Tag Archives: literature

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

The genius of The Human Stain

Would they have given Philip Roth a Pulitzer prize for such an indictment of the state of America as his great novel, The Human Stain, turned out to be? It wasn’t published until 2000 but maybe it was in gestation … Continue reading

Posted in American literature, New York Intellectuals, novels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Le Carré’s Legacy: Passion in Germany and the Maze of Betrayal

In possibly his last novel, A Legacy of Spies (2017) John le Carré, aged 86, has done what writers and artists long to do, not for their audiences but for the sake of their own soul. He’s found the perfect … Continue reading

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

The Seventh Function of Language

Laurent Binet, author of the remarkable novel (in French), The Seventh Function of Language, seems succinctly to describe his technique on p.333 of the English edition: ‘one fanatics gently’. But is that English? Is the original, ‘on forcène doucement’, French? … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, French intellectuals, French literature, Literature in Translation, novels, Philosophy and Philosophers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Shakespeare and Wagner or Turning the Bard Inward

What is it links Shakespeare and Wagner? Almost a hundred years ago Edgar Istel  examined how Wagner borrowed from Measure for Measure to create his early opera Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love)and set out how Wagner read Shakespeare and … Continue reading

Posted in english literature, German Literature, Music, Philosophy and Philosophers, Theatre, Things German | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Iris Murdoch on the Easter Rising 1916

The Red and the Green was Iris Murdoch’s seventh novel and stood out in her fictional career as a unique attempt to capture an historical event. The topic was The Easter Rising, Dublin 1916, in which independence fighters staged an … Continue reading

Posted in english literature, Iris Murdoch, novels, Philosophy and Philosophers, Who are you? | Tagged , , , , , ,

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

Posted in Anyone's Game - my latest novel, Literature in Translation, novels, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , ,