Picnic at Hanging Rock

picnicirma

(dir. Peter Weir) (1975)         St. Valentine’s Day, 1900.  The young ladies of Appleyard College are treated to a picnic at Hanging Rock, a volcanic pile in the heart of the Victorian countryside, near Mount Macedon.  There is twittering around the teacups, too much cake and Australian sunshine, and whilst the party are having an al fresco siesta, people go missing.  But while the film has aspects of a whodunit or a thriller, it cannot be categorised because it simply transcends classification.  As F.R Leavis said of Wuthering Heights, you can call this a sport. Totally magical,…

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Picasso Exhibition

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
Picasso_Signatur

(Sydney Art Gallery) I have to admit that the hanging I most appreciated said “EXIT” in illumined green and white… Wyndham Lewis had this to say of Picasso (1881-1973) in 1940: “Cézanne is the great influence: that, and the arts of primitive man…Picasso is parasitic…he is at the same time original.  His originality is of a technical order…And were Picasso a musician, he would be able to play a dozen instruments, and be as adept with a kettledrum as with a harp.  But he would not be a Bach or a Beethoven…He is such a great, luxuriant, voracious, plant: and he…

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Parting the Waters

parting the waters cover

(by Taylor Branch) This is the first of a trilogy re American civil rights politics under the stewardship of Martin Luther King Jnr, covering the years 1954 to 1963, ending with the march on Washington and the death of JFK. This giant work is bigger than a mere bio of King and its scholarship and sheer mass of detail is leavened with clear and eloquent prose and mature reflection. No panegyric, this: King is treated as a human, remarkable though he was, and as the politician he surely was. A wonderful work that demands to be read and read again….

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Pale Fire

pale fire author with book

(by Vladimir Nabokov) Great post-modernism. With fake scholarship, confected verse and unreliable commentary (a triple Ephialtes). “I was the shadow of the waxwing slain by the false azure in the windowpane…”

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The Origins of the Inquisition

python inquisition

(by B Netanyahu) Definitive, immense and profound work on the causes and motives of the Spanish Inquisition. Inquisitiana [Note that TVC recommends the following: Torquemada himself would be impressed with Wakefield & Evans, Heresies of the High Middle Ages (1991) and Lu Ann Homza’s The Spanish Inquisition 1478-1614; An Anthology of Sources (2006), which is a very valuable resource of primary documents. The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision (1998) by Henry Kamen, is a good general volume (TVC has a pretty Folio edition). The Spanish Inquisition (1937) by Cecil Roth is a superior general academic treatment. The Inquisition of the Middle…

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