Language, Truth and Logic

(by A. J. Ayer) It is a pleasure to read Ayer’s demolition of metaphysics, even though it leaves an arid philosophical landscape. Written in 1936, a time when perhaps we might have done with a small dollop of silly spirituality, Ayer has the cracking lines:  ‘Our charge against the metaphysician is not that he attempts to employ the understanding in a field where it cannot profitably venture, but that he produces sentences which fail to conform to the conditions under which alone a sentence can be literally significant.  Nor are we ourselves obliged to talk nonsense in order to show…

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The Green Man

(by Kingsley Amis) The landlord of “The Green Man” pub has an alarming drinking problem and wandering hands.  Also, there is some monolithic horticultural product about, that could cause further alarm.  Amis senior’s famous book, Lucky Jim is superior to this slight work but this novella is so weird and perverse it is almost decadent.

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God’s Funeral

Hardy is dead, but is God?

(by A.N. Wilson) A beautiful & rich review of Victorian and Edwardian thinking, as God’s life support was unplugged and how later generations may come, in time, to feel the need to apply resuscitation. As Kenneth Clark observed, heroic materialism and Marxism aren’t enough. We need something more.

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The Glass Bead Game

(by Hermann Hesse) Hesse’s ideation of his own life as a monk is a heavy but worthwhile read.

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Annabel Lee, Miranda & Stevie

Annabel Lee, Miranda, Stevie, and Lesley (image by Stephen Reid)

Greetings and a warm welcome to  Lesley’s blog,  the part of The Varnished Culture which is girly, crafty and sort of ethereal.  Our muses are Stevie Nicks, Joyce Carol Oates  and Lily Cole.  Our poem is “Annabel Lee”  –  a poem by Edgar Allen Poe – Stevie  does an otherwordly,

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