Tag Archives: literature

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 , , , , , , | 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

Cold War Shakespeare

In the 1960s the Polish literary critic Jan Kott revolutionized approaches to Shakespeare. British directors Peter Hall and Peter Brook were so transfixed it might be said Kott made their careers. As a cycle of the first three of the … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, In The Communist Mirror - my book 25 years old this year, 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 , , , , , , , , ,

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

Greg Baxter’s Talent

The author of The Apartment (2012) and Munich Airport (2014) is a pointillist with words. He’s like the nineteenth-century painter Seurat conjuring a million dots into a picture of reality; except he’s a writer. His words are like pixels: amass … Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs, Writing | Tagged , , , ,