Category Archives: Anyone’s Game – my latest novel

Antonio Tabucchi’s novel of pessmism and measured hope set in Fascist Portugal

Pereira Maintains, by the late Italian writer Alexander Trocchi, is a minature masterpiece. It is as satisfying in its form as it is morally, and contemporary literature doesn’t offer so many chances to say this. A smash success in Italy … Continue reading

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A Year in Philosophy

  According to A.J. Ayer, the history of philosophy, in the hands of ‘the old men’ who ran Oxford philosophy before the war, consisted in ‘repeating what Plato had said’.The annual lecture series at London’s Royal Insitute of Philosophy, in … Continue reading

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Scotland’s Relationship with England: is marriage the right metaphor?

My knowledge of Scotland is confined to a couple of cross-country visits nearly twenty years ago, and some imaginings for my most recent novel, Anyone’s Game. On one actual visit to the west coast I concluded the food and the … Continue reading

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Down and Out in Paris and London, or was that London and Scotland?

Over on Radio Four they’re reading Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London this week. After I’d written the fourth chapter of Anyone’s Game it was an echo of Orwell’s title, ‘Down and Out in London and Scotland’ came … Continue reading

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Anyone’s Game depicts Brave New Russia

I certainly had Huxley’s novel in mind when I was writing the Moscow chapter of Anyone’s Game.  As I wrote in my first blog on these pages, in September 2012, novelists tend to have other novels in mind when they … Continue reading

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A Modernist Woman

Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964) is for me the artist who invented Modernist Woman. This fabulous image is taken from his sketchbooks c.1920. What’s the difference between a modern woman and a Modernist woman? See the protagonist of my novel Anyone’s Game. … Continue reading

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A Russian Madame Bovary in Scotland?

Any woman novelist who writes about adultery has to hate Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. The French writer’s novel of 1859 is a masterpiece of nineteenth-century realism, but its attitude to ‘the fallen woman’ as used to be said is contemptuous. Lydia … Continue reading

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