The literary expression of self-entwined-with-environment that courses through classical texts shows that every action seeds the possibility for perspectival change, and offers the opportunity radically to transform the universe, the group, and the individual, through myth making, and in the interrogation of where power (words, syntax, systems; fear, love, creation, destruction) is located — or locates itself.
There’s always a story to the best meals, isn't there? and the best dinners create as well as build on them, in leaps and bounds and by stealth. There are the myths (did dad really always sneakily grab twice as many roast potatoes as everyone else then look askance when called on it? Did I … Continue reading Seeing out the old, in the shadow of the new
I love the frisson of terror that live theatre produces. For me, in the audience, it's as thrilling as a high-wire act to see people transformed by stepping into performance space, becoming something entirely other to their everyday selves. Will that transformation stick? Will I suspend or wallow in my disbelief? Will some element of the … Continue reading Shepherding thought (and a coda from Varro)
Is Inferno Circle 5 the ‘happy medium’?
Journeys to “Rome” (what and where and whose is Rome?) more than to any other city are characterised by a remarkable depth and intensity in their narrative dimension. Although the printing press made dissemination of itineraries possible, and the survival of a sample at least suggests their popularity, guidebooks to Rome were far from a pop-cultural … Continue reading Prequel / a tiny Grand Tour
As the centenary of Ireland's Easter 1916 Rising approaches, no doubt with all sorts of moving, surprising, challenging, thought-provoking events encouraging reflexion on a century's accretion of meaning, as so often, my thoughts return to Rome. I like to think that Rome's ever-presence in my frame of reference is charming. It certainly draws on my … Continue reading Echoes of Garibaldi
I'm still reeling from the beauty of our tiny holiday to Ponza. You know how it goes: you're sitting in a bar, or maybe a restaurant, with friends. It's an early summer evening, but that back-note of Rome's high summer mugginess is already beginning to wisp tendrils round your neck, presaging the hot soupy air … Continue reading processing pleasure
I used to think it was a terrible thing to feel out of place; you know, perhaps, that sense that one is subtly (or totally) out-of-step with the world? That was how I spent much of my childhood; teenage years at school didn't bring huge respite, despite some lovely class-mates. I still just seemed to … Continue reading unheimlich
Making distinctions and observing boundaries are two activities central to my working life. They tend to bleed through, inevitably, to the rare minutes when I believe myself instead to be at liberty. I was struck in various ways, recently, by the near-impossibility of delivering crisp limits in an increasingly greyscale academic/life framework. Three images are … Continue reading b/w
We traversed the Tiber left to right one day early in July, and meandering down by Porto Fluviale as we began to set our sights on Testaccio and Home, we passed Sonino Camping etc., where last summer we bought cheap and cheerful deckchairs for the roof terrace. From the slow-flowing, golden (after a downpour) Tiber, … Continue reading Serendip