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Jim Powell was born in London in 1949 and was educated at Cambridge. His first career was in advertising, becoming Managing Director of a major London agency. He then started a pottery, producing hand-painted tableware for leading stores. He was previously active in politics, contesting the 1987 Election and collaborating with former Foreign Secretary Francis Pym on his book The Politics of Consent. He lives in Northamptonshire.
One of our Debuts of the Year 2011. March 2011 Debut of the Month. A panoramic debut about love and loss, THE BREAKING OF EGGS announces a major new talent and is an incredibly moving story of a man whose whole life is turned around as he finds everything he had always believed in crumbling around him. Funny, sad and thoroughly absorbing. Why I Wrote The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell... "First novels are often said to be autobiographies in disguise. This one isn’t. In fact, I went to great lengths to create a central character who was as unlike me as possible. Feliks Zhukovski is a lapsed Communist. I am not." Click here to read more...
The Sapphic impression of emotion poured out in unpremeditated speech is the product of sophisticated art. Such poetry confronts the translator with a formidable challenge.... Jim Powell is fully aware of the dangers, and speaks of the 'fluidity, ease, grace, and melodic variety' of Sappho's measures. Powell has tried to reproduce the effect. The resulting book is a brilliant success. Powell has shored her fragments against [Sappho's] ruins to give us a garland in which the flowers, though tattered, have not faded. -Bernard Knox, The New Republic Graceful, fluent, lucid while respectful of mystery: Jim Powell's unsurpassed embodiment of Sappho in English has all the conviction of art. -Robert Pinsky This new edition of The Poetry of Sappho translates all the surviving texts of Sappho that make consecutive poetic sense, including the newly discovered Brothers Ode, Cypris fragment, and other papyrus texts published in 2014. The translation is particularly intent on bringing over into English Sappho's formal mastery along with her sense. It includes summary discussions of Sappho's biography and the history of her texts, an essay on the formal character of her work and its tradition, and notes on the poems.
How much do we know about the people we love? And would you want to know the truth? 'An engrossing read' Sunday Times There's a bar at the crossroads on the way out of town. Or the way in, depending on whether you're coming or going. Marcie and her husband have run it for years. After thirty years of marriage, there aren't many secrets left between them. Couples often say that, don't they? But it's not always true. Arlene appeared in the bar one day, hoping that she'd find a man called Jack. Franky came back to town soon after, hoping that people might have forgotten the mess he'd left behind him the first time around. Franky's problem had always been women. Women and money. What Arlene's problem is isn't clear. It's obvious she has a history, but who doesn't? As Arlene gets closer to finding Jack - her father? her lover? - the bar becomes the scene of a great unravelling. In Jim Powell's Things We Nearly Knew, secrets buried a lifetime ago are dragged into the light.
'With his gallows humour and observational wit, Jim Powell gives us a vivid portrait of a man in meltdown.' Daily Mail When I was small, my mother showed me how to grow a carrot from a carrot. She filled a jam jar with water, cut the top off a carrot, ran a cocktail stick horizontally through the stub and suspended it over the jar, just touching the water. In time, roots sprouted, and when they were long enough and strong enough, the plant was translated to the garden and new carrots grew. This was one of the many exciting ways in which I was prepared for adult life. This is Matthew Oxenhay at sixty: a stranger to his wife, an embarrassment to his children, and failed former contender for the top job at his City firm. Seizing on his birthday party as an opportunity to deliver some rather crushing home truths to his assembled loved ones, it seems as though Matthew might have hit rock bottom. The truth, however, is that he has some way to go yet . . . With forensic precision and mordant wit, Matthew unpicks the threads that bind him: a comfortable home in the suburbs, a career spent trading futures and a life that bears little resemblance to the one he imagined for himself at twenty. When he unexpectedly bumps into Anna (the one who got away), the stage is set for an epic unravelling. Darkly funny, Trading Futures forces us to confront how change, like death, is an inevitable fact of life: feared by most, it can transform or overwhelm us. This is a brilliantly observed novel, for fans of works such as John Lanchester's Mr Phillips and On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. It also featured as Radio 4's Book at Bedtime.
Deconstruction is so labyrinthine (and rumored to be fatal) that it's become the monster that murdered philosophy. When Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, uses buzz-words such as "e;phallogocentrism"e; and "e;transcendental signified,"e; humanities students and aspiring philosophers may get weak in the knees. Following up on the success of DERRIDA FOR BEGINNERS, Jim Powell's DERRIDA FOR BEGINNERS, is an irreverent romp through deconstructive domains. Though Powell offers lucid explanations of the most important deconstructive ideas and texts, he also dive into lesser known works. One of these, The Right to Look, finds Derrida offering his thoughts on a photo-novella consisting of images of women making love with each other. Powell then goes on to explore how deconstruction, like an unruly mistress, has escaped Derrida, especially in the realm of architecture. Then, based on Derrida's assertion that deconstruction happens differently in different cultures, Powell examines how - through Buddhism and Taoism - deconstruction took place in ancient India, Japan, and China.
