Not by bread alone: two events to check out this week
I hesitate to disagree with Simone Weil, let alone Olwyn Stewart, but I'm not actually sure whether big Karl had such a culture deficit. There are some hilarious passages in Robert Payne's hostile biography which have Marx jumping up in London pubs and disturbing the peace by drunkenly chanting - in his 'rough, guttural, and altogether unlikeable German' - long passages from Goethe's Faust, a work he seems to have been obsessed with. (The structure of The Communist Manifesto is actually taken from Goethe's play.) In obedience to Weil's credo, though, I'd like to advertise two important events - one literary, one political - taking place in Auckland this week.
On Thursday at noon, the Service and Food Workers Union is holding a rally in Aotea Square to mark International Cleaners Day and to demand a better deal for cleaners in Aotearoa. The Servos will be presenting a golden toilet brush to the worst employer of cleaners in the country. It looks rather spiffy, doesn't it?
And later on Thursday Titus Books, the firm that did the world the favour of putting Olwyn Stewart into print, will be launching new novels by the polymathic Jack Ross and the enigmatic Bill Direen:
I'll be speaking about Bill's book, Olwyn will be reading aloud from it and, just to sweeten the deal, Titus is providing free booze. What more can you ask for? Be there or be square...