The Death of the Novel, or Worse

I’ve been thinking on and off all week about Zadie Smith’s article, “The Essay v The Novel,” in last Saturday’s Guardian. Basically, Smith talks about her new book of essays, and how more and more fiction writers are turning away from the...

Thanksgiving Thoughts: Mostly Mushy

I just looked back at last year’s Thanksgiving post, and what a happily mushy post it was. I fear this one may get a bit mushy as well, so if that sort of thing annoys or offends you, turn away now…   I feel a bit more melancholy this year — it seems...

Music, This Time

I was feeling sorry for myself last night.  It has been a very busy, crazy couple of weeks.  I’ve been fighting a cold for most of it, plus I have somehow wrenched my shoulder out of place and am fitting physio appointments into everything else.  And there I...

"Too Many Magpies" Takes Flight

Tuesday night saw the launch of Elizabeth Baines‘ new novel, Too Many Magpies.  I can’t wait to read it.  It looks like a small-gem-of-a book.  Elizabeth read from the beginning, then took questions, and then read some more from the end.  The audience was...

In Awe of Translations and Translators

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away (or so it seems), I was a Classicist, studying and teaching ancient Greek, with a bit of Latin thrown in for good measure.   Even then many asked why I would be pursuing such a line of study, what it could ever possibly do for...