Think FDR was a great president? Think again. The Great Depression and the New Deal-for generations, the collective American consciousness has believed that the former ruined the country and the latter saved it. Endless praise has been heaped upon President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for masterfully reining in the Depression's destructive effects and propping up the country on his New Deal platform. In fact, FDR has achieved mythical status in American history and is considered to be, along with Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, one of the greatest presidents of all time. But would the Great Depression have been so catastrophic had the New Deal never been implemented? In FDR's Folly, historian Jim Powell argues that it was in fact the New Deal itself, with its shortsighted programs, that deepened the Great Depression, swelled the federal government, and prevented the country from turning around quickly. You'll discover in alarming detail how FDR's federal programs hurt America more than helped it, with effects we still feel today, including how Social Security actually increased unemployment, how higher taxes undermined good businesses, how new labor laws threw people out of work, and much more. This groundbreaking book pulls back the shroud of awe and the cloak of time enveloping FDR to prove convincingly how flawed his economic policies actually were, despite his good intentions and the astounding intellect of his circle of advisers. In today's turbulent domestic and global environment, eerily similar to that of the 1930s, it's more important than ever before to uncover and understand the truth of our history, lest we be doomed to repeat it. You'll never look at FDR in the same way again.
Today, thousands of years after her birth, in lands remote from her native island of Lesbos and in languages that did not exist when she wrote her poetry in Aeolic Greek, Sappho remains an important name among lovers of poetry and poets alike. Celebrated throughout antiquity as the supreme Greek poet of love and of the personal lyric, noted especially for her limpid fusion of formal poise, lucid insight, and incandescent passion, today her poetry is also prized for its uniquely vivid participation in a living paganism. Collected in an edition of nine scrolls by scholars in the second century BC, Sappho's poetry largely disappeared when the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople in 1204. All that remained was one poem and a handful of quoted passages. A century ago papyrus fragments recovered in Egypt added a half dozen important texts to Sappho's surviving works. In 2004 a new complete poem was deciphered and published. By far the most significant discovery in a hundred years, it offers a new and tellingly different example of Sappho's poetic art and reveals another side of the poet, thinking about aging and about the transmission of culture from one generation to the next. Jim Powell's translations represent a unique combination of poetic mastery in English verse and a deep schlolarly engagement with Sappho's ancient Greek. They are incomparably faithful to the literal sense of the Greek poems and, simultaneously, to their forms, preserving the original meters and stanzas while exactly replicating the dramatic action of their sequences of disclosure and the passionate momentum of their sentences. Powell's translations have often been anthologized and selected for use in textbooks, winning recognition among discerning readers as far the best versions in English.
Today, thousands of years after her birth, in lands remote from her native island of Lesbos and in languages that did not exist when she wrote her poetry in Aeolic Greek, Sappho remains an important name among lovers of poetry and poets alike,. Celebrated throughout antiquity as the supreme Greek poet of love and of the personal lyric, noted especially for her limpid fusion of formal poise, lucid insight, and incandescent passion, today her poetry is also prized for its uniquely vivid participation in a living paganism. Collected in an edition of nine scrolls by scholars in the second century BC, Sappho's poetry largely disappeared when the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople in 1204. All that remained was one poem and a handful of quoted passages . A century ago papyrus fragments recovered in Egypt added a half dozen important texts to Sappho's surviving works. In 2004 a new complete poem was deciphered and published. By far the most significant discovery in a hundred years, it offers a new and tellingly different example of Sappho's poetic art and reveals another side of the poet, thinking about aging and about the transmission of culture from one generation to the next. Jim Powell's translations represent a unique combination of poetic mastery in English verse and a deep schlolarly engagement with Sappho's ancient Greek. They are incomparably faithful to the literal sense of the Greek poems and, simultaneously, to their forms, preserving the original meters and stanzas while exactly replicating the dramatic action of their sequences of disclosure and the passionate momentum of their sentences. Powell's translations have often been anthologized and selected for use in textbooks, winning recognition among discerning readers as far the best versions in English.
