A Dormitory Without An Alarm Clock

His final message: “As to me, I leave tomorrow for an unknown destination”. Ambrose Bierce, author, Civil War Hero and journalist, then went to Mexico and disappeared. He was never seen again. It was 1913, and the sprightly 71-year-old chronic asthmatic with an acerbic tongue and pen vanished, as they say, into thin air. No […]

They Are Not Ripe Yet

I used to think ‘Sour Grapes’ was just a metaphor. Now I’m not so sure. I blame it on an article in a European journal, obscurely titled “XYZ – Nondum Matura Es” The XYZ is irrelevant, you can substitute ‘Atomic powered trains” or “ESP as a communication tool”, that part makes no difference, it’s the […]

No Definitely Good News At All

Eric Blair is a gentle name, and it’s hard to believe that an Eric Blair was, inter alia, a policeman, a tramp, a wounded soldier, and a (sort-of) revolutionary. This bio might fit a name such as Che Guevara or George Patton, but an Eric Blair? However, Eric had another life, and using the nom-de-plume […]

And This Image We Call Time

People spend a lot of time thinking about Time. I’ve just searched Amazon books for ‘time management’ and there are 17,283 entries. From ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ (in your dreams) to ‘Getting Things Done’. The seductive titles are bespattered with noble nouns which are all attractive, and all relate to managing Time: Happiness, Discipline, Strength, […]

Pain And Pleasure Do Not Enclose Him

Please do not read The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogel. You will never enjoy a movie again. Well, you’ll never enjoy one in the wide-eyed childlike enchantment way that even hardened movie-goers experience. Instead, you will spend the two hours checking each stage of The Story. You see, Vogel’s book, published in 1992, but preceded […]

As Though They Had Been Flooded With Light

When Mikhail Bulgakov died in 1940, at the same age and of the same kidney ailment as his father, his works effectively died with him. The Great Soviet Experiment did not encourage wide release of his plays and novels; indeed, it was only in 1966, a generation after its near completion, that his most-loved, most-famous […]

A Tail, Like The Other Foxes

By 1859, when Charles Darwin’s Origin was published, its author had a continuing history of multiple somatic complaints. He needed long periods of convalescence, and the inevitable debates that followed were shouldered, for the main, by the greatest science educator of the 19th Century, Thomas Huxley. Of prodigious intellect, and with an outstanding debating skill […]