Raymond Williams Culture is Ordinary (1958) "Raymond Williams (1921-1988) was an author, academic, cultural theorist, literary critic, public intellectual, socialist, and a leading figure of the New Left. He was the son of working-class parents from a Welsh border village, an adult education tutor, a Cambridge professor, and, according to Terry Eagleton, was and wasn’t … Continue reading A Perspective on Raymond Williams “Culture is Ordinary”
In terms of navigating and understanding the world we live in, few things are more important than the idea of story. Through the mechanism of story we piece together what we perceive as reality in terms of cause and effect. We are therefore part of a bigger story. Story telling thus can give a supremely … Continue reading More Notes on Story
One of the most important poets in the English language, or indeed any language, was born November 28, 1757 in London, England. He remained largely unknown during his lifetime. Though he had an established reputation as an engraver of considerable gifts, his reputation as a poet, something that he achieved world historical repute for in … Continue reading Things I never Knew about the Poet William Blake – that is, Until Recently.
My job, since I came to Poland (8 months or so) has been largely online teaching since the Covid epidemic took off. Considering the incredible virulence of the pandemic, and taking into account the death rate, and that the virus has already begun to mutate, not to mention that for much of 2020 no vaccine … Continue reading Online Teaching and Learning: My Own Experience of it…
Donald Trump's disastrous destructive four years of US presidency, undoubtedly the worst POTUS in history and a cautionary tale for all leaders, is but the latest part of what makes up many decades of his toxic career. Its a career screened by a showman's capacity to obscure what actually went on. To himself and to … Continue reading The Useful Idiot
Essays can be on any subject. They can argue any point, give information, tell a story, try to solve a problem, or convince a reader about a certain viewpoint. In fact essays sometimes do many or all of the above things at the same time. In this short essay I will try to talk about … Continue reading A Short Essay on Writing Essays
*This is a talk I gave a few years ago on World Vegetarian Day. I am not a climatologist. Neither am I a nutritionist. I write fiction. And, occasionally I have the pleasure of giving talks on world vegetarian day. Vegetarianism is something close to my heart and I was chuffed when asked to speak. … Continue reading A Modest Proposal Regarding Eating Animals *
I was 22 years old when I first read Doris Lessing. It was her first book, The Grass is Singing, set in Rhodesia in the 1940’s amongst hardscrabble farmers struggling against their own alienation and inexperience to make a living. Knowing something about her background even back then when it was more fashionable to read … Continue reading Doris Lessing and the Search for Self.
The Place of Literature.Art is the imitation of life by means of signs, symbols and plastic objects. Literature is the imitation of life using symbols and signs to tell stories. To understand what life means we use art as a skeleton key into what has always been the greatest of mysteries and challenges. Here in … Continue reading Notes for a 21st Century Artistic Manifesto
Its hard to describe how excited I was to be asked by Mike Maguire, executive librarian of Limerick City library to talk about my favourite rock and roll music, something I am incredibly passionate about. I keep thinking of what tunes to pick and what tunes to exclude, how I will talk about it and … Continue reading Rock and Roll Club at Limerick Library