Non-fiction

Success in Circuit Lies

Success in Circuit Lies

In Hill’s later poetry, one is consistently caught unawares by some slantwise piercing glance. Amidst the rumbling ground bass of gnarled density and difficulty, a keen pure tone sometimes shines through.

Larvaria

Larvaria

“Je raffole de tout ce qui rampe,” she told Van, her cousin and to-be-paramour. “I’m crazy about everything that crawls.” She was the last fictional love of my late childhood, slowly morphing into bursts of confused and chaotic lust.

For a place under the sun

For a place under the sun

Exploring the lives or the work of many artistic figures, the fear of their womb of thought becoming a tomb seems to torment them. This might seem paradoxical given the intuitive association of art with originality and the belief that the latter is an intrinsic trait of the firm. Instead, this self-evident thought is transmuted as an esoteric angst, an internalised mission.

Palintonos Harmonia

Palintonos Harmonia

Theatres are curious places, magician’s trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramatic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts, where the unexplainable, is normalized and the mundane is celebrated.

Words doing justice – A memoir from Palestine

Words doing justice – A memoir from Palestine

There are things they do not tell you about occupied Palestine. You see, there are two types of cities. The first is built to be seen, to be gazed at. To have its curved vernaculars adored and to have the words “hundred years” roll off the tongues of elegantly-practiced private guides.

Wager

Wager

Those who have talked to me within the past few weeks will know that a sudden confrontation with my pessimism about the future of humanity has plunged me into the first instance of what I seriously call an ‘existential crisis.’

Jerusalem

Jerusalem

I watched dusk over the Western Wall as the soundscape melted into the groans of praying Jews and the wails of some ten loudspeaker-anointed imams.

A dialogue with degeneration: the poet’s ceremonial chaos in ‘The Waste Land’

A dialogue with degeneration: the poet’s ceremonial chaos in ‘The Waste Land’

T.S Eliot’s poetry was consistently discoursing with Symbolist undertones, with despairing themes of social degradation and the need for individual alignment with spirituality. Particularly in the aftermath of the first World War, he shifted his focus from the gruesome battlefields of France to an overarching idea of degeneration which dominated his perspective of society and mankind.

An experiment in Japanese form

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?

The blossoms of the apricot blow from east to west

The blossoms of the apricot blow from east to west

In February 1888, Vincent van Gogh, travels from Paris to the Provence and looks out of the wagon’s window to ‘to see if it was like Japan yet’, enthralled – as he was – by Japanese woodblock prints. It was their light that he sought, a light that he found in the crisp sky of Arles.

Review of the letters of Adolph Törneros

Review of the letters of Adolph Törneros

Adolph Törneros was one of the most prominent members of the new school of romanticism which developed at the university in Uppsala in the early 1800s. During his lifetime he published very little, his oeuvre amounting to nothing more than some texts on Cicero and ancient Rome. What makes him a remembered and still cherished part of the Swedish literary panthéon are his letters.

In defence of tonality

In defence of tonality

In the closing bars of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude 10, Opus 32, we hear an airy, arpeggiated B major chord climb the keys, only to chromatically and resignedly sink back down to a low, closely spaced B minor chord, upon which the piece ends.

A vignette for monolingual poems

A vignette for monolingual poems

What does it mean for something to be untranslatable? And perhaps the more interesting question is: Why are some works untranslatable? In this essay I will approach both these questions from a personal perspective, structuring and formalising my intuitions in a manner which I hope will lead to a coherent response.

Untangling the marginal chords

Untangling the marginal chords

In the Greek port of Piraeus, during the interwar years, amber worry beads kept the fingers preoccupied, carnations instead of lapel badges. Amidst the underlit streets, in the smoky underground taverns, the desire for eternity and the necessity of temporality for the people leading marginal lives became externalised. The music of rebetiko was born.

Some Superficial Aphorisms Meant to Entertain

Some Superficial Aphorisms Meant to Entertain

Love is not a matter of degrees; it is either useless or it’s not.

As with all things, perspective is important in ornithology. Birds migrate south during winter. But they return six months later. Which event one focuses on colours the rest of the year.

Jabberwocky Demystification

Jabberwocky Demystification

What always amazed me about Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky is not that the poem is centred around nonsense words, but rather, that the nonsense words integrate into the rest of the poem in such a way that the reader feels no urge to inquire into their meanings.

Deceptive Simplicity and Erik Satie

Deceptive Simplicity and Erik Satie

If, like me, Satie’s work holds meaning for you, I invite you to examine the hidden intricacies of his other works, all examples of an intelligent mind’s ability to mold beauty from simplicity using a deep understanding of craft.

The Aura of Words

The Aura of Words

The silent despair of Dido for her husband’s murder is deafening. Mourning the loss of beauty seems not only to refer to the body of Sicheus, but to the entire humanity, which opiates the intricate effect of words and the aesthetic power of language.

Tractatus Logico Bibliophicus

Tractatus Logico Bibliophicus

Some verses of the Bible in symbolic logic. No guarantee that these are good translations. Translator’s discretion used more often than not for comedic effect rather than technical accuracy.

Dante’s Barca, Medieval, and Renaissance Italy

Dante’s Barca, Medieval, and Renaissance Italy

Dante writes in Paradiso about a ship, sailing out onto the sea alone. This image can act as a mirror, through which one can observe the world he lived in and the time which followed; the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Italy in the 1200s and onwards was a lonely ship treading dangerous waters.