Tag Archives: literature

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 , , , ,

Plato and the Christmas Carol

Plato is despised for trapping the obsolescent ‘West’ in persistent binary thinking about the rational light and the irrational dark. Such thinking apparently persuaded us that the West itself was light, compared with parts of the world mired in bigotry … Continue reading

Posted in english literature, Philosophy and Philosophers | Tagged , , ,

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 , , , , , ,

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