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Spell
by
Michael Wallerstein
with a Preface by
Ian Robinson

ISBN 978 0 9567048 3 2
50 pp. paperback
demy 8vo £4.80


Spell is the third and last of a series of short books in which Mr Wallerstein defends English against a “loss of linguistic resource” inseparable from the cultural collapse of the last thirty or so years.
     English prose has become much less expressive and coherent, as he demonstrated in Dear Mr Howard. Lexical and grammatical incorrectness in speech is shown, in The Liza Doolittle Syndrome, to be a failure to make sense.
     Now Spell takes on the spelling reformers who say that English spelling is chaotic and needs to be made more simply phonetic. Wallerstein demonstrates that this view comes from a drastically simplified idea of what spelling and punctution do, and ignores the graphically informative nature of the system—another way of missing linguistic resource.
     The three booklets together constitute a defence of English in our time, that is, of whatever possibility we may have of making sense in our own language.
     They may be had for £4.80 each post free or the set of three post free for £10.00: to order
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  • Who Killed the Bible?
    by
    Ian Robinson

    second edition, with a new concluding chapter
    “The English Bible and the Idea of a Christian Society”

    ISBN 978 0 907839 87 3
    xii + 136 pp A5 paperback £9.60

    Mr Robinson’s argument, that all recent English translations of the Bible go wrong because they put into practice both mistaken theories and a mistaken notion of theory, needs to be followed in detail. This much-revised second edition concludes with a new chapter about the relation of the English Bible to the nation. It should be read in conjunction with the downloadable essay “Is the Bible a Book?” listed in the third column on this page.

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    Paperback editions of Christopher Morgan's two collections

    The Fire Jump
    and Other Poems


    and

    Stalking the A4

    From the cover of the latter:

    Especially in the twenty-first century it is not faint praise to call a writer a supreme master of the iambic pentameter, and Morgan's fluency in other forms is amazing. But Christopher Morgan should not be offered as a poets' poet, to be relished only by connoisseurs of verse: these poems are moving and funny as well as immediatey appealing.

    For the new edition of The Fire Jump Morgan has included one new poem, discarded the French and Spanish poems, and revised and re-ordered the whole collection.

    Stalking the A4
    978 0 9567048 1 8
    60 pp. demy 8vo £6.00

    The Fire Jump & Other Poems
    978 0 9559996 6 6
    85 pp. demy 8vo £6.00

    To order one or both go to
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  • The St Peter’s
    Chant Book

    compiled and arranged by
    David Wulstan

    This handy-sized volume, made for the choir of St Peter’s College, Oxford, has settings for all the chants of the Matins and Evensong of the Book of Common Prayer. The Psalms are organised by days, as in that Book, and there is a range of alternatives for the Te Deum, Benedictus, Benedicite, Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis and Easter Anthems / Venite. Composers come from all the centuries of Anglican chant and include no less than four Purcells.
         Professor Wulstan is perhaps the only living scholar distinguished both as a Hebraist, a musicologist and a conductor—he founded and for many years conducted the Clerkes of Oxenford, the pioneers of authentic performance of Tudor church music—but is also an experienced church organist and has a good idea of what choirs and congregations are likely to be able to sing well. His advice about phrasing and pointing is practical as well as authoritative.
         The Introduction gives a succinct account of the development of Anglican chant and its relation to the original Hebrew of the Psalms, together with some useful Notes for Musical Directors. A version of this Intro-duction appeared in Faith & Worship 69, Michaelmas 2011, and can be read on the Prayer Book Society website.
         Any musically literate person following the Prayer Book custom of reading through the Psalms once a month could for a change enjoy using this book to sing them, but its most likely users are church and college choirs or choir-led congregations. Any choirmaster or church-warden ordering ten or more copies may have a discount on the already low price: please email us to inquire or to request a specimen copy.
    pp. x + 36
    ISBN 978 0 9567048 2 5
    10.2 x 7.2 inches ringbound, £8.00 post free

    to order go to
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    Directors Brian Lee (chairman)
    Ian Robinson (secretary)
    Michael DiSanto      Duke Maskell

    Since 1970 we have been publishing criticism, fiction, poetry, theology, politics. Our list shows that what Matthew Arnold called criticism of life can still flourish.

