Monthly Archives: May 2011

From A to X by John Berger

Reading John Berger’s attentive stories of friendship, oppression and love induces in me a languor, comparable to that of sitting on a beach late at night, food eaten and wine drunk, raging fire ablaze, listening to a storyteller. Something in … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Where shall I begin? The very begininning: the title The Penelopiad suggests spoof, comedic writing, not my favourite literary feeding ground. Why not the Penelopesian Wars? But I enjoy Margaret Atwood’s books, The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake are serious, intelligent, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Shared Reading | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Laconia: 1,200 Tweets on Film by Masha Tupitsyn

There was a time when the Duc de La Rochefoucauld’s book of Reflections or Sentences and Moral Maxims accompanied me wherever I went. If the Duc were alive today, there is a very high likelihood he would be tweeting, his … Continue reading

Posted in Film | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bento’s Sketchbook by John Berger

In Leonardo’s Treatise on Painting (Tratatto) he advises a neophyte artist to ‘quicken the spirit of invention’ by observing walls stained by damp, or the coloration of rocks, and in them to see magnificent landscapes or scenes of battle. Commissioned … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A Connoisseur of Non-Time

[Stroud Photos] He saw a film a day, sometimes two. He became a connoisseur of the non-time that preceded the  films themselves, especially in small cinemas where there were no advertisements or previews, where the audience was made up of … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Film | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Literary Renewal

The text below from This Space is a small excerpt of a terrific assessment of the work of Peter Handke. I urge you to read Steve’s quest to revive interest in this writer’s work. When the novel was published by Methuen … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literature in Translation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Velázquez’s Abbess

Velázquez: Portrait of Abbess Jerónima de la Fuente Did any portrait artist capture melancholy and resignation as decisively as Velázquez? In his portraits it is always the eyes that bring his subjects to life, here unforgiving, resolute.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | Leave a comment

Distant Cousins

Boring or beguiling, Berger’s writing invites reaction. Like his protege, Geoff Dyer, Berger is always discursive, roaming where inspiration takes him. Bento’s Sketchbook is a delightful indulgence (a folly in the original sense of the word), inspired by Spinoza’s sketchbook, an … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Are Eternal

On this day of Rapture: Jacques-André Boiffard – Bouche We sense and experience that we are eternal. For the mind no less senses those things which it conceives in understanding than those which it has in the memory. For the eyes … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Schiele in London

If you are able, make it to Richard Nagy in London to see the Egon Schiele: Woman exhibition. These exceptional drawings carry immense power. At the time of his death, aged twenty-eight, Schiele had left a profound impact on a reluctant … Continue reading

Posted in Visual Arts | Tagged | Leave a comment