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

Black Sea letters

There are two mysteries about the Roman poet Ovid. The first one is political. After 30 years of fame in Rome as a wildly fashionable poet, Ovid, aged 50, was … Continue reading

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Saturday, 24 June, 2017 · Leave a comment

Foot of clay

Akhenaten, the Pharaoh who introduced worship of the Aten, the one god, and banished the rites of other Egyptian gods, left a revolutionary legacy that undermined the role of Pharaoh … Continue reading

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Tuesday, 20 June, 2017 · 2 Comments

Too fond a friend

In May 1593 the famous playwright Thomas Kyd was arrested in London by officials of the Privy Council, the executive government body of Queen Elizabeth. Kyd was the author of … Continue reading

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Sunday, 11 June, 2017 · 2 Comments

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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Sunday, 2 April, 2017 · 3 Comments

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


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

Shakespeare’s fame

Not much is known about Shakespeare’s life, but that means that it’s always possible to find out something more (at least for a non specialist like me). Career trajectory Shakespeare … Continue reading

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Thursday, 19 January, 2017 · Leave a comment