the film to make it bounce along with such a stylish sense of rhythm and pace.
My interview with David will be available on Blackwell Online shortly.
In the third of this short series of films, historical lexicographer Elizabeth Knowles talks about the history of the word ‘skulduggery’ and suggests a reason for its enduring appeal.
There are more tips on how to pursue word histories for yourself in her new book, How to Read a Word (Oxford University Press, 2010).
In the first of this short series of one-minute word histories, historical lexicographer Elizabeth Knowles explores the origins of the word “avatar”.
If this inspires you, Elizabeth’s new book, How to Read a Word (2010), contains lots of tips on how to pursue word histories for yourself.
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst introduces a Victorian classic, Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor, a work of journalism he has called “the greatest Victorian novel never written”. Interviewed in his rooms at Magdalen College, Oxford, he explains why this book is still well worth reading today.
A short interview in which Francis Spufford, author of The Child that Books Built and Backroom Boys, discusses his latest book, Red Plenty:
“Strange as it may seem, the grey, oppressive USSR was founded on a fairytale. It was built on the 20th-century magic called ‘the planned economy’, which was going to gush forth an abundance of good things that the lands of capitalism could never match. And just for a little while, in the heady years of the late 1950s, the magic seemed to be working…”