Archive for December, 2010
I was so chuffed and honoured to receive a personal email from David Cameron the other day that I decided to post it here. See below. –JWS
OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
TREASURY AND MINISTER FOR CIVIL SERVICE,
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM.
Our ref: ATM/13470/IDR Your ref:…
IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION.
I am The Rt Hon David Cameron, Prime Minister British Government. This letter is to officially inform you that (ATM Card Number 4900101775551222) has been accredited with your favor. Your Personal Identification Number is 413. The VISA Card Value is Ј3,000,000.00(Three Million Great British Pounds Sterling).
This office will send to you a Visa/ATM CARD that you will use to withdraw your funds in any ATM MACHINE CENTER or Visa card outlet in the world with a maximum of Ј10,000 Pounds daily. Further more,You will be required to re-confirm the following information to enable;The Rt Hon William Hague Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. begin in processing of your VISA CARD.
(1)Full names: (2)Address: (3)Country: (4)Nationality: (5)Phone #: (6)Age: (7)Occupation:
Forward Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
TAKE NOTICE: That you are warned to stop further communications with any other person(s) or office(s) different from the staff of the State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to avoid hitches in receiving your payment.
The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
NB: This was written for the Jewish Book Week 2011 programme, where JWS will be appearing
I was having coffee with the master of my old college, Mark Damazer — who until recently was the controller of Radio 4 — when he made the striking statement that the 1959 novel Life and Fate, by Vassily Grossman, is “quite possibly the best book in the world.” This, of course, piqued my interest. I bought a copy. As thick as my daughter’s fist, and with just-big-enough print, Life and Fate tells the story of C20th Russia through the eyes of a single Jewish family, the Shaposhnikovs. Every page is dense with a vivid and intimate beauty, all set within a grand, sweeping narrative. The novel was confiscated by the KGB, and remained unpublished until it was smuggled into the West in 1980, where it was hailed as a masterpiece. In September, Radio 4 are going to have a Vassily Grossman season; I would heartily recommend everyone to read this book, which I inherited from Mark, in advance. He could just be right. It could be the best novel in the world.