The nobility of poetry and a normal life

Yesterday I visited the State Library of Victoria and there I read from the Collected Poetry and Prose of Wallace Stevens. Wallace Stevens is perhaps my most loved American poet, and certainly an influence on me - his diction, his mix of abstraction with the most remarkable particulars of the beautiful world, his romance of … Continue reading The nobility of poetry and a normal life

On a requiem

Image Source: Requiem Kyrie Master Chart, from Vienna Review This morning I listened to an old CD recording I had of György Ligeti's Requiem, which transported me, with its mesmerising and floating clouds of sound, back to my love of avant-garde music. Ligeti was a Hungarian composer who fled the communist regime, and pursued his development … Continue reading On a requiem

5 reasons games add to culture

As well as being a serious student of literature and history, and the occasional listener to melancholy and sometimes merely strange music, I play computer games, most especially, over the last 10 years, world of warcraft. Or at least I do play them now, and over the last week have returned to playing world of … Continue reading 5 reasons games add to culture

Parables of Shame

Franz Kafka was a poet of shame and guilt. So writes Saul Friedlander in his Franz Kafka: the poet of shame and guilt (2013, public library). Friedlander reveals to me the Kafka of sexual fantasies, spurned homoerotic thoughts, disgust at his sexuality and animality. This Kafka does not interest me, although I am intrigued to learn … Continue reading Parables of Shame

List: my lacunae in Bloom’s Western Canon

I admire Harold Bloom and his scorn for the New Schools of Resentment. I recognise my own motivations to read in his argument that "the self, in its quest to be free and solitary, ultimately reads with one aim only: to confront greatness.... Our common fate is age, sickness, death, oblivion. Our common hope, tenuous … Continue reading List: my lacunae in Bloom’s Western Canon