“Our societies evolve and revolve around stories.” So says Alex von Tunzelmann, writing in Prospect magazine (April 2022) about the British monarchy. “They define our identities and norms, bond us … Continue reading
Stories are part of what makes us human because part of being human is the habit, good or bad, of telling lies.
“A frustrated singer should be content to be a frustrated singer; he shouldn’t try to become a singer of marsias.” In other words, a writer should not attach himself to any political or religious group and become their writer. Singers should sing their own songs and, if they are prevented from doing so, should accept their fate and remain silent.
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