John J. Thompson

  • This lucid account of Russian and Soviet history presents major trends and events from ancient Kievan Rus' to Vladimir Putin's presidency in the twenty-first century. Russia does not shy away from controversial topics, including the impact of the Mongol conquest, the paradoxes of Peter the Great, the "inevitability" of the 1917 Revolution, the Stalinist terror, and the Gorbachev reform effort. Tackling those topics and others, the new edition is updated to discuss the Russia-Georgia war of 2008, the 2013-2014 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, the war in eastern Ukraine, and the Russian annexation of Crimea. Distinguished by its brevity and amply supplemented with useful images and suggested readings, this essential text provides balanced coverage of all periods of Russian history and incorporates economic, social, and cultural developments as well as politics and foreign policy.

  • you are entirely happy with your poem / you are not happy then there is no charge and your deposit is returned / you are totally satisfied with the outcome / you are a man / you are a little confused / you are entirely happy with your poem / you are not happy then there is no charge and your deposit is returned / you are totally satisfied with the outcome . . .

    "Apostrophe" is:
    a) a figure of speech in which a person, an abstract quality or a nonexistent entity is addressed as though present
    b) a poem written in 1993 in which every sentence is an apostrophe
    c) a program-apostropheengine.ca-based on the 1993 poem that hijacks search engines in order to extend the poem infinitely
    d) a book of poetry written using the website

    The answer:
    e) all of the above.

    Bill Kennedy and Darren Wershler-Henry's Apostrophe contains all of these things, except the search engine (but you can visit that any time you like). Each line from the original poem has become the title of a new poem generated by the program's metonymic romp through the World Wide Web. Phrases rub against each other promiscuously; poems and readers alike come to their own conclusions. The results are by turns poignant, banal, offensive and hilarious, but always surprising and always unaffected. In other words, everything a book of contemporary poetry should be, and then some.

    Poet and scholar Charles Bernstein has suggested that Apostrophe may be related to Freud's notion of the uncanny, a somnambulistic drift that appears aimless yet somehow always returns to "you." Apostrophe is an entirely new kind of poetry: neither stable nor unstable, sections come and go, but the overall shape of the poem remains vaguely familiar, like a trick of memory.

empty