The Hollow Crown

Michael Wade, at Execupundit, reminds me I have this – The Hollow Crown – on DVD … and have only watched Ben Whishaw’s excellently foppish Richard II. Three more to go. And then, of course, there’s the second series. I need to block out some time and get my Shakespeare head on. You can, of […]

Our affinity for stories is deep-rooted

This is interesting. Jordan Peterson on perceptions of reality: Scientific truths were made explicit a mere five hundred years ago, with the works of Francis Bacon, René Descartes and Isaac Newton. In whatever manner our forebears viewed the world prior to that, it was not through a scientific lens (any more than they could view […]

Odysseus and his real-life friends – The Conversation

Researchers find that the relationships between characters in Homer’s Odyssey are more realistic than generally found in fiction, suggesting the epic is founded – at least in part – on historical events. Fascinating science reported on TheConversation.com, here, and coming to me via The Times, here: In fiction – the Marvel universe or Lord of […]

Jody Sabral

Digital disruption in the sleepy world of publishing – @jodysabral

More than just a digital copy of the printed page. Author Jody Sabral has a fascinating piece on the world of digital publishing (on BBC.co.uk). I was particularly struck by two aspects. Firstly, how the absence of a physical product is driving fresh approaches to marketing – no longer a lonely book-signing in the darkest […]

The Sense of Style – Steven Pinker

    I’m a huge fan of Steven Pinker’s 2014 book, The Sense of Style. It’s essential reading if you’re a writer as it makes sense of all those nonsensical “rules” you encounter in style guides. As a taster, check out this video which I guess dates from the book’s launch. I’ve only just found […]

A writer is …

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Thomas Mann A great quote, courtesy of Michael Wade at Execupundit. Mann was a German writer famous for Death in Venice (remember the strangely haunting Dirk Bogarde film?) and The Magic Mountain. The latter made me aware of […]

Gladstone’s Library – a place to retreat and write?

The UK’s only residential, and apparently its only Prime Ministerial, library, Gladstone’s Library in North Wales looks idyllic. Hat tip to Cultural Offering for posting a cosy picture earlier in January. I have to confess I hadn’t heard of it before. Now I want to go. And stay. And sleep with books.         […]

Christmas, Dickens, Desk

From the Dickens Museum, situated in Charles Dickens’ London home of 48 Doughty Street, I learn that Dickens had a pet Raven named Grip (actually he had three Grips in succession). The pet was the inspiration for Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem. I discovered Poe’s Raven through the invaluable Execupundit. Aside from Dickens’ desk, above, […]

Napoleon’s Kindle #Writing

From Cork County Library and Open Culture, via the wonderful Cramped blog: “Many of Napoleon’s biographers have incidentally mentioned that he […] used to carry about a certain number of favorite books wherever he went, whether traveling or camping,” says an 1885 Sacramento Daily Union article posted by Austin Kleon, “but it is not generally known that he […]

A Giant story in my head – Neil Gaiman on American Gods #Writing @neilhimself

There a nice little clip here of Neil Gaiman describing the genesis of his book America Gods. I absolutely love the book, but I confess I’m still not sure about the TV series. Some aspects of it I found mind-blowing, other bits not so much. Either way, both book and series are worth checking out. […]

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