In Elif Shafak's excellent TED talk on the ways in which fiction can combat the restrictions of culturally-boundaried identity, the author discusses her own history of literary controversy and its intersection with political censorship. Shafak - a Turkish author, whose most recent work deals with the story of a murdered sex worker - is no … Continue reading Monday Musing: Literary Censorship And Political Control
It has been an excellent couple of years for dystopian fiction. The closer we feel to the brink of humanistic and political catastrophe, the more we turn to fictional dystopias, as though to torment ourselves with the preponderance of warnings to stay alert to the erosion - however gradual - of the freedoms that we … Continue reading Monday Musing: Why We Love Dystopian Fiction In A World Of ‘Alternative Facts’
Answering the question 'What makes a novel a classic?' is a challenging task. What exactly is the common thread that brings a diversity of titles, from various genres and centuries, under this illustrious label? Although I'm sure that there are plenty of opinions on the subject, for me it's something about the universality of a … Continue reading 10 Classic Novels Everyone Should Read In Their Twenties (Part Two)
Welcome to a new week, my friends. I hope that you have all taken advantage of a chance to rest over the weekend. I spent Saturday indulging in admirably literary pursuits - including a trip to London's Donmar Warehouse to see a production of Coriolanus. Featuring the talents of both Tom Hiddleston (see my ravings about his performance … Continue reading Monday Musing: 20/01/14
Today is the birthday of one of my heroes - the fantastic George Orwell. Steering clear of too much gushing (with difficulty), I am here today to pay homage to this literary giant. A man of formidable talents, Orwell is remarkable for his appreciation of human nature and understanding of its expression within social structures. … Continue reading Happy Birthday George Orwell!
Continuing the theme of neglecting my work in favour of running off into the countryside, I spent a surprisingly sunny afternoon in Wallington, Hertfordshire (admittedly only just down the road from where I live) to follow in the footsteps of my favourite political author, George Orwell. Orwell and I have a long history. To this … Continue reading Literary Excursion: An Orwellian Outing