You are about to begin reading my thoughts on Italo Calvino’s novel If On A Winters Night A Traveller. Relax. Concentrate.
The book slides off the shelf, self-effacing, second hand. It’s bought and opened on the underground, and in the cliché so often employed to describe the magic of great fiction, it transported me to another world, or, in the case of Invisible Cities, infinite possible worlds.
The sordid irony of location in human history has never been so cruelly exemplified as it now is, in the actions of the brazenly barbarous Islamic State. Their opportunistic infection of the Hobbesian chaos of Syria, and the militarily porous swathes of northern Iraq, places the refitted jackboot of theological fascism on land to which the world owes a debt.
BOTH campaigns in this seemingly perpetual EU debate have built certain of their houses on foundations of slippery definition, linguistic sleight of hand, and idealistic stupidity -most obviously in the form of the category error.
Next time it would be to the nation’s credit we employed a bit more clarity in speech, and thought.
TO CONTEMPLATE the unbearable sh**eness of being a Newcastle fan.
I have ripped this title from the stunning 1984 novel by the intimidatingly talented Milan Kundera.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being begins with an abstract philosophical thought, essentially, ‘what do we put on the scales?’ (Mike Ashley is not the answer).
For some ‘being’ is light. Life is easy, happy-go-lucky: free. For others, it is a weighty affair, full of meaning. The novel challenges us to ask, ‘which type are we?’, and ‘is it worth it?’ To my continual pain, one I’m sure is shared, so does the beautiful game.
WE should not rush to reduce tragedy into symbolism, and martyr the dead through media.
Let us mourn before we politicise and make partisan the fact of someone’s murder, remember who has died, before we strive in weakness for a meaning beyond the profundity in any life – in any death.
OBSERVING the alacrity with which campaigners completely miss the point, I wonder if I’m making an error in attaching such importance to that trifling matter – the vote.
The vote. Dispensed only after centuries of struggle. The sacred, blood-soaked democratic right.
Now, as a privileged electorate faces the ballot, in an inferno of irony, no entitlement is more trivialised. Continue reading “Aporia and the Vote.”