- Alfred M. Kriman on Artemis a Model for Widows?
- Toph Marshall on What Kind of Rope Makes the Best Gift? Martial 4.70.1
- Toph Marshall on Making Change for a Tripod
- Michael Hendry on What is the First Poem in Martial, Book I?
- Michael Hendry on Books For Sale
Category Archives: Culture: Fiction
My first venture into textual criticism of modern printed authors is now (I believe) out of embargo, so I have made a PDF and uploaded it here. If you’re not yet sure you want to click the link, the title … Continue reading
A real liar does not tell wanton and unnecessary lies. He tells wise and necessary lies. It was not necessary for Gahagan to tell us once that he had seen not one sea-serpent but six sea-serpents, each larger than the … Continue reading
Today is the 150th birthday of M. R. (Montague Rhodes) James. If you haven’t already done so, go to this University of Adelaide website and read at least one of his ghost stories.
I’d been thinking of tackling some long novel I’d never read over the summer break, and having trouble deciding which of the many such books to begin with, when I noticed that today is Ivan Goncharov’s 200th birthday. That settled … Continue reading
Today is the 75th anniversary of the death of M. R. James, author of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904) and three other collections. There is a very readable webtext here. Here is a classical bit from “Count Magnus”: “Like … Continue reading
Ada Spelvexit was one of those naturally stagnant souls who take infinite pleasure in what are called “movements”. “Most of the really great lessons I have learned have been taught me by the Poor”, was one of her favourite statements. … Continue reading
“The period of the winter solstice had been always a great festival with the northern nations, the commencement of the lengthening of the days being, indeed, of all points in the circle of the year, that in which the inhabitants … Continue reading
I just read Animal Farm for the first time in 40+ years. I don’t often laugh out loud while reading books (as opposed to blogs), but half of one sentence made me ‘LOL’. In Chapter II, the victorious animals inspect … Continue reading
Last year, Dr. Esquirol compiled a table of statistics concerning insanity. It reads as follows: “Driven mad by love: two men, sixty women. Driven mad by religion: six men, twenty women. Driven mad by politics: forty-eight men, three women. Driven … Continue reading
There nearly always is method in madness. It’s what drives men mad, being methodical. (G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Knew Too Much, VI. “The Fad of the Fisherman”)
Harold March was the sort of man who knows everything about politics; and nothing about politicians. He also knew a good deal about art, letters, philosophy and general culture; about almost everything, indeed, except the world he was living in. … Continue reading
“I don’t like men that are always eating cake.” (Gertrude Wentworth, in Henry James, The Europeans, I)
“Children need religion. They can always give it up later.” (Le Plaisir, 1952)
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell twice quotes a song popular among the proles of his imagined future, “composed without any human intervention whatever on an instrument known as a versificator”. He calls it “dreadful rubbish” and a “driveling song”, but it … Continue reading
An incompetent small-town Australian police chief (Royle) visits the lodgings of a headmaster suspected of murder (Doncaster): “It was a gentleman-scholar’s room: photographs of cricket teams, school groups, and a smart army photograph with a rather artificially grim expression. On … Continue reading
“I had made the discovery that if you put people in a comic light they became more likable — if you spoke of someone as a gross, belching, wall-eyed human pike you got along much better with him thereafter, partly … Continue reading
“. . . a thought-murder a day keeps the psychiatrist away.” (Saul Bellow, Ravelstein, p. 95) Inelegantly expressed, but the thought is interesting.
Another British policeman (Pumphrey) interrogates the headmaster (Crumwallis) of a worse than mediocre private school: ‘Hmmmm’, said Pumphrey. ‘You seem to do a lot of classics.’ It was not the remark Mr. Crumwallis had been expecting, but he perked up, … Continue reading
A British policeman is looking for a millionaire at a posh hotel in Bradford: It was called the Royal Edward, and for once it lived up to its name. The foyer was all white and gold and plush pink, with … Continue reading