Where on Earth are you?

Frances Stonor Saunders, 3 March 2016

We construct borders, literally and figuratively, to fortify our sense of who we are; and we cross them in search of who we might become.

More often than we may realise, and in sometimes quite shocking ways, we are still using Greek idioms to represent the idea of women in, and out of, power.

The Last London

Iain Sinclair, 30 March 2017

That’s where the current last London seems to be: riding the crest of a slump. That madness of quitting Europe, burning our bridges, starving hospitals of funds, is part of a suicide-note delirium. When the worst is coming straight at you at a thousand miles a minute, embrace it.

Fritz Lang and the Life of Crime

Michael Wood, 20 April 2017

Many, perhaps most, representations of crime, whether the event is supposed to occur in fact or in fiction, give the impression of being about something else. Something instead of crime or something as well as crime. This impression doesn’t always arise, of course, but it is common enough to be worth exploring.

Might the convulsions and divisions over Brexit have some tonic effect? Might this bitterly divisive and presumably long-lasting change turn out to be the painful moderniser that military defeats and invasions have sometimes proved to be for other countries?

The Genesis of Blame

Anne Enright, 8 March 2018

Impossible to keep lust out of Eden, even though it had not been invented yet. In it comes, like a snake into the garden, because the reader is one of the fallen, and cannot imagine what it is to love without transgression, or taboo.

It was in the popular Modernism of the interwar years, when so many men had died and women consequently found themselves with more room to manoeuvre in society, that the particular compound of woman + clothes, Woolf’s ‘frock consciousness’, became a significant aspect of female experience, a colour on the writer’s palette, a possible agent in a narrative.

An account that views events only from an insurgent or liberal standpoint will miss an essential part of the drama and meaning of these revolutions. They were a complex encounter between old and new powers, in which the old ones did as much to shape the shorter and longer-term outcomes of the revolutions as the new.

The Communal Mind: The Internet and Me

Patricia Lockwood, 21 February 2019

She opened the portal, and the mind met her more than halfway. Inside, it was tropical and snowing, and the first flake of the blizzard of everything landed on her tongue and melted.

Two years into the Trump presidency, it is a gross exaggeration to talk of an end to the American world order. The two pillars of its global power – military and financial – are still firmly in place. What has ended is any claim on the part of American democracy to provide a political model.

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow, 20 February 2020

If you believe the Ngram viewer, the phrase ‘damned lies’ has passed its peak, and ‘lying politician’ was far more commonly used in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods than it is today – though it may just be that the phrase ‘lying politician’ has simply been eaten up by its near synonym, ‘lying bastard’. 

Is it OK to have a child?

Meehan Crist, 5 March 2020

The polar icecaps are melting. Is it OK to have a child? Australia is on fire. Is it OK to have a child? My house is flooded, my crops have failed, my community is fleeing. Is it OK to have a child? It is, in a sense, an impossible question.

The Reaction Economy

William Davies, 2 March 2023

Am I even interested in the news, if I have no opportunity to react to it? Being in the digital public sphere without any means to react is a bit like being trapped in a shopping mall without any money.