Evoking Milan Kundera, Owen Hatherley notes that "the refusal to admit that shit exists" is a particular problem in Great Britain—a country that "has all but abolished public toilets."
Partygoers celebrating Verso's 40th birthday this past weekend got a sneak preview of The Verso Book of Dissent, available in stores October. No V-imprinted bricks, lovingly handwrapped by Verso NY, were actually launched (those are reserved for counter-revolutionaries, obviously), but there was much booty-shaking because, as Emma Goldman allegedly said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." That quote is not in the book, by the way, although another Goldman quote is—check out the book to find out which one!
Tariq Ali recounts a cheering encounter in a New York hotel:
A few months ago, tired after an event, I returned to my hotel, desperate for a sandwich and a glass of wine. I was served in the small bar, dominated by a small group listening to music and extremely noisy. Waiting for my food I took out a book I had first read decades ago and which had just been re-issued by Verso with a stunning intro by John Berger. I ignored the noise and dipped into the book, relishing both the ideas and the structure of the sentences exquisitely translated by Anna Bostock for Penguin all those years ago. Suddenly the noise decreased. The young people apologised for being so loud and switched off the music. One of them insisted on buying me a glass of wine. They had no idea who I was so I asked why? "A week ago my boyfriend read the book you're reading and thinks its awesome." We toasted the book. It was The Necessity of Art by Ernst Fischer. The episode cheered me enormously. A really good book will always find a home.