Category Archives: Literature

Dickens on Elections

In chapter 13 of The Pickwick Papers Dickens describes an election for the House of Commons in the borough of Eatanswill. There are two parties – the Buffs and the Blues. The two candidates, Slumkey (Blue) and Fizkin (Buff), have only one concern – getting elected. They and their supporters will resort to any chicanery…


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Chirp

If you listen to audiobooks, your choice has been mostly limited to Audible.Com. The book purveyor is owned by Amazon which seems in a race with China to possess the world. My money is on Amazon. Audible’s selection is very good and it’s not hard to find a good listen. The main problem is that…


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On First Looking Into James’s Lady

This is not an imaging result or any sort of diagnostic report. Rather it’s an account of an American novel more than 140 years old – Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady. Having reached an age approaching that of an Old Testament prophet I realized that I had never read a word of one of…


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Llanto Por La Muerte De Ignacio Sánchez Mejías

Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) was the jewel of the Generation of ’27; a group of poets and other artists which included – in its broadest sense – Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dali, and the torero Ignacio Sánchez Mejías. It was the death of this literary bull fighter that inspired Garcia Lorca to write one of the…


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The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) was the most original English poet of the 19th century. He was also, perhaps, the oddest. Some have speculated that he suffered from bipolar disorder. Virtually none of his coevals knew anything about his work. His father, Manley, was a minor poet who raised his son in the Anglican faith. He…


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Word Salad

Another damned thick book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr. Gibbon?  Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh I got a package from Amazon that was gift wrapped and had a note attached to it. The note read: “I can tell from reading your work that you are running out of words. So give these…


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Dumas and Rossini: The Count Goes to the Opera

Chapter 88 of Dumas great novel of revenge and adventure, The Count of Monte Cristo, is called ‘The Insult’. Here are a few excerpts pertinent to this brief note:   Albert went to his room, and dressed with unusual care. At ten minutes to eight Beauchamp arrived; he had seen Chateau-Renaud, who had promised to…


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A Nap at Opera – II

“Sleep – the opera was invented for no other purpose.” The opera being performed at the time the remark was made was Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable. Alexandre Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo (It’s 1838 at this point in the novel) Interestingly the opera was recently revived at London’s Royal Opera House apparently without much success.  


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Quotation of the Week

Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm – but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves. TS…


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Doing Nothing – New Revised Edition

A new Edition of Doing Nothing has been released. It can be purchased at Amazon as either a paperback book or in a Kindle edition. Go here for more details. Below is a new review of the novel: Kurtzman, Neil DOING NOTHING CreateSpace (708 pp.) $23.35 Paperback $9.99 e-book January 6, 2012 ISBN: 978-1461096535 Kurtzman’s debut…


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