Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths British Library April 28-August 29 2017 This is a good exhibition which is worth visiting if you’re at all interested in the Russian Revolution (that should mean everybody). It consists almost entirely of documents and posters from the period (appropriate for a Library exhibition), and […]

Russian Revolution


I’m delighted to say that I’ve been invited back to Trinity College Dublin to give another talk to their Literary Society, on March 30th. Moving on (or sideways? or back?) from T.S.Eliot and Lana Del Rey, this one’s titled ‘Wyrd World: Beowulf, Gawain, and Macbeth’. Should be fun.

Wyrd


If, like me, you believe that Ted Hughes’ Crow is the greatest post-war book of poetry in English, then you’ll want to read this. Short and highly original, it recounts the reactions of a widowed father who is visited by Crow to help him with his grieving. Each section is […]

2017 Thumbnail Review #11 Grief is the Thing with Feathers ...



From the Hidden Way is a collection of all Cabell’s poetry, notionally assigned to Robert Townsend, the fictional author from The Cords of Vanity (qv). As such it should be read as an adjunct to that work. It consists mainly of imitations of renaissance verse forms, but has some effective […]

2017 Thumbnail Review #6 From the Hidden Way/The Jewel Merchants ...


An ‘autobiographical’ account of the romantic peccadilloes of the fictional author Robert Townsend – ‘his gallant trifling with just half serious emotions’, as Cabell himself puts it. Kind of like Breakfast at Tiffany’s written by James Thurber channelling Lewis Carroll; i.e. quintessentially Cabellian. ***

2017 Thumbnail Review #5 The Cords of Vanity by James ...


Volume XI in the Storisende edition, this contains ten stories supposedly of incidents from the lives of authors (Herrick, Sheridan, Pope etc). The one about Shakespeare is especially effective in Cabell’s unique way. The fact that all ten authors are supposed to be figures created by Dom Manuel (in Figures […]

2017 Thumbnail Review #4 The Certain Hour by James Branch ...



A novel which concludes that domesticity in Mispec Moor is preferable to Romance in Caer Omn. Quirky, sardonic fantasy (think Thurber) from one of America’s greatest authors. This is Volume X in the Storisende edition, which I shall be reviewing once I’ve (re-)read the lot. ****

2017 Thumbnail Review #3 Something About Eve by James Branch ...


This review is dedicated to the genetically unique Güneş Taylor who, at the moment I am composing this, is writing the final words of her PhD thesis in what Rutherford calls ‘one of the grand endeavours of twenty-first century genetics’. Good luck, Güneş! Good luck, me. Rutherford’s book is both […]

2017 Review #1 A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever ...