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La Piccioletta Barca - Issue 16

Issue 16 · February 2020

Stimulus: Performance of Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto, conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

In the current issue:

The Thread

The Thread is LPB’s bi-weekly column, publishing sequences of linked pieces, which explore the various intricacies of human thought.

A Critical Investigation of Why It Feels so Good to Talk to People in the Dark

In middle school, the problem of the contiguous self would occasionally keep me up at night. I was me right now, that I was sure of. But once I went to sleep how did I know that this current self would remain intact?

Past Issues

Issue 1 - November 2018

Stimulus: An extract from Dante’s address to the reader in Paradiso: II: 1-7

Issue 2 - December 2018

Stimulus: A letter by Bertrand Russell to Lady Ottoline Morrel describing his recent encounter with Wittgenstein.

Issue 3 - January 2019

Stimulus: The opening scene to A Clockwork Orange, written by Anthony Burgess, and directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Issue 4 - February 2019

Stimulus: A folk Polish tune, as drawn up by Mira Zimińska-Sygietyńska and Tadeusz Sygietyński.

Issue 5 - March 2019

Stimulus: The triumph of a ‘degenerate’, a painting based on Paul Klee’s ‘Park Bei Lu’.

Issue 6 - April 2019

Stimulus: An extract on the aesthetics of Japanese toilets from Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows.

Issue 7 - May 2019

Stimulus: A page of T.S. Eliot’s manuscript of ‘The Waste Land’, with comments and edits by Ezra Pound.

Issue 8 - June 2019

Stimulus: A sheet of Tibetan music written using the ‘Yang-Yig’ system of notation.

Issue 9 - July 2019

Stimulus: The poem ‘A worker reads history’, by Bertolt Brecht.

Issue 10 - August 2019

Stimulus: A series of panels from Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor.

Issue 11 - September 2019

Stimulus: A short scene from Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden.

Issue 12 - October 2019

Stimulus: The floor plan of the Sagrada Familia designed by Antoni Gaudi.

Issue 13 - November 2019

Stimulus: Extract from Ezra Pound’s Canto VIII.

Issue 14 - December 2019

Stimulus: The napkin on which the ‘Percentages Agreement’ between Churchill and Stalin was drafted.

Prose & Verse

Five Travel Haikus and a Digression on Unfamiliarity

To pick up a book from a tradition I am not familiar with, which I have arrive at through elusive references and recommendations, I need to set aside some reservations and a little self-consciousness.

Whereof One Cannot Speak

One I’d just settled myself down with the two things that always are guaranteed to make the evening pass agreeably – namely, a large gin […]

An experiment in Japanese form

He arrived at noon, trudging up the road with a black duffel bag slung over his shoulder. I never asked him how he got here. The station was much too far away to walk from, and he must have been completely exhausted. Perhaps the army truck dropped him off, or he might have taken a cab. But if that was so, why didn’t they leave him at the door?

Noh – between Nothing and Being

An essay and video demonstration on the art of Noh theatre.


Visual Arts

Respect the Mountain

All those magical places, awaiting to be seen. All those breathtaking moments, awaiting to be lived. Every feeling that makes you want to scream “I’m […]

Blind Navigations – Phantom Islands

The series of mixed-media renderings of St. Brendan’s Island, Thule, Taprobana, Hy-Brasil, Frisland and St. Matheus Island pertains to a subject that entails fact as […]

You float like a feather in a beautiful world

A solo piano adaptation of Creep (Radiohead) on the spur of the moment.

Take any word

A piano composition on the spur of the moment.



The Entomology of Portraits – An Interview with Hernán Cortés Moreno

“I need to be constantly surrounded by people who look at me.” Hernán explains to me once he has done a tour of the house, filled with portraits of friends, family, and some of the eminent figures who have modelled for him.

A quinate of questions for Titos Patrikios

A brief interview with the renowned Greek poet, Titos Patrikios.

About the journal

Our piccioletta barca, or ‘little boat’, aims to embark upon a journey without a destination; a platform from which we can explore interests and passions from a diverse group of disciplines. Ranging from music to art, philosophy and literature, we have attempted to delve into the intricacies of thought, without allowing content or form to constrain us.

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