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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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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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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Neil’s Story

May 4, 2017 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Fiction, LIFE |
Prakash

Neil’s Story: A Regretful Refugee (ISIS Imprint) (2017) In this haunting, beautifully-written autobiography of one man’s encounter with a strange and hostile culture, the author shows how Australia’s lack of empathy drove him abroad to do good works in the Levant. It’s a unique clash-of-cultures tale, combining the innocence of Australian youth with the intricate and knowing wisdom of an ancient, sacred culture. Neil describes his formative years under the brutal Victorian regime, where he was forced into indentured servitude as an apprentice mechanic. Eventually he escaped this living hell for the promised lands of the Sunni-controlled part of Syria. Prakash was…

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Six Types of Ennui

April 12, 2017 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Fiction, Ulalume |
"Moral Ambiguity" by Ian Sane

"Moral Ambiguity" by Ian Sane

“Dear The Varnished Culture, As requested, we enclose a transcript from our media monitoring service of the interview promoting Scumworld’s exciting new series. Invoice to follow. Thank you for your request. Yours sincerely, Ian Churl,  Vice President (Marketing) Scumworld Digital services” WEDNESDAY, 12 APRIL 2017 From ‘Marla Knob Today’ with host, Marla Knob MK: I’m talking to Toby Carving, start of the new television series debuting on Scumworld over this Easter weekend, Six Types of Ennui. Toby, welcome. TC: Thank you. MK: Congratulations on the series. TC: Thank you. MK: Tell me, how did the intriguing title come about? TC: I…

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