LITERARY CORNER

New column: Literary corner“To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry,” said French phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard. While American philosopher Mortimer J. Adler believed that reading books is a basic tool for people to have a good life.

New column: Literary corner


“To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry,” said French phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard. While American philosopher Mortimer J. Adler believed that reading books is a basic tool for people to have a good life.

Surveys have recently suggested a decline in reading not only in the United States but in many other countries of the world. There are popular book releases that lure people to bookstores, but these are rarely as crowded as the Bratislava shopping malls on a Sunday.

Any language teacher would be quick to confirm that reading enforces the process of mastering foreign languages as well. This is one of the reasons why The Slovak Spectator has initiated a monthly column to inspire reading in English and introduce new book releases available in Slovakia. The column will provide details of the books released as well as occasional book reviews.

New books in English now available in Slovakia

The History of the English Language (Oxford Bookworms Library); Author: Brigit Viney; Paperback: 112 pages; Publisher: Oxford University Press. (Published July 10, 2008)
What are the origins of the language which is now spoken by a quarter of the world? What will become of English in the future? Is it likely to maintain its status as the world’s foremost lingua franca? These are just a few of the questions that this slim but useful book aspires to answer.
“The history of the English language is a journey through space and time from thousands of years ago to today and beyond and to all parts of the world,” reads the introduction on the back cover of the book, which is now available in Bratislava. “Come on that journey and meet the monks and soldiers, the kings and scientists, the printers, poets, and travellers who have helped to make the English of today.”

Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction (Part of the Very Short Introductions series); Author: Klaus Dodds; Paperback: 144 pages; Publisher: Oxford University Press. (Published October 25, 2007)
Geopolitics is the study of the correlation of geography, history and social science with reference to politics and political patterns from the local to the international; at least this is how most dictionaries define the word. However, Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction takes the approach that “Geopolitics is a way of looking at the world: one that considers the links between place and politics, between geography, diversity and cultural diversity,” according to its introductory notes.
Klaus Dodds is a professor of geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Very Short Introductions are a series of books published since 1995 which offer an accessible way into new topics in a wide range of areas such as history, philosophy, science, and humanities.

Don Quixote de la Mancha (Oxford World's Classics); Author: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Translated by: Charles Riley; Editor: E.C. Riley; Paperback: 1120 pages; Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks. (Published June 12, 2008)

Don Quixote de la Mancha is not only considered one of the very first modern novels, posing intriguing questions about the line that separates reality from illusion and fiction, it also is one of those pieces of classic literature that literary critics, translators, artists, poets and film-makers reach for again and again.

Yet, for those who cannot read the novel in Spanish, Oxford World’s Classics have reissued Don Quixote de la Mancha in English, translated by Charles Jarvis and edited by E.C Riley, Emeritus Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. In his introduction, Riley quotes the Czech novelist Milan Kundera, to characterise Cervantes’ gigantic work: “The novelist teaches the reader to comprehend the world as a question.”


Also available

Business One: Advanced: Student's Book and Multi ROM Pack; Authors: Rachel Appleby, John Bradley, Nina Leeke, Jim Scrivener; Paperback: 144 pages; Publisher: Oxford University Press. (Published July 24, 2008)

Business Result Upper-intermediate: Student's Book Pack; Authors: Rebecca Turner, Michael Duckworth; Paperback: 167 pages; Publisher: Oxford University Press. (Published February 14, 2008)

Colloquial Slovak: The Complete Course for Beginners; Author: James Naughton; Hardcover: 288 pages + 2 CDs; Publisher: Routledge (Published June 18, 2003)

The Appeal; Author: John Grisham; Paperback: 496 pages; Publisher: Dell. (Reprint published: November 18, 2008)

Thanks for the Memories; Author: Cecelia Ahern; Hardcover: 352 pages; Publisher: Harper. (Published 2008)


This column is a selection by The Slovak Spectator of books recently released in Slovakia; it does not represent an endorsement of the books selected. The column is prepared in cooperation with the Oxford Bookshop Bratislava.

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