Category Archives: Literature

Life isn’t short: But we’ve learnt to squander our time like spendthrifts

SUMMER’S lease is drawing to a close again. With less than a month until the autumnal equinox on 22 September, we’re running out of time to complain about the disappointing weather or attempt to cook burgers in one another’s backyards. Or, from another point of view, there’s four weeks left before the summer of 2012 is over: what shall we do with all that time? Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Human nature, Liberal education, Literature

The fall of Bob Diamond: How tragedy can stalk even the most powerful

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Economics, Finance, Human nature, Liberal education, Literature

We need a political hero to slay the corporate undead

NO ONE will ever produce a film called David Cameron: Vampire Hunter. Abraham Lincoln, on the other hand, got a Hollywood blockbuster this week that reinvents his life as a fight to the undeath. Lincoln’s cod-historical battle with soulless, slave-owning bloodsuckers adapts a mash-up biography/monster novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, whose back catalogue of left-field bestsellers includes the wildly successful Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which sold 794,000 copies in 2009 alone. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Economics, Literature, Politics

The untamed imagination remains at the heart of true business success

MAURICE Sendak, the groundbreaking author of Where The Wild Things Are died this week, leaving the world a tamer place. Sendak wrote books for children, but his influence has been far wider and deeper, reaching from Spike Jonze’s recent blockbuster film to many adult authors. His art was distinguished by both courage and originality. He refused, above all, to sugarcoat the experience of childhood. The result was a body of work with a wild strangeness at its heart –a useful reminder to all of us that the world is less tame than the images we tend to make of it. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Economics, Human nature, Innovation, Literature, Politics

Licensing journalists – it’s just not very British

OUR national poets understood how much freedom matters. Milton! you should be living at this hour: England has need of you – William Wordsworth sighed at the dawn of the nineteenth century. In the second decade of the twenty-first, when British journalists are rounded up by the police in dawn raids and both a senior Labour politician and the editor of a national newspaper have publicly floated the idea of the state licensing journalists, John Milton is due another resurrection. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Freedom, History, Human nature, Liberal education, Literature, Politics, Publishing

Don’t allow politicians to read Dickens for us

WHAT would Charles Dickens do? If he were alive today, support everyone’s favourite cause it seems. In the author’s bicentennial year, everyone wants a piece. Schools minister Nick Gibb announced this week, referring to shocking levels of student illiteracy, that there are “shadows of Dickens’s world in our own” and called for more ambition in state schools. Actor and recent Dickens biographer Simon Callow said that Dickens should be remembered as a journalist and that in today’s London he would have been up with the anti-capitalists at St. Paul’s and exposing scandal wherever it lay. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, History, Literature, Politics, Publishing

Poetry and capitalism make a heroic couplet

T.S. ELIOT was a banker, but that hasn’t stopped two poets from refusing to be shortlisted for this year’s prestigious, £15,000 Eliot Prize over a sponsorship deal with Aurum Capital, an investment firm specialising in funds of hedge funds. First Alice Oswald and now John Kinsella have given up their coveted places on the list. Kinsella told The Guardian he was an “anti-capitalist in full-on form”, while Oswald announced that “poetry should be questioning not endorsing such institutions”. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Finance, Literature, Publishing