The Man on a Donkey

Christ Walking on the Waters by Sergius von Klever

Christ Walking on the Waters by Sergius von Klever

By H. F. M. Prescott (1952) David Foster Wallace started his speech “This is Water” with that old but salutary saw,“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?’” In 16th century Britain and Europe, the Christian religion was like water to fish. To doubt the existence of God would be…

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1984: the Play

May 24, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
1984-new-900x600

(Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, May 2017) (Based on an adaptation from George Orwell by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan) THANK YOU NOTE: First, The Varnished Culture thanks the folks at Her Majesty’s for their courtesy. TVC had bought tickets for a Saturday show, foolishly overlooking it was a matinee and missed the show. After some phone calls, full of contrition and abashment, TVC was allowed to present at the box office, and, with a little grovelling, to exchange redundant tickets for a Monday night performance. It wound-up with better seats! Again, thank you guys! It is greatly appreciated. And what a…

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Balzac & the Human Comedy

May 20, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Books, WRITING & LITERATURE |
Balzac by Rodin

Balzac by Rodin

Honoré de Balzac (20 March 1799 to 18 August 1850) Though he could at times play the gadabout, Balzac actually was akin to a Stakhanovite, regularly working all night and sometimes all day, fuelled by repeat pots of industrial-strength coffee. That led to work which could be rough and ready, and melodramatic in the extreme, but his colourful realism, vitality and fine feel for humanity informed that monumental, chaotic matrix of romantic novels and fragments (over 100) that make-up his collection, La Comédie Humaine. Lytton Strachey wrote: “Balzac’s style is bad; in spite of the electric vigour that runs through his writing, it is…

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The Crying Game

May 19, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |
the-crying-game

The Crying Game (Boy George version) (written by Geoff Stephens; released August 1992) [The Varnished Culture, upon hearing Boy George’s 1982 musical question, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?,” answered with a resounding “Yes!” Yet a decade later, post-Culture Club, this 1960s lost-love song, a lush throw-back, superbly produced by the Pet Shop Boys, is a perfect vehicle for the Boy – his crisp, clean, almost-falsetto pop tenor voice delivering a lovely, torch-sad lyric, assuming the role of a player so used to losing at love he’s now an expert at the game: “Someday soon I’m gonna tell the moon About…

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Uncomfortably Close…the Lawyer in the Freezer

Derrence

This story is one of the many lurid crime sagas that feature in staid and leafy-green Adelaide. And whilst The Varnished Culture staff all have impeccable alibis, this being Adelaide, we are far-away-so-close to the macabre events of 1979 and beyond. Unfortunately, it is one of several local causes célèbre where the jury’s verdict is in question because they may have been led to rely on tainted evidence – not corrupt evidence; just misleading, or dead-wrong. THE PLAYERS: Derrence Stevenson, specialist criminal lawyer (the victim); David Szach, Stevenson’s teenaged boyfriend; Dr Colin Manock, forensic pathologist, who gave crucial evidence at trial…

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