In 1966, Jacques Derrida gave a lecture at Johns Hopkins University that cast the entire history of Western Philosophy into doubt. The following year, Derrida published three brilliant but mystifying books that convinced the pollsters that he was the most important philosopher of the late 20th Century. Unfortunately, nobody was sure whether the intellectual movement that he spawned - Deconstruction - advanced philosophy or murdered it. The truth? - Derrida is one of those annoying geniuses you can take a class on, read half-a-dozen books by and still have no idea what he's talking about. Derrida's 'writing' - confusing doesn't begin to describe it (it's like he's pulling the rug out from under the rug that he pulled out from under philosophy.) But beneath the confusion, like the heartbeat of a bird in your hand, you can feel Derrida's electric genius. It draws you to it; you want to understand it. but it's so confusing. What you need, Ducky, is DERRIDA FOR BEGINNERS by James Powell!Jim Powell's DERRIDA FOR BEGINNERS is the clearest explanation of Derrida and deconstruction presently available in our solar system. Powell guides us through blindingly obscure texts like Of Grammatology (Derrida's deconstruction of Saussure, Lvi Strauss, and Rousseau), "e;Diffrance"e; (his essay on language and life), Dissemination (his dismantling of Plato, his rap on Mallarm), and Derrida's other masterpieces (the mere titles can make strong men tremble in terror - Glas, Signponge/Signsponge, The Post Card, and Specters of Marx.)Readers will learn the coolest Derridian buzzwords (e.g., intertextuality, binary oppositions, hymen, sous rature, arche-writing, phallogocentrism), the high-and-low lights of deconstruction's history (including the DeMan controvercy), and the various criticisms of Derrida and deconstruction, including Camille Paglia's objection that America, the rock-n-roll nation, isn't formal enough to need deconstruction. The master, however, begs to disagree:"e;America is Deconstruction"e; -Jacques Derrida
The spiritual rewards and intellectual challenges of Eastern Philosophy are revealed in this visually stunning book, illustrated by Joe Lee and with 19th Century engravings. Eastern Philosophy is not an intellectual pursuit, but one that involves one's entire being. Much of it is so deeply entwined with the non-intellectual art of meditation, that the two are impossible to separate. In this accessible survey of the major philosophies of India, China, Tibet, and Japan, Jim Powell draws upon his knowledge of Sanskrit and Chinese, as well as decades of meditation. Whether tackling Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Dogen, the Dali Lama or Pantajal - Powell's insights are deeply illuminating. All the major philosophies of India, China, Tibet and Japan are explained and everyone - from beginner to expert - will find EASTERN PHILOSOPHY FOR BEGINNERS a beautiful and insightful overview.
If you are like most people, you're not sure what Postmodernism is. And if this were like most books on the subject, it probably wouldn't tell you. Besides what a few grumpy critics claim, Postmodernism is not a bunch of meaningless intellectual mind games. On the contrary, it is a reaction to the most profound spiritual and philosophical crisis of our time - the failure of the Enlightenment. Jim Powell takes the position that Postmodernism is a series of "e;maps"e; that help people find their way through a changing world. POSTMODERNISM FOR BEGINNERS features the thoughts of Foucault on power and knowledge, Jameson on mapping the postmodern, Baudrillard on the media, Harvey on time-space compression, Derrida on deconstruction and Deleuze and Guattari on rhizomes. The book also discusses postmodern artifacts such as Madonna, cyberpunk, Buddhist ecology, and teledildonics.
Of humankind's great achievements over the past 2,000 years, one towers above all the rest: the arduous, painstaking process of wresting liberty from tyranny's iron fist. The Triumph of Liberty chronicles this inspiring story through sixty-five biographical portraits. From the millions of men and women whose struggles and successes have made freedom possible, Jim Powell has chosen a few talented, courageous individuals whose lives illustrate the triumphing will of the human spirit. Some of these people, like Martin Luther King Jr., remain famous; others, like John Lilburne, who spent most of his adult life in prison battling England's infamous Star Chamber, are almost unknown. Some of Powell's choices-Ludwig van Beethoven, Louis L'Amour-may be surprising. Others still-like Milton Friedman or Margaret Thatcher-are controversial. Woven together, their moving life stories tell a brilliant epic saga of the triumph of liberty as a whole.
This sophisticated first collection by Jim Powell synthesizes personal and world history to produce a compelling vision of the past, through verse letters to friends and relatives, translations of Horace, Propertius, Sappho, and others, and allusions to ancient figures of history and mythology. I find it difficult to overpraise the ease of this writing, which in one act combines succinct physical presentation and explanation of it. . . . It is perhaps here that Jim Powell, not yet forty, most shows his superiority to many of his contemporaries and seniors. He not only understands the way in which opposites are necessary to one another, he achieves his knowledge in the poem, and so we grasp it as we read. . . . he has tapped a subject matter that is endless and important, and by the thoroughgoingness and the subtlety of his exploration shows he has the power to do almost anything. ?Thom Gunn, Shelf Life His title burns away everywhere in the volume, in the fevers of eros, divination, memory, destruction, and grief. . . . Page for page, there is more sheer fine, clear, yet syntactically subtle and metaphorically gorgeous writing in Powell than I have seen in some time. ?Mary Kinzie, Poetry Jim Powell's poems, like those of Thomas Hardy, are haunted forms, full of ghosts and mocking gods, shadows and foreshadowings. But Powell is a Hardy whose poems we've never read, a Hardy with his hand in the blaze, not stirring the ash in a cold and wind-torn grate. ?Jennifer Clarvoe, The Threepenny Review
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