The Guardian’s books blog has reported how some poets at a recent literary festival were asked which word each of them hated and why.
Here is what the poet Philip Wells said: “‘Pulchritude’ is certainly up there on my blacklist. It violates all the magical impulses of balanced onomatopoeic language — it of course means ‘beautiful’, but its meaning is nothing of the sort, being stuffed to the brim with a brutally latinate cudgel of barbaric consonants. Read more
I return again this week to a familiar topic: book covers. The London-based publishing giant, Faber and Faber, has always been known for its striking covers. It has now published Eighty Years of Book Cover Design, a magnificent collection by novelist Joseph Connolly of some of its most arresting covers through the decades. Read more
The feelgood element is much overrated in literature. Literature is a different kind of salve, and the thrill, sense of uplift, instruction and delight it provides should in no way be directly proportional to how well things turned out in the end. The ‘happy ending’ (or, in a phrase much used in literary – including, very much, publishing – circles, the ‘redemption and hope’ held out in the final pages) is also much overrated. Read more