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

Poetry (and poets) in translation

I’ve just read The Lesbian Lyre by Jeffrey M Duban (Clairview, Sussex UK, 2016), an 800 page, incisive and insightful book on translation, specifically on translating Sappho, but ranging over … Continue reading

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Myths about Sappho

Quite a bit has been written about Sappho, a seventh century BC Greek poet whose works haven’t survived. There are at least 12 translations in print (Carson, Barnstone (Complete Poems … Continue reading

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It runs away from you, like any other concept. It makes me ask questions. 1. Is beauty ideal or actual? 2. Is it a quality of objects, or a feeling … Continue reading

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Monday, 20 June, 2016 · 5 Comments

Nine sages meet

In Creation, a 1981 novel by Gore Vidal, he attempts to revise Herodotos’ Enquiries (Historia); setting out the war between Persia (Iran and its empire) and Greece (Athens) of the … Continue reading

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Tuesday, 7 June, 2016 · Leave a comment

It’s now or never – or never now

Is it time you thought about time? Like all concepts it dissolves when you examine it. Behind time lurks something much more real, but unlike time, we cannot explain it. … Continue reading

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Monday, 16 May, 2016 · 1 Comment

A man of feeling

It’s hard to believe he lived in the 18th century: the way he feels and reacts seems so contemporary. He is indeed one of the makers of our contemporary world. … Continue reading

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Tuesday, 10 May, 2016 · Leave a comment

Varieties of affection

This is an essay about how we describe, or try to, emotions and feelings such as love, and so is bound to be inexact, even obscure. I’m sorry about that. … Continue reading

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Wednesday, 27 April, 2016 · 1 Comment

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