Category Archives: literature

High Fidelity

Whilst reading Victor Hugo’s highly acclaimed 1862 novel Les Miserables, it occurred to me that it was not very much like the film version I had seen starring Russel Crowe, Ann Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. There was much about the … Continue reading

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War and Peace

The man at my local bookshop asked me what I was reading and when I said, “War and Peace” his eyes lit up. “Oh,” he said, “I’ve always wanted to read that, what’s it about?” At the time I was … Continue reading

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The Unexamined Life

Everything has to have an origin story. For some reason, it doesn’t matter very much whether the story makes any sense or whether a nine-year-old girl would be fooled by it, what matters is that there is a story to … Continue reading

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Hunting a Real Whale

Herman Melville’s groundbreaking 1851 novel, Moby Dick is an account of one man’s obsessive hunt for the whale that bit off his leg. It is also both not really that at all and an awful lot more than that, so … Continue reading

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Closure

This month I went to a reading at my local bookshop. Three ladies came along to read from their recently published anthology of short stories on the theme of closure. To add to the topicality of the event the three … Continue reading

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Experimental Ways of Living

Near the end of March, 1845, Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862) took an axe into the woods near Concord, Massachusetts, and he built himself a cabin by a lake where he lived, on and off, for the next two … Continue reading

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And Then

Pawel Pawlikowski’s film Ida (2013), is set in Poland in the winter of 1962. Anna is a young polish woman on the verge of taking her vows and becoming a catholic nun. Her mother superior lets her out into the … Continue reading

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Selective Reading

Alyssa Rosenberg writes for the Washington Post covering culture and media, she writes about television and film mostly, but she flits about a bit and often talks about books. In March 2015 she wrote about an idea suggested to her … Continue reading

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What Are Heroes For?

I remember the floodlights, high up, bathing everything in a harsh white light that hurt my eyes and I remember the sky behind them as black as moleskin. I remember the noise that made conversation difficult so I stood by … Continue reading

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Achilles in The Iliad

This is a second post on The Iliad by Homer, focusing on the central character, Achilles. In the world as it was described by Homer, Greek men took their position in society from the concepts of honour and shame. These … Continue reading

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