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

Fated attraction

We remember Oedipous thanks to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), a psychoanalyst with a fixation on Greek myth who has disturbed us all, and made me self conscious just now of the … Continue reading

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Thirty pieces of silver

One of the characters in the Gospels who fascinates me is Judas Iscariot. He’s got such an all or nothing at all role. Either his role was predetermined by god … Continue reading

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Biography: PG Wodehouse

I’ve just finished reading Frances Donaldson’s biography of PG Wodehouse (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1980, Andre Deutsch 2014). It was the second time I had read it, and I felt again … Continue reading

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Monday, 12 September, 2016 · Leave a comment


I was idly watching a butterfly in my garden; a black and white one, who looked as though he had no particular place to go and was just window shopping; … Continue reading

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Thursday, 8 September, 2016 · Leave a comment

Stock Characters

In a documentary on PG Wodehouse i watched recently, a reporter asked a friend of the family where Wodehouse’s characters came from; he was nonplussed by the response that they were … Continue reading

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Thursday, 1 September, 2016 · 2 Comments

Flashman’s history

Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE (1822-1915) was a famous Victorian English soldier who had the rare distinction of being the subject of two best selling books. The first was … Continue reading

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Sunday, 28 August, 2016 · 2 Comments

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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Friday, 12 August, 2016 · 2 Comments