Newsletter 179 – August 2012


Number 179 – August 2012 – ISSN 1470-1863

Arts, Culture, and Technology as seen from
the digital hub of Media city Manchester UK

Back to School – Writing skills required!

0— NEW PDF eBOOKS – Great Style

All of our writing guides have been re-designed
and given stylish typographic treatment by
talented professional graphic designer Matthew
Hague of Studio Social here in Manchester.

The PDF format can be used on laptops, mobiles,
and workstations.

STUDY SKILLS – guidance for all students

Covers concentration and memory, reading skills,
writing essays, research techniques, time
management, projects and dissertations.

Amazingly good value. Sample pages and full details

Mantex Newsletter Study Skills

0— Pub Quiz – Question #01

What was a ducat?


All of our tutorial pages on these stories
contain links to f.r.e.e downloadable eBook
versions of the story.

Two stories from American writer Edith Wharton.

‘Roman Fever’ is her best known and most frequently
anthologised tale. It’s a witty and subtle study in
manners as two middle-aged American women sit over-
looking Rome after lunch, reminiscing about their
younger days. One of the ladies comes in for a
beautifully delivered shock.

Mantex Newsletter Roman Fever

‘Confession’ is a murder mystery which is loosely
based on the notorious 1892 Lizzie Borden case.

It explores a puzzling set of circumstances seen
through the eyes of a decent but slightly naive
narrator who meets a beautiful but enigmatic woman
in a Swiss hotel and pursues her to Italy.

Mantex Newsletter Confession

0— Pub Quiz – Question #02

What sort of animal is a Lippizaner?

0— MARKING ESSAYS – guidance for tutors

Suitable for schools, colleges, and universities
Covers marking schemes, grading techniques, how
to offer support, templates for efficiency, and
advice on difficult cases.

Contains sample marked essays. Great value.

Mantex Newsletter Marking Essays

0— Pub Quiz – Question #03

What is a Taipan?


I first read these astonishing memoirs when
they were published in the 1960s.

What I didn’t know then was that they had
been abbreviated for economic reasons.

Now there’s a new edition which restores the
complete original text. Victor Serge was one
of the early Bolsheviks who became a victim
of Stalin, because he believed in democracy.

Fortunately for us, he survived prison to become
a great novelist, and lived in exile in Mexico
until his death in 1947. This is his amazing life.

Mantex Newsletter Memoirs of a Revolutionary

0— Pub Quiz – Question #04

What is your Pollex?

0— ELECTRONIC WRITING – communication theory

It’s an introduction to new writing techniques
using computers and the Internet. Covers word
processing, desktop publishing, and how to create
better-looking documents. Explanation of digital
text, electronic mail, and hypertext, including
the basics of writing for the World Wide Web.

Mantex Newsletter Electronic Writing

0— Pub Quiz – Question #05

In which hills is the Cheddar Gorge?

0— THE BRIDE OF THE WIND – Biography

Alma Mahler, or Alma Mahler-Gropius-Werfel
to give her name in full, was muse to a host
of modernist artists.

She had a fling with Gustav Klimt, and was the
inspiration behind many of her lover Oskar Kokoshka’s
best paintings.

She married composer Gustav Mahler, then architect
Walter Gropius (who founded the Bauhaus) and latterly
the writer Franz Werfel.

You might not be surprised to hear that she managed
fit in quite a number of other conquests as well.

She composed songs, neglected her children, drank a
bottle of Benedictine a day, and thought Hitler was
a great guy.

All these colourful details, and a lot more, come from
Susan Keegan’s splendid biography.

Mantex Newsletter Alma Mahler

0— Pub Quiz – Question #06

What is a Half Hunter?

0— JOSEPH CONRAD – two novels

Two of his earliest novels mark an interesting break
with the gung-ho imperialism of works such as Ryder
Haggard’s ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ and the start of a
modern consciousness that took a more sceptical view
on the activities of European nations in the far east.

They also show the early signs of Conrad’s famous
literary modernism – long complex sentences, non-linear
narrative, shifting point of view, dramatic suspensions
and an all-pervasive sense of grim irony.

The two books are populated by a number of the same characters,
and it doesn’t really matter in which order you read them.

‘An Outcast of the Islands’ is the story of Peter
Willems, a Dutch trader who abandons his wife and
family and goes native by taking up with a beautiful
local girl. Everything goes downhill from that point on.

Mantex Newsletter An Outcast of the Islands

‘Almayer’s Folly’ is another tale of moral decline
as another Dutch trader Kaspar Almayer dreams of
becoming rich by pandering to English imperialists
and mining gold in ‘the interior’. The only problem
is that the English pull out, and he doesn’t know
where the gold is located.

Mantex Newsletter Almayer’s Folly

0— Pub Quiz – Question #07

Who composed ‘Intimate Letters’?

0— PARTY IN THE BLITZ – Artists in the 1940s

This is the final volume of Elias Canetti’s
autobiography. The sub-title might be ‘Memoirs
in Jaundice’.

It’s an incredibly nasty series of portraits
of writers and artists who he knew whilst
living in Hampstead during the war years.

His favourite hate figure is T.S.Eliot, but
there is plenty of venom left for Iris Murdoch,
Katherine Raine, and Veronica Wedgewood – all of
whom were his lovers.

Nobel prizewinner in 1981 – not for charm.

Mantex Newsletter Party in the Blitz

0— Pub Quiz – Question #08

What are grades in Judo called?

0— LA VENEZIA – Vladimir Nabokov

This is a long short story that’s almost a novella.

It’s a variation on the old idea of blurring the
distinctions between art and the real world.

Whilst on country house weekend, the portrait of
one of the guests mysteriously appears in a famous
renaissance painting. The mystery is eventually
explained – but the guest has somehow brought and
object out of the painting into the ‘real’ world.

Mantex Newsletter La Veneziana

0— Pub Quiz – Question #09

What is the currency of Albania?


If you’re using numbered lists in a document,
there’s always a problem about what system
to choose, and how to punctuate the list.

Worry no more! Our latest f.r.e.e guidance notes
explain the best possible solutions.

Mantex Newsletter Numbered lists

0— Pub Quiz – Question #10

Where was Superman born?

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1. What was a ducat?
ANSWER: A coin

#2 What sort of animal is a Lippizaner?
ANSWER: A horse

#3 What is a Taipan?
ANSWER: A snake

#4 What is your Pollex?
ANSWER: Your thumb

#5 In which hills is the Cheddar Gorge?
ANSWER: The Mendips

#6 What is a Half Hunter?
ANSWER: A pocket watch

#7 Who composed ‘Intimate Letters’?
ANSWER: Leos Janacek

#8 What are grades in Judo called?

#9 What is the currency of Albania?

#10 Where was Superman born?
ANSWER: The planet Krypton

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All Rights Reserved

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ISSN 1470-1863
The British Library

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