Category Archives: Who are you?

A Conservative British Childhood Two Hundred Years Ago John Ruskin and his Parents

Ruskin born in February 1819 was five years old when his parents took him to visit the field of Waterloo. It was a moment in an heroic Tory childhood he might like to have remembered better. His autobiography Praeterita records his … Continue reading

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Getting away to Europe to write: an English confession

I had to get away from my desk. From the train window, on this nearly last day of April, the sun shone through a basin of mist somewhere in Essex.  Between glances through the thick window, the phrase ‘the ecstases … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Cold War, Current Affairs, Europe, Philosophy and Philosophers, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Year to Come for a European-minded writer who lives in England

I’m a European-minded writer who lives in England and writes in English, which is my native tongue. I’m not monoglot. French, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish are all available to me, but I’ll never now make the step of trying … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Britain Today, Nietzsche in Turin, The Secret Artist A Close Reading of Sigmund Freud, Things German, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Art, Wealth and Contemporary London: On a Film by Joanna Hogg

Exhibition is a fierce exposé of art and wealth in contemporary London. It’s the third film by British photographer turned director Joanna Hogg and it might be described as puzzling, minimalist and arthouse by turns. Hogg works repeatedly, like the … Continue reading

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Mrs Leyland and the Return of the Freudian Id

In Britain a 63-year-old woman described as a church-going mother who kept to herself appears to have killed herself after being found out posting abusive messages on Twitter to a couple whose three-year-old daughter was abducted seven years ago. The … Continue reading

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Candia McWilliam: the best case-study since Freud’s Frau Emmy?

In her prize-winning A Case of Knives (1987) Candia McWilliam, a British novelist of my generation, created a word-circus. Her sentences were high-wire acts, her dialogues acrobatic and clowning. She was the Mistress of Ceremonies, cracking the whip to make … Continue reading

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From deckchairs to Google Glass

Czecho  (aka The Czech Republic) is a small, highly cultured, enterprising and design-conscious country and I generally like what I see (outside of the politics). It’s a way of life that’s mostly familiar, mine, and yet not. Some features of … Continue reading

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