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I've had more books delivered this week than I know what to do with. Ok, so that is something of an exaggeration, but still, even four or so books is more than I know what to do with at the moment. I'm awaiting delivery of Jung's Answer to Job, in which I expect I'll find out that it's Job's fault - it's his mind that's at fault, which is fair enough. Then there's the second-hand copy I received this morning 'Moon Country - Further Reports from Iceland', a book by poets Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell (whose work I'm rather into at the moment), which follows in the footsteps of Auden and MacNeice's Letters from Iceland, billed as 'one of the key works of the 1930's'. Armitage and Maxwell's book is a pleasing 'mix of poetry and prose - reportage and imaginative elaboration'. Take this, the first few stanzas of the poem 'Song of the West Men':

To the far of the far
off the isles of the isles,
near the rocks of the rocks,
which the guillemots stripe
with the shite of their shite,

A trawler went down
in the weave of the waves,
and a fisherman swam
for the life of his life
through the swell of the sea

which was one degree C.
And the bones of his bones
were cooler than stone,
and the tide of his blood
was slower than slow.

As if that wasn't enough to delve into I also took receipt of two review copies for Tribune, Lives Like Loaded Guns - Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds, by Lyndall Gordon (which is a very long title!), which I have just started on, and The Persians - Ancient, Mediaevel and Modern Iran, by Homa Katouzian. I have been meaning to read up on Persia, or Iran, for ages, and then this comes along. I may take some time getting to it, but it's there, waiting, along with a few others.

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I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.

-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-

And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

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