Author Archives: lesleychamberlain

The Agonies of George Steiner

George Steiner, literary critic and polymath, has died aged 90. The problem Steiner he faced professionally in Britain and America, and particularly in English academia, was that his enormous breath of knowledge seemed somehow bogus. He achieved grudging recognition on … Continue reading

Posted in autobiography, Frankfurt School, German Literature, Literature in Translation, Things German, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Roger Scruton – A Personal Memoir

Roger Scruton – A Personal Memoir Roger Scruton, the foremost English conservative of his generation, was a brilliant man who would have wished to be a genius. This tension, and ambition, which he felt fiercely, kept him writing and publishing … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, British politics, Cold War, Current Affairs, Nietzsche in Turin, which I published in 1990, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A giant step, but for whom?

I had the feeling this now passing year, 2019, that celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the American landing on the moon were underwhelming.  The BBC showed a  documentary by director Robert Stone which in its first two parts featured … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Current Affairs, Film, Philosophy and Philosophers, postmodernism, Writing | Tagged , ,

Le Carre’s Agent in a New Field

What a genius John Le Carre has for turning out highly readable and perfectly plotted novels! Now into his eighties with Agent Running in The Field he shows no signs of flagging. It’s true there’s something old bufferish about the … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, novels, Writing | Tagged , , ,

A European View of Jeremy Corbyn

I don’t normally blog about politics but in the wake of the general election of December 2019 I can’t resist this. It’s the view of the liberal German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Boris Johnson couldn’t have had an easier opponent to … Continue reading

Posted in 2019 election, Britain Today, British politics, Current Affairs, German press, Who are you? | Tagged , , , ,

Letter to Nietzsche

The letter below was commissioned as part of an initiative this year to mark 175 years since the writer and philosopher, classicist and composer Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Röcken, in the German province of Saxony. The editors, Elmar Schenkel … Continue reading

Posted in German Literature, Nietzsche in Turin, Philosophy and Philosophers, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , ,

Van Gogh in Kent: the inspiration he took forward from his days in England

Van Gogh brings us so much happiness, although much of his life was tormented. He suffered like so many artists from the difficulty of finding a place in society and thus of keeping himself alive. In his early adult years … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Van Gogh in England | Tagged , , ,

Naipaul’s Journey into Darkness

In V.S. Naipaul’s novel In a Free State the intensity of his descriptions of landscape, and of the forcefield of competing human existences, is staggering. Has there been a better winner of the Booker Prize, the best-known and most lucrative … Continue reading

Posted in Anyone's Game - my latest novel, english literature, Girl in a Garden- my first novel, novels, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , ,

Armando Iannucci The Death of Stalin: how do you make comedy out of tragedy?

Armando Iannucci’s film The Death of Stalin (2017) graced The New York Times’ best-of-the-year list last December for good reason. It raised the question of how you treat comically a story of moral depravity on a vast scale. It reminded … Continue reading

Posted in Arc of Utopia - my latest book, Cold War, Film, Russia, Writing | Tagged , ,

The End of the Gift of Language?

In November 2010 one of this country’s subtlest interpreters of French thought gave a lecture in the capital on Aristotle and his critics. Geoffrey Bennington’s rare London appearance was billed ‘Political Animals…’ but his actual topic was The Death of … Continue reading

Posted in American literature, Britain Today, French intellectuals, novels, postmodernism, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment