(by Franz Kafka) An offense to natural justice, this nightmare procedural (originally entitled ‘The Process’) has K finding all about how but nothing about why. Kafka’s famous novel interprets both the times and the inhumanity of the human condition.Continue Reading →
(by Michael Frayn) Highly original and amusing satire of a bespoke heaven for boyish, middle management men of early middle age and their moral crises as the right hands of god. You can see the influence cast by this book on, for example, Douglas Adams. The chaps, all from Cambridge naturally, are no longer scholars but creators, and they have an easy, breezy, Ian Fleming style way with women and imagine themselves to be radicals, even the lukewarm Head Man, in that smug, cosy, implacable bourgeois way, a la J. P. Sartre. The heavenly staples – taramasalata, gigot aux haricots…Continue Reading →
(by C.S. Lewis) Lewis was unsurpassed in winkling out a small dark corner of the soul and blowing it into toxic glasswork. Here we have one-way correspondence from a demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood: a how-to manual for those who would catch our souls. Exquisite, even for those without the gift of faith. My favourite lesson concerns the lady who quails at that offered, wheedling for “all I want…”. Screwtape’s comment: “Because what she wants is…less…than what has been set before her, she never recognises as gluttony her determination to get what she wants, however troublesome it may be to others.” This…Continue Reading →
(by A.J. Ayer) Ayer is a blind alley, albeit a convincing one. Yet logic and semantics will take us only so far and reading him, one thinks, “you’re too clever by half…..too clever for our good.” We recently had a comment (by someone with the nom de plume “Butt Books”, has commented fit for posterity: “True – logic and semantics will take us only so far. The analytic tradition won’t venture into the realm of speculative metaphysics, obscurantism, and autofellatio. One must turn to the continental tradition for that.“Continue Reading →
(by James Hogg) The protagonist, Robert Wringhim, finds himself spiraling deeper into a vortex of evil. Luckily there’s a mysterious but nice young chap to ‘guide’ him on his way. A towering, fascinating ‘mystery’ novel, revealing how dangerous it is to mix Calvinism and Old Scratch.Continue Reading →
© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.