Monthly Archives: October 2012

“Cargo of Eagles” by Marjorie Allingham

Another great Albert Campion whodunit: there’s something about Allingham’s writing which I really really like. It’s a kind of knowing, yet sympathetic distance, a strong narrative voice, but always stopping before it gets too playful and you lose connection with … Continue reading

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Wendy Shutler, Ivor Game and Ben Richardson at the Poetry CafĂ©

A randomly-chosen and wonderful evening, a mixture of poems and songs. Wendy Shutler’s poems were perfect for readings like this: clearly written and delivered, funny, personal (mainly auto- or pseudoauto-biographical), with many a clever and/or poignant twist. Ivor Game’s songs … Continue reading

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Ginger and Rosa

Advance reviews not good: poor script, poor Rotten-Tomatoes score. Luckily I don’t often read reviews, and when I do often ignore them, as I really enjoyed the film. Sure enough, once warned of poor script you’re on the look out, … Continue reading

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Bronze exhibition at the Royal Academy

A huge collection of bronzes from all over the world and all over history, with a room dedicated to explaining, with models and videos, how these amazing objects are created. “Cire perdue” (“lost wax”) is the commonest, and oldest: wax … Continue reading

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“The Poet of the Iliad” by H.T. Wade-Gery

An eye-opening book; why did no one put this my way when I was studying Homer properly (or perhaps they did)? Probably because there was a reaction against detailed historical reconstruction, seen as sterile and unliterary. Yet Wade-Gery’s lectures are … Continue reading

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“Z for Zachariah” by Robert C. O’Brien

[Spoiler alert] A girl alone after nuclear war, running her family farm; a man walks in from the dead zone, in a unique suit and equipment that sustains life in radioactive environments. She romantically imagines marriage and a family; he … Continue reading

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The Social Network

Miserable film – what twats. Why didn’t the Winklevosses or Savarin just walk away and have an ordinary life? And Harvard – what an obnoxious place. And the students – both sexes – how horrible are they, and how horrible … Continue reading

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“What is a Classic?” T.S. Eliot

Lecture to the Virgil Society in 1944, in its second year. Starts long-Eliotly, with lots of Latin-based words and the kind of categorising I always imagine is rife in the German philosophers I haven’t read, but when he gets on … Continue reading

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“The Long, The Short And The Tall”, by Willis Hall

About “the dignity of man”, according to Willis Hall. Yes – that’s what it’s about. And how war makes stark the choice between dignity and survival. Lots of Iliad: the bickering of men at war about warrior status and women; … Continue reading

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The Divine Comedy

Wow. Took ages, particularly ploughing through Paradiso: they’re right that evil is more interesting. But it was a surprise. Mainly the strangely modern beginnings to most cantos, easy conversations on the lines of “you know when a candle…” or “you … Continue reading

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