“Group of Dead of the Judgement” Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1557)

March 29th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

On This Day

February 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

711 years ago, valiant Robert the Bruce stabs a man to death in a church

450 years ago, Lord Darnley is found strangled and half naked in the Kirk o’Field

21 years ago, a man is beaten in a game of chess by a computer

Achilles & Penthesilea

February 9th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Vase at the British Museum. Achilles takes out Penthesilea the Amazon with a spear to the neck. On the back, Dionysos and his son Oinopion are drinking.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) – Carl Dreyer

February 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Book Review – “H For Hawk” Helen Macdonald (2014)

November 10th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes. How to deal with grief and depression using a bird of prey.

Book Review – “Everything to Nothing” Geert Buelens (2015)

October 20th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes. It’s an interesting way of looking at the 1st World War. To be honest though, I would have liked a bit more poetry, and a bit more discussion about the structure and formal effectiveness of that poetry. To be shown just how much of an everyday cultural integer poetry once was is a revelation to me.

Adolph Menzel (1815 – 1905)

October 12th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Book Review – “Chernobyl Prayer” Svetlana Alexievich (1997/2013)

September 30th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes, yes, yes. This is a brilliant book – saddening, maddening and moving.

Book Review – “Pig Earth” John Berger (1979)

May 3rd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes, most definitely. Great character-driven short stories about French peasants, with poems inbetween. Long live the cocodrille.

Book Review “Hiroshima” John Hersey (1st published 1946)

April 27th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes. I should have been made to read this at school. The strength of will of some of the (6) people focussed on in the book is astonishing. In addition, below is the original USA programme ‘This is Your Life’ featuring one of those people, Kiyoshi Tanimoto.  At around 15 minutes, just after Tanimoto has described seeing people with their skin hanging off, as a ‘procession of ghosts’, he is introduced to Captain Robert Lewis, with a flourish of harp music and audience applause. Lewis was co-pilot of ‘Enola Gay‘, the plane from which the atomic bomb was dropped onto Hiroshima. Apparently he had been drinking. It’s a bizarre and uncomfortable scene, particularly as the show is interrupted now and then with adverts for Hazel Bishop’s nail polish. Further below is a video from the USAF made in 1946, showing the extent of burn damage to some of the bomb victims.

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