Tag Archives: philosophy

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 , , , , , ,

Victor Klemperer, the German-Jewish academic who chronicled everyday life in Hitler’s Germany

Victor Klemperer was a German-Jewish academic whose survival of the Hitler years made possible his unique and irreplaceable testimony. Through 1931-1945 he kept detailed diaries of daily life in Dresden. There were sketches of a few friends who became Nazi … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Europe, German Literature, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German, 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

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A Year in Philosophy

  According to A.J. Ayer, the history of philosophy, in the hands of ‘the old men’ who ran Oxford philosophy before the war, consisted in ‘repeating what Plato had said’.The annual lecture series at London’s Royal Insitute of Philosophy, in … Continue reading

Posted in Anyone's Game - my latest novel, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German | Tagged , , , ,

The Natural History of Destruction

The title, and the concept, belong to W.G. (“Max”) Sebald, who died so tragically young. I suggested in my book A Shoe Story that a literal translation of Luftkrieg und Literatur [‘Airwar and Literature’] would have been more helpful and drawn more … Continue reading

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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

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