Tag Archives: books

Why Pamela Hansford Johnson disliked Iris Murdoch

The two novelists met at a dinner-party in October 1961. It was the only time they met, and apparently Murdoch, the younger of the two, left no record of it. Johnson by contrast was full of venom: Iris is heavy, … Continue reading

Posted in english literature, novels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thomas Mann, Freud and Music

Thomas Mann’s reputation as a writer rests on three or four great achievements. One was to have achieved the consummate novel of ideas.[1] In the quarter century after his death in 1955 this view prevailed.  The Magic Mountain  (1924) was … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, German Literature, Nietzsche in Turin, Philosophy and Philosophers, The Secret Artist A Close Reading of Sigmund Freud, Things German | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jocelyn Brooke’s ‘Drawn Sword’ — An English ‘Death in Venice’?

I was reading Jocelyn Brooke during a period of thinking again about an old love, the German genius Thomas Mann. Brooke is a serious-minded English writer from the mid twentieth century. He was a fine stylist, and with that went … Continue reading

Posted in Art History, Things German, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Did Nietzsche want Success?

                             Did Nietzsche want Success? Success is a judgement about how we relate to our own times. It is a synonym for victory over circumstances and other people, and in extremis other countries, those forces which might otherwise make us … Continue reading

Posted in Nietzsche in Turin, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German, Writing | Tagged , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , , ,

From the Life of a van Gogh critic: the debate over Diamat and the Run-in with Heidegger

The leading mid-20th century art critic Meyer Schapiro (1904-1996) was a funnel for the European ideas that rapidly modernized the American art scene between the wars. He was a superb commentator on van Gogh and Cézanne, and it was his … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Current Affairs, New York Intellectuals, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

With Derrida in Oxford

More than thirty years ago the artist-philosopher Jacques Derrida was working in the Old Bodleian Library in Oxford when he strayed into the shop. On offer were postcards  richly and decoratively redolent of the Western heritage. The shop has since … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Philosophy and Philosophers, The Secret Artist A Close Reading of Sigmund Freud, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments