Darkness at Noon

November 17, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WRITING & LITERATURE |

(Arthur Koestler) Koestler, like Solzhenitsyn, managed to humanise the Gulag and here he almost manages to explain the insanity of the Great Terror in this short but brilliant novel, in which a now discarded architect of the revolution decides to abandon his duty not to perish.  This writer has had a somewhat chequered past, but with this book he desreves substantial absolution.

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The Trial

(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.

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The Aeneid

Virgil - A Roman Representation.

(by Virgil) Iliad begat Aenid begat Commedia…Virgil links two classic works 2,000 years apart with a masterpiece of his own, wherein Aeneas goes to Rome and wreaks Trojan revenge on the successors of Attic Greece, with everyone satisfyingly getting what’s coming to them.  Full of images and phrases resplendent either in English or in dodgy Latin. Thus Walter Pater (in Appreciations) “I am reading over again the Aeneid, certain verses of which I repeat to myself to satiety.  There are phrases there which stay in one’s head, by which I find myself beset, as with those musical airs which are…

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Talleyrand

(by Duff Cooper) When told that those who fell in with Napoleon had “betrayed the cause of Europe”, Talleyrand replied that was “a question of dates”.  A legendary survivor, his apparent inconsistency seems to have less to do with a lack of morals than with the exigencies of geopolitics. This elegant biography of the wily, oleaginous and adaptable diplomat-statesman, serving French Kings from Louis XVI to Louis-Philippe, was written by Duff Cooper, who knew a thing or two about difficult men (and women).

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Cards Against Humanity – The Rolling Stones

November 7, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC, Ulalume |

Tired?  Beat?  Beyond blue?  Why not Play Cards against Humanity?  It is pure evil and a great way to relax. Note that the rumoured hidden (ultra un-PC) answer card, said to be secreted in the lid of the box, only features in limited editions.  The standard answer cards are offensive enough! Adelaide is calming down after the Rolling Stones hit town.  They performed a very tight and exultant set at the Adelaide Oval (see: “The greatest game of football ever played”).  Not 24 hours later we had an electrical storm to rival that of Key Largo so I guess the…

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