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Welcome to David Prashker's Private Collection of favourite poetry and prose

(and occasionally some art and music, because, why not?)

Most anthologies simply present the works, and leave the reader to digest, reflect, evaluate, maybe even be inspired to respond in words of their own. In this collection, you will get the text, but also the response, of someone who has spent forty years writing prose and poetry, and the same forty years teaching it in schools: descriptions of how they have worked in me as the culture for my own growth. You will also get links to poets reciting their poetry, to websites that present more of their work, or to other subjects that arise from the work; and of course, each page is illustrated, and each is regularly updated, so you can return for more at a later date. Books in the electronic 21st century now change each time you re-read them!

Nor am I concerned to present "poets" and "authors" - those incidental mouthpieces of the poetic spirit, with their mundane biographies and their interfering egos: though perhaps, sometimes, a particular event may require comment insofar as it helps to elucidate the otherwise obscure. Literature is a process of language and technique, through which the human spirit may be animated. The love of literature is the love of that spirit, and the desire for symbiosis. This book reflects that spirit, by being offered at no cost.

Commentary, on the other hand, is simply one person's opinion, and in literature one thing is certain: that there are no correct opinions. So this blog is also open for comments and discussions, as new pieces are added.

An alternative version of my story “Library At Babel” (“The Captive Bride, page 18) is offered by Alberto Manguel on pages 129-130 of his book “The Library At Night" (Yale University Press, 2008). He recounts the building of his own library, in the southern hillsides of the Loire:

“The architect…contracted masons knowledgeable in the handling of the local stone, tuffeau, which is soft as sandstone and the colour of butter. It was an extraordinary sight to see these men work row by row, placing next to stone with the ability of skilled typographers in an old-fashioned printing shop. The image came to mind because in local parlance the large stones are known as upper case (majuscules) and the small ones as lower case (minuscules), and during the building of the library it seemed utterly appropriate that these inheritors of the bricklayers of Babel should mix stones and letters in their labours. “Passe-moi une majuscule!” they would call to one another, while my books waited silently in their boxes for the day of resurrection.”

Manguel might have added, but chose not to, that the large stones are cut in the shape and size of encyclopaedia, while the small more closely resemble paperbacks.

For myself, I am building my library in cyberspace, using binary numbers for building blocks, and javascript for mortar.

Contact me by email at argaman@theargamanpress.com

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The Argaman Press

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