The Apes of God

(by Wyndham Lewis) The best (and bitchiest) book of the art demi monde ever written.

Continue Reading →

Animal Farm

Drawing of Squealer by Pett and Freeman

(by George Orwell) The best political allegory since Swift.  Venerable pig, Old Major (‘Willingdon Beauty’ as his show name), a Karl Marx figure, outlines an animal world of milk and honey and soft straw. The animals rise up, kick out the nasty farmer, see off the counter revolution, and settle down to run the enterprise themselves, in a workers’ paradise of co-operation, truth and mutual respect. But some animals are more equal than others… Who would have thought Napoleon the Pig, circa 1940, would look so much like Vladimir Putin?  Sorry, I mean Josef Stalin.  Don’t I?  Our mild suggestion…

Continue Reading →

Anna Karenina

(by Leo Tolstoy) That part of this huge novel taken up with Anna, Karenin and Vronsky is a work of art, startling in its modernity. The bucolic pages concerning Constantine Levin, on the other hand, are the highest schlock. O for an editor with the spine to suggest to a nobleman the wielding of shears and a blue pencil! Anna is a great flesh-and-blood character, in a situation not dissimilar to Madame Bovary or Hedda Gabler.  But being Tolstoy, the rich inner drama is cast on an epic scale.

Continue Reading →

An American Melodrama

(by Chester, Hodgson & Page) Definitive account of the 1968 Presidential campaign, written by three accomplished British journalists, manages to avoid the faux pomp of much American political writing; brilliantly covers the most critical election since 1932 with telling vignettes of key players, Democratic, Republican and independent. Pithy chapters on RFK‘s death in Los Angeles and Nixon working southern delegates at the Miami Hilton are classic. At page 355, this passage appears, describing the aftermath of RFK’s wounding in the kitchen area of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles: “It was very claustrophobic , like an alleyway deep in a…

Continue Reading →

All My Sons

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Plays, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WRITING & LITERATURE |

(by Arthur Miller) Perhaps shaded by The Crucible and Death of a Salesman, this is Miller’s most nakedly and emotionally satisfying play, centred on a father’s guilt and a son’s retribution.

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.