Literature Long Read: This World Is On Fire – Mysticism, Rejuvenation and Peace in The Waste Land

2022 is the centenary year of TS Eliot’s modernist masterpiece The Waste Land. It is one of the 20th century’s greatest and most influential poems, and yet seethes with such profound imagic, linguistic, cultural and religious references that it appears intimidatingly impenetrable to the lay reader. That’s the modernist way. But let’s not be temptedContinue reading “Literature Long Read: This World Is On Fire – Mysticism, Rejuvenation and Peace in The Waste Land”

Literature Long Read: Utter Dismemberment in House Of Leaves

There is a very strange and small subgenre of literature that is so esoteric and self-reflexive that conventional attempts at categorisation seem to be powerless to define it. The Norwegian academic Espen Aarseth, in attempting to define the outer limits of literary potential made possible by advances in electronic media, noted such texts as ergodicContinue reading “Literature Long Read: Utter Dismemberment in House Of Leaves”

Literature Long Read: Service with a Smile in Klara And The Sun

One of the great things about being a fiction writer – or any sort of artist, I suppose – is that we have the ability (one might almost say the obligation) to present the world not in terms of scientific logic but in terms of intention, orientation, motivation, and choice. But we still have toContinue reading “Literature Long Read: Service with a Smile in Klara And The Sun”

Literature Long Read: The Abyssal Awakening of Mankind in Northern Lights and Paradise Lost

A couple of weeks ago I read Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights for the first time. There’s a reason for this, which shall become apparent soon, but for now, I’ll regurgitate the reason for missing it when it was first published. Just as I did for missing H.P Lovecraft the first time around, I dismissed itContinue reading “Literature Long Read: The Abyssal Awakening of Mankind in Northern Lights and Paradise Lost”

Literature Long Read: Gott ist tot, but Yog-Sothoth Lives! The perfect historical oddity of H.P Lovecraft

I’m a latecomer to Lovecraft. I knew who the man was when I first dabbled in horror and SFF when I was a schoolboy, but for some reason passed him by, maybe labouring under the idiotic impression that he was too pulpy for my tastes. The irony was that the many things I did spendContinue reading “Literature Long Read: Gott ist tot, but Yog-Sothoth Lives! The perfect historical oddity of H.P Lovecraft”

Literature Long Read: The Female (And Male) Myth in Beauty And The Beast

One of the advantages of having daughters is that one becomes extremely well-versed in the canon of Disney movies, and particularly Disney Princess flicks. As a cornerstone of modern culture, this is no bad thing (though upon watching Frozen for the forty-seventh time this assertion does buckle somewhat), and the fact that many of theContinue reading “Literature Long Read: The Female (And Male) Myth in Beauty And The Beast”

Literature Long Read: The Parable Of Nehushtan, The Bronze Snake

A lot of the background research for my novel The Green Man has involved reading The Bible. That’s perhaps unsurprising given that the story is about a group of Benedictine, Franciscan, and Dominican monks from the 14th century. One of the Biblical stories that I ended up using as a reference point in TGM isContinue reading “Literature Long Read: The Parable Of Nehushtan, The Bronze Snake”

Literature Long Read: Another Brick In The Dead-Wall: Pink Floyd and Melville’s ‘Bartleby’

Before the completion of Moby Dick in 1851, Melville suffered the traditional artists’ existential crisis: a lack of money coupled with being pulled this way and that by competing interests. Most of us who’ve chosen to pursue some degree of success in the arts have felt that Real Life frequently gets in the way. MelvilleContinue reading “Literature Long Read: Another Brick In The Dead-Wall: Pink Floyd and Melville’s ‘Bartleby’”

Man O’War Bookstream Delayed

I got word this week that the Man O’War Bookstream, which was due to begin streaming on Monday, is going to be postponed by at least a week after (drum roll…..) Covid has struck one of the actors in the production. Bravo, Covid, now you’re striking against the people who are innovating ways to getContinue reading “Man O’War Bookstream Delayed”