On ‘Paradise Lost’

“Farewell, happy fields  Where joy forever dwells: hail horrors, hail  Infernal world, and thou profoundest hell Receive thy new possessor: one who brings A mind not to be changed by place or time. The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” John Milton, Paradise… Continue reading On ‘Paradise Lost’

On Pervy Old Men

“But the picture of the Madonna went with him. Continually, even as he sat in his small hard narrow room or knelt in the cool churches, it stood before his outraged soul with its sultry, dark-rimmed eyes, with a mysterious smile on its lips, naked and beautiful. And no prayer could exorcise it.”Thomas Mann, Gladius… Continue reading On Pervy Old Men

On Bacchus and the Beast

“ ‘All present, Cap'n!' responded the mate Opheltes, leading along the shore what he thought was a prize he had won in a lonely meadow, a boy with a beautiful face like a girl's. Their captive appeared to be staggering and struggling behind a drowsy, drunken stupor. I looked at his dress, his face and… Continue reading On Bacchus and the Beast

On ‘The Imaginary’

I started reading The Imaginary: A Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination by Jean Paul Sartre (1940) on Monday 23rd March, on the train back home to Glasgow where I would be staying until this whole pandemic thing blew over. I just finished it as lockdown is slowly lifting. It's a book deconstructing the imagination: such as… Continue reading On ‘The Imaginary’

On Confessions

“The confession has spread its effects far and wide. It plays a part in justice, medicine, education, family relationships, and love relations, in the most ordinary affairs of everyday life, and in the most solemn rites; one confesses one's crimes, one's sins, one's thoughts and desires, one's illnesses and troubles; one goes about telling, with… Continue reading On Confessions

On Françoise Sagan and Sally Rooney

This is a comparative study of two novels by Françoise Sagan (b. 1935, Cajarc, France) and Sally Rooney (b. 1991, County Mayo, Ireland). Just for fun. I read Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends (2017) straight after consuming her second book Normal People (2018) which my mum had lent me. It was when my parents were down visiting… Continue reading On Françoise Sagan and Sally Rooney