Jonathan Swift

November 30, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedic Books, WRITING & LITERATURE |

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(30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) The great Irish satirist still has great things for us to hear, even over the distance of more than two and a half centuries. He anticipates Phillip Roth, without the laughs. His calm venting of spleen as fact, his wit, style  and imagination, his quill aimed stiletto-like at the pompous, the prideful, and the pedantic (“Pedantry is properly the overrating any kind of knowledge we pretend to. And if that kind of knowledge be a trifle in itself, the pedantry is the greater“) still resonate. “So, naturalists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas…

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Right Ho, Jeeves

(Written by P.G. Wodehouse) (1934) Your correspondent has a terrible confession to make.  The unburdening of this shocking secret, whilst cathartic, may very well lead to a global un-platforming. No, I haven’t been selling or buying on the Dark Web; I’m not a secret member of Antifa or Neo Nazis; I didn’t cast 134,000 votes for Joe Biden just before dawn the day after the U.S. election.  It is much worse: I recently read “Right Ho, Jeeves” and didn’t find it funny at all.  It’s about as funny as a child molester, actually. Which is not to say it isn’t…

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Wagner’s Parsifal

(The Music of Redemption) by Roger Scruton (2020) Some Brief Words From the Wise on Holy Communion “…it belongs to that class of myths which have been dramatised in ritual, or, to put it otherwise, which have been performed as magical ceremonies for the sake of producing those natural effects which they describe in figurative language. A myth is never so graphic and precise in its details as when it is, so to speak, the book of the words which are spoken and acted by the performers of the sacred rite.”* “It would indeed be impossible to devise a mystery…

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Consolations of Confinement

October 9, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Poetry |

(In the Plague Year 2020) We lingered palely, house-bound, deadly tired, Blue flames from tripods hectored, then expired, The sickness hot, the master quit for fear, His office, and he left no staffer there. In the rooms the plague-scare came and went, Breathless about the window and the vent, Pressing talk of destruction and pandemic And the pressing need to ‘not to panic’. From wise mouths we’d heard so much about: Pedantry and oppression, shrill calling-out Of the heterodox. We strove to find the silver lining, The voice of the Swedish-Doom-Goblin, declining. Planetary plague, hung o’er a high-viced city, Poison in…

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Solid Gold

The Glenelg Football Club 2019 Premiership Yearbook (By Peter Cornwall, Andrew Capel & Zac Milbank) (2020) We have banged-on far too much about the Glenelg Tigers’ brilliant championship season of 2019 – you can read all about it here. So let someone else do it, only better: “Solid Gold” by experienced professional sportswriters Cornwall, Capel and Milbank, is a great keepsake for fans as well as a comprehensive record of a thrilling season. Beautifully designed in burnished gold and jet black, shaped like an EP vinyl record cover, it is especially evocative in this plague year. For once, the advertising…

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