Mind & body.

I am interested in the idea and practice of spirituality: but it may all be nonsense, and I may be venially corporeal. This category is a bit of a catch-all for posts on subjects ranging from the intellectual (I should be so lucky), to the spiritual (likewise) via the psychological and the creative.

Page 12

“Kiss Me, Kate” at Chichester

This is quite the show Billington, Purves, Letts and several others have noted. I only note that the musicals (both the Cole Porter show and the cod Broadway show he invents and parodies) are all the more beautiful because they take us closer to the sexual politics which Shakespeare's Shrew look at. Read more...


29 June 2012

“Avengers Assemble” is an artistic triumph

I have been nurturing an odd impression that I might really like comics, but it's not one I am giving in to. That is: I haven't gone out and bought any Incredible Hulk or V for Vendetta comics. I haven't even investigated print copies of Maus.  But I do know the force of the genre: as a nine year-old I ran a prep school dorm's library of 64-page war comics, and I get little hits of those pleasures now. This movie gave me a huge blast. Read more...


08 June 2012

In praise of Nevil Shute

The great thing is to go forth and get hold of the books of this very great middle to low brow writer of adventure romances, and read them. If this piece delays you in doing so, then ignore it. If it is what may push you into the Shute fan club, then please read on... Read more...


06 May 2012

Is Rosamond Lehmann the star pre-War woman writer?

I would love to pose the question: Is Rosamond Lehmann the best of the mid-20th Century female novelists? I am nowhere near well-enough-read to opine very certainly. I am thinking of the world before Iris Murdoch (my mother's favourite during the 1950s and 1960s) and Muriel Spark (whose books I loved in the 1970s). Lehmann's core competition comes from Stella Gibbons, Betty Miller, Jean Rhys,  Rose Macaulay, Elizabeth Bowen. Viriginia Wolf ought to be in there, but perhaps the point is that Lehmann and the others are middlebrow and Woolf's highbrow competition doesn't count. Read more...


06 May 2012

RDN’s 1977 Jubilee celebration

In 1977, Ann Brunskill of the World's End Press kindly held my hand in producing a poster for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. It was made with wooden and metal letters and the zillions of ornaments she had to hand in a Thameside studio, and printed on hairy paper (now a bit damaged). Here are three details from the work. Read more...


01 May 2012

The Dickensian 2011 myth

Ian Hislop very nearly told us (When Bankers Were Good, BBC2) that Dickensian bankers were more moral than our own. A couple of literati on the Today show  (BBC Radio 4, 7 December 2011) did actually say how awful and Dickensian our times are. (The inequality! The homeless!) So which is it? Read more...


07 December 2011
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