We are encouraged to believe, wrongly I think, that a play must be seen to be appreciated. To read a play, we are told, is to miss most of what … Continue reading
We are often exhorted to work on our physical forces by walking or cycling or working out in the gym. But it is not only British bodies that have grown obese, the same thing has happened to British imaginations.
Young people take themselves too seriously. It’s part of growing up and easy for grown-ups to make fun of.
Each new novel is the start of another phone call from a scammer.
Shakespeare could always see the funny side. His first comedy, A Comedy of Errors, was based on Menaechmi (The Twins) by the Roman playwright, Plautus, the Ben Elton of ancient … Continue reading
Fishing, not one of R.S.Thomas’s best known poems, but one of his best, begins prosaically but thoughtfully with a long sentence that runs to eight lines of verse. Sometimes I … Continue reading
There are certain words and phrases that are so closely linked to a particular source that the association is never lost. Such words and phrases must be used cautiously, if … Continue reading
Ted Hughes was unusual in not writing about himself or, for that matter, about anyone else. Most poets are not like that. They want to share their feelings with us, … Continue reading
Ralph Ellison’s reputation depends on one thing, Invisible Man, a novel, the only one he wrote, published in 1952. Mary Shelley’s reputation depends on several things: being the wife of … Continue reading