Goat

Right now you can read The Fountain in the Forest in synch with the French Republican Calendar. I started posting daily updates here and on Twitter on Monday 2 March, and these will continue for the next twenty-seven days.

Conversion between the Republican and Gregorian Calendars is imprecise, but by common reckoning (i.e. Charles-Gilbert Romme’s rule for calculating leap years) today’s date 4 March 2020 converts to Quintidi 15 Ventôse CCXXVIII in the Revolutionary Calendar. Factoring in Fabre d’Eglantine’s system of everyday rural imagery, 15 Ventôse CCXXVIII and Chapter 3 of the novel are dedicated to the goat.

To celebrate here are two versions of the great Larry Marshall’s rocksteady and reggae classic ‘Nanny Goat’.

The original 1968 Studio One 7″:

A 1977 12″ version by Larry Marshall & Trinity:

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Buy The Fountain in the Forest from the Waterstones site, to ‘click and collect’ from your local branch

Hedge Mustard

Right now – this year and every year – it’s possible to read my latest novel The Fountain in the Forest in synch with the French Republican Calendar.

Today’s date* Quartidi 14 Ventôse CCXXVIII and Chapter 2 of the novel are dedicated to Hedge Mustard.

You can buy Hedge Mustard seeds from Nicky’s Nursery in time to sow in early May.

P.S. Watch out for more The Fountain in the Forest / French Republican Calendar posts over the next 28 days.

*According to Charles-Gilbert Romme’s rule for calculating leap years.

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Buy The Fountain in the Forest direct from publisher Faber and Faber 

The Fountain in the Forest was a Guardian ‘Book of the Day’ – read Sukhdev Sandhu’s review

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Common Fumitory

Should anyone wish to read The Fountain in the Forest in synch with the French Republican Calendar – which features in the novel – today’s date and Chapter 1 of the novel are (according to certain reliable authorities) dedicated to Fumeterre, the Common Fumitory.

Having spoken about the French Republican Calendar alongside many wonderful and inspiring performances by an amazing group of artists, writers and musicians at David Collard’s ‘A Leap in the Dark’ literary shindig on Saturday 29 February, it occurred to me that this may be of interest ;)

While conversions between the Gregorian and Republican Calendars are imprecise (or as some would say ‘speculative’), according to those Gregorian-to-Republican Calendar converters which privilege Charles-Gilbert Romme’s prefered method for calculating leap years, today’s date Monday 2 March is Tridi 13 Ventôse 228, and the day is dedicated to the Common Fumitory; and so on. By the same calculation, Chapter 30 of the novel corresponds with 12 Germinal 193, and is dedicated to the Hornbeam.

Luke Bird’s cover design for both Trade and B-Format paperbacks of The Fountain in the Forest, uses an engraving by Louis Lafitte, an artist of the Revolutionary period, which despite appearances is not a picture of Leda and the Swan, but is in fact an allegory of the Revolutionary month of Thermidor, from an edition of the Revolutionary Calendar that Lafitte illustrated.

Photo Isidre Blanc — CC BY-SA 4.0

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Buy The Fountain in the Forest direct from publisher Faber and Faber 

Sign up to receive news and invites to Tony White’s book launches and events

Essex Book Festival, 15 March 2020

I’m delighted to be joining Philip Terry at Firstsite, Colchester on 15 March for readings and conversation at the Essex Book Festival launch of his The Penguin Book of Oulipo, which I reviewed for the Guardian recently.

Here’s the blurb:

The Penguin Book of Oulipo book launch. This is the first collection in English to bring together 100 pieces of “Oulipo” writing. Editor and translator Philip Terry will be joined by novelist Tony White to read and discuss selections from the book, as well as some of their own writing inspired by the group.

I’ll be reading from The Fountain in the Forest, plus one or two gems from Philip’s wonderful anthology.

  • 15 March 2020, 4:00–5:00pm.
  • Essex Book Festival, Studio 1, Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH.
  • Tickets: 27 years and under: £5.00 | Standard: £7.00. Info and bookings.

A yearlong reading of Gertrude Stein

Live from the domestic-underground! Photos from (around the edges of) last Saturday’s group reading/performance of They are all of them themselves and they repeat it and I hear it: a yearlong reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans (1925). With thanks to instigators Irene Revell and Anna Barham for the invitation to participate.