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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Koukouli, Zagori: Counting the Losses




Koukouli, a beautiful Zagori village: this is to lament the loss of irreplaceable, priceless heritage, the theft of over fifty icons from the church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, stolen sometime during the period before Christmas 2009. The thieves ruthlessly stripped the iconostasis, took gospels and the relics of saints, according to reports on the internet. They effectively destroyed the soul of the village, just as the theft of the same church’s renowned solid gold Epitafios (made in Vienna) had done in 1936.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Konstantinos Theotokis

The Corfiot writer Konstantinos Theotokis (1872-1923) is one of the greatest Greek novelists and short-story writers. His work deserves to be far better known internationally. I've been reading both Theotokis and Thomas Hardy in recent months, and enjoy them both, but very little of Theotokis' writing has been made available in English.

That is changing, thanks to Mark Davies, whose translation of "Slaves in their Chains" is to be published in September 2010 by Angel Books, London (www.angelclassics.com).

He is currently revising his translation of another of Theotokis' best known works, "Karavelas", as well as some of the Corfu short stories.

We have a treat in store. Congratulations to Mark and to Angel Books.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

At the Chalkface, Great Moments in Education

I've always enjoyed reading Ian Whitwham's column in SecEd, which I often read online. A collection of his columns has been published by Hopscotch. I've got the book on order, but here is the publisher's description. Get it for Christmas!

At the Chalkface: Great Moments in Education
is a witty collection of columns published in the weekly broadsheet SecEd since 2003. They explore the experience of the inner city classroom with humour, honesty and compassion.

These columns reflect the writer over 30 years’ experience of the classroom, showing what really goes on – they combine lightness of touch with some depth and darkness.

They reflect the vibrant, complex and sometimes heartbreaking nature of a classroom – and celebrate the rich variety of pupils within it.

Anybody who teaches or has taught in a secondary school, and anyone who has an interest in the issues facing secondary school teachers, will love this book, written by Ian Whitwham, who has taught for over 30 years in inner city comprehensives.

I did my teaching practice in a London Comprehensive, when I was studying at London University Institute of Education, so I can sympathise with Ian's columns. It's like reading about an alternative lifestyle and career, one which I didn't follow, but which I can experience through Ian's eyes.



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