essays on history, myth, ideas, books, film, music…

Holy books

I’d like to begin this with an acknowledgment of the role of women religious leaders, who have influenced much of the world’s population. They were powerful in many early cultures, … Continue reading

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Modus operandi

As a species homo sapiens sapiens has been prone to get its lines crossed and its ideas in a tangle. We have a modus operandi: what we still need is … Continue reading

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Looking ahead

‘Seeing is believing’, we used to say, and,  ‘the camera cannot lie’. Afterwards we became suspicious: Hollywood’s special effects, and Photoshop, made us doubt what we saw. In the 1930s … Continue reading

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Friday, 10 March, 2017 · Leave a comment

Orwell speak

I think the political warnings given by George Orwell in his novels and essays are now of less importance than those he gave about misuse of language. We have totalitarianism. … Continue reading

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Friday, 3 March, 2017 · 6 Comments

Persian fact and fiction

I’ve been fascinated by ancient history ever since schooldays, when Brother Chrysostom, my science teacher, once moonlighted as an ancient history teacher and blew me away with a thrilling account … Continue reading

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Sunday, 26 February, 2017 · Leave a comment


Have you ever noticed than when you take the English  word ‘apart’ (as it were), and separate it into two, ‘a part’, you change its meaning 180 degrees? The word … Continue reading

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Thursday, 16 February, 2017 · 2 Comments

Novels of Ross Macdonald and Patricia Highsmith

Reading stories about crime plunges you straight into the genre wars. What do Sophocles, Dostoevsky and Faulkner have to do with Agatha Christie, Chester Himes or Elmore Leonard? More germane, … Continue reading

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Saturday, 11 February, 2017 · Leave a comment