Tag Archives: writing

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

Getting away to Europe to write: an English confession

I had to get away from my desk. From the train window, on this nearly last day of April, the sun shone through a basin of mist somewhere in Essex.  Between glances through the thick window, the phrase ‘the ecstases … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Cold War, Current Affairs, Europe, Philosophy and Philosophers, Who are you?, 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 , , , , , , , , ,

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

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 , , , ,

Candia McWilliam: the best case-study since Freud’s Frau Emmy?

In her prize-winning A Case of Knives (1987) Candia McWilliam, a British novelist of my generation, created a word-circus. Her sentences were high-wire acts, her dialogues acrobatic and clowning. She was the Mistress of Ceremonies, cracking the whip to make … Continue reading

Posted in Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , ,

Isaiah Berlin and the Policeman

  It’s become in my mind like Nietzsche and the horse. It’s Isaiah Berlin and the policeman. With Isaiah the startling event took place in childhood, not on the threshhold of extinction, and it happened to an utterly different kind … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy and Philosophers, Russia, Writing | Tagged , , ,