Remainders — From the Times Literary Supplement, 1980-1989 by Eric Korn

Published by Carcanet, 1989, Hardback in Dust Wrapper. 1st Ed.

Condition: Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently faded at the spine of the dust wrapper. Previous owners’ inscription to the first blank. Text complete, clean and tight.

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From the cover: Remainders the very word sends a shiver through publishers. Eric Korns popular and controversial Times Literary Supplement columns are something else: as an antiquarian book dealer, his Remainders are wads of peculiar, recondite information and wit acquired accidentally among dusty tomes and on extensive travels in Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

He acquires a seventeenth century volume with verses subscribed A.M. Is this an unknown poem by Andrew Marvell? Over subsequent weeks he pursues the quest for proof through comic and ludicrous backwaters of scholarship. Like Odysseus he finds that the journey, not the arrival, provides adventure.

He goes to Dublin for the Centenary Bloomsday and discovers how inexhaustibly absurd the menials of the Joyce Industry (Professors, Lecturers, Journalists and others) can be. He goes to the Americas, to Malta and Gozo, learning languages and, from the perspective of Melanesian or Pidgin, shining a torch back on English and other speech disorders. Sometimes he travels hostage class; if no direct flight is available, he fantasises his journeys. Bibliography has never had so entertaining a champion; linguistics, no longer recondite, invite us into a genial Babel. Korns satire takes in censorship in all its forms, double-speak and journalism, modern politics and publishing.

Eric Korn has an endless fund of anecdote, irony and wit: what less would one expect from a permanent member of the London team of Round Britain Quiz?

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