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    copyright © 2014 The Brynmill Press Ltd

    Solzhenitsyn Revisited

    A. I. Solzhenitsyn, not quite uniquely in recent years, showed that a novel can be a serious work of the human mind. A good novel can be a way of thinking deeply about human life—moral, emotional, intellectual, social, immediate: whole. Part of Solzhenitsyn’s achievement in The First Circle, like Tolstoy’s before him in War and Peace, was to show Russia whole, and by so doing to recognise a nation great even during the not-quite-suicidal self-torment of the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn’s more prophetico/political writings, coming from the same mind that made the novels, also show knowledge and judgement of a kind that we need. The West would have a better chance of avoiding stupid hostility towards Russia if its leaders read Solzhenitsyn. He would also introduce to their minds a concept that does seem to be lacking there: national community.
             A front-page story in Metro (3 March this year) quoted the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.” (The U.S.A. of course never in the twenty-first century invaded Iraq.) This was about the reincorporation of the Crimea into Russia. Did you know before this blew up that the Crimea was no longer part of Russia? It certainly was when we fought a stupid war there in the 1850s. The following Friday Lord Ashdown, interviewed on Radio 4, uttered words to the effect that Russia, a declining and bad-tempered power, had not caught up with the fact that wars are no longer fought about national identity, boundaries etc., but to establish democracy. It is no cause for regret that Russia proved Kerry and Ashdown wrong, and without, thanks to the diplomatic brilliance also shown last year in their rescuing the West from its disastrous inclination to intervene in Syria, having to fight a war.
             The relations between the different parts of Greater Russia are complicated, various, but quite real. One might draw a parallel between the relations between the different parts of the United Kingdom, where too the question arises whether some of the parts belong. Even setting aside the fact that they are next-door neighbours, to suppose that Kiev is of no interest to Moscow shows the kind of failure to understand nations that is a disqualification in a statesman. We have noticed related stupidities in the present British premier. Ignorance of history is ignorance of present reality. For example do not we all suppose that Germany invaded Russia in June 1941? Not according to the new wisdom. Germany invaded the parts of the Soviet Union which are now Ukraine and Belarus, though they did get to Russia before they had done. Remember that Sweden, France and Germany have all invaded Russia.
             As to the Malaysian air-liner crash in eastern Ukraine: were you aware that civil airlines continue services over combat zones? Or is it only this combat zone? Are flights continuing over the Gaza Strip and Syria? Would you send your children on these flights? And is it realistic to expect combatants to suspend military operations while international observers investigate?
             Solzhenitsyn’s prophecy, before the final collapse of the Soviet Union, was that “The three republics in the Baltic area, the three in Transcaucasia, four in Central Asia, and Moldavia as well, if it feels drawn to Romania—that these eleven will be
    separated off unequivocally and irreversibly.” (Rebuilding Russia, transl. Alexis Klimoff, 1990, p. 12) Great Russia, the Ukrainians and the Belorussians need to be treated differently. Read it!






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    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

    Some pages from Ian Robinson’s book Untied Kingdom make a comment that we have not seen elsewhere. To read, click on
    read.

    For the whole book go to

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    Web Texts


    E-texts

    The new edition of Who Killed the Bible?, re-ordered, substantially revised and with a new concluding chapter “The English Bible and the Idea of a Christian Society”, can be had now as an e-book for £4.00.

    The reset editions of Wittgenstein on Frazer and Roger Elliott's “Discourses that Persuade . . .” can both be had as e-texts.

    FREE TO READ ONLINE
    OR DOWNLOAD


    Is the Bible a Book?
    by
    Ian Robinson

    Modern scholarship tends to ignore the whole by concentrating on the parts and their origins. This essay shows that the Bible can be one book only if the New Testament is allowed to read the Old Testament.

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    F. R. Leavis
    the Cambridge Don

    by
    Ian Robinson

    An extensively revised talk previously published in an abridged form in
    The Use of English

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    Every Literature Helps
    Presidential Address
    to the Leicester Theological Society
    by
    Duncan Campbell OP

    How literature does good is one of the great questions raised by all serious readers and unlikely to receive a definitive answer. Also, the world’s literature is very extensive. So to survey it in an hour’s lecture, organised around the question (asked from the point of view of a Christian priest) how literature helps, is to undertake at least two daunting tasks at once. Fr Campbell does so jauntily and as a critic with fresh responses to some wonderful works. Because this is genuine criticism it invites replies of the form “yes, but”. The memorable remark on the damnation of the leading characters in Wuthering Heights would be even better if extended to include the self-righteous Nelly Dean. The deepest insight in Bleak House is surely not about renunciation of the beloved but about forgiveness. (On which theme we see the notice about The Comedy of Forgiveness in column 1.) And so on. Here, that is, is a treatment of real questions that deserves attention and discussion—as a new demonstration that literary criticism is a non-scientific non-methodical form of thought.

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    Poetry in the New Matrix
    The Poet Laureate
    and the Bane
    by
    Brian Lee

    This thirty-two page pamphlet continues the series that includes Poetry and the System with some reflections on recent events and their bearing on the state of poetry and our common life.
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    Translation
    vs
    Paraphrase

    by
    A. C. Capey

    Mr Capey’s long-promised criticism of twentieth-century Bible translations


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    Memories
    of
    F. R. Leavis
    by
    David Matthews

    Mr Matthews’s memories of more than sixty years, going back to the great days of Downing, are a fresh testimony to the greatest English critic of modern times.
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