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Scripturient: Leonard Cohen deserves the Nobel Prize, too

News that songwriter Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature shook the literati worldwide. Here was a pop icon sitting in the august company of Alice Munro, Mario Vargas Llosa, Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, V.S. Naipaul, Gabriel García Márquez, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Yasunari Kawabata, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats, Rudyard Kipling . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Leonard Cohen deserves the Nobel Prize, too

PostArctica: Marguerite Duras – The War, A Memoir

A friend recently told me that he likes to save texts, not quotes but texts, larger pieces, that he finds interesting. I am reading this book and thought this was a powerful passage. It is the end of the Second World War and she is wondering if her husband is still alive, thousands reenter Paris . . . → Read More: PostArctica: Marguerite Duras – The War, A Memoir

Scripturient: Everything Flows

Tonight’s book-with-wine discussion is about Vasily Grossman‘s novel, Everything Flows (New York Review Book, USA, 2009). It was his final work, and left unfinished at the time of his death, in 1964. It’s not a difficult read, but it … . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Everything Flows

Dead Wild Roses: Virginia Woolf – On Literature

“Suppose, for instance, that men were only represented in literature as the lovers of women, and were never the friends of men, soldiers, thinkers, dreamers; how few parts in the plays of Shakespeare could be allotted to them; how literature would suffer! We might perhaps have most of Othello; and a good deal of Antony; […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Virginia Woolf – On Literature

Scripturient: O tempora, o mores!

Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum. Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote those words in the short book about a Roman court case, Pro Lucio Murena (For Lucius Murena). They mean, in English, Not… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: O tempora, o mores!

Scripturient: On the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death

“Is There Such a Thing as a ‘Bad’ Shakespeare Play?” asks a recent article on the Smithsonian website. It adds, “Shakespeare, despite the efforts of notable dissenting critics and writers to forcibly eject him, has occupie… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: On the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death

Scripturient: The Bard’s Best? Nope…

To help celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23), the website Mashable has put together a “battle” for the “Best Shakespeare Play Ever.” It’s done up as a sort of sports playoff gr… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Bard’s Best? Nope…

PostArctica: Abandoned Literature – Romeo and Juliet, Finnegans Wake

From my ongoing Abandoned Literature series. Message or email me if you would like a print. If you can’t make out the text in these images (these are small low […] . . . → Read More: PostArctica: Abandoned Literature – Romeo and Juliet, Finnegans Wake

Scripturient: The Crafty Crow and the Doves

Once upon a time, an old crow lived by the seaside. He had grown fat over the years because he was too lazy to work for his food. He preferred to sit than fly. He followed the other animals to get their leftovers, taking what wasn’t his, and ann… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Crafty Crow and the Doves

Scripturient: Aesop is Still Relevant

A MONKEY perched upon a lofty tree saw some Fishermen casting their nets into a river, and narrowly watched their proceedings. The Fishermen after a while gave up fishing, and on going home to dinner left their nets upon the bank. The Monkey, who is t… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Aesop is Still Relevant

Scripturient: Reading Pablo Neruda

One hardly expects poets to generate spirited debate in the media these days*, but they did, not that long ago, well within my own lifetime. Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) was one of those who sparked great, passionate emotions in people, for both his writin… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Reading Pablo Neruda

Scripturient: Decoding Alice in Wonderland

It is tempting to suggest author David Day’s lush new book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded is the final word on the mysteries and secrets behind Lewis Carroll’s iconic children’s fantasy, but alas, it would be an ov… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Decoding Alice in Wonderland

Scripturient: Where Have all the Readers Gone?

No, it’s not a remake of Pete Seeger’s famous 1955 anti-war song. That’s the title of an article that appeared in the Globe and Mail this week, by Peter Denton, lamenting our overall slide into image-based information with the “… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Where Have all the Readers Gone?

Scripturient: Who By Fire

I’ve been reading a biography of Leonard Cohen, recently: the 2012 I’m Your Man, by Sylvie Simmons. It’s an interesting journey through the life and thoughts of an exquisite artist who is, by nature, somewhat reclusive and stays out… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Who By Fire

Molly'sBlog: Love Poems of Ovid

Love Poems of Ovid selected and translated by Horace Gregory, Mentor Books, Toronto, 1964Ovid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovid) – full name Publius Ovidius Naso – is considered one of the greats of Latin literature, up there with Virgil and Hor… . . . → Read More: Molly’sBlog: Love Poems of Ovid

Molly'sBlog: Love Poems of Ovid

Love Poems of Ovid selected and translated by Horace Gregory, Mentor Books, Toronto, 1964Ovid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovid) – full name Publius Ovidius Naso – is considered one of the greats of Latin literature, up there with Virgil and Hor… . . . → Read More: Molly’sBlog: Love Poems of Ovid

Scripturient: Judas, a Biography

Long before Darth Vader, long before Lord Voldemort, long before Stephen Harper, Judas Iscariot reigned as the supreme icon of evil in Western mythology. Judas betrayed God. How much worse can you get?* For 2,000 years we’ve used the term Judas . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Judas, a Biography

Scripturient: Read, Re-read, Repeat

I’m currently re-reading Mikhail Bulgakov’s fantasy novel of Soviet life under Stalin, The Master and Margarita. Since this is actually a newer translation than the original one I read many years ago, I’m not sure it properly qualifie… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Read, Re-read, Repeat

Scripturient: In Praise of Audio Books

Although I had listened to them in the past, I really discovered the joys of audio books several years ago, when my 92-year-old father entered hospital for his final months. As I travelled to and from the city frequently that summer, audio books kept me entertained and my mind from dwelling on the more serious . . . → Read More: Scripturient: In Praise of Audio Books

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lament For A Nation – A Review

(Originally written as a review for Good Reads) Here is a must-read for all Canadians – George Grant’s classic masterpiece, documenting the poor decisions which led to the loss of sovereignty of Canada to the US empire, just at a time when the British empire had been weakened enough that our former subservience to that . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lament For A Nation – A Review

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lament For A Nation – A Review

(Originally written as a review for Good Reads) Here is a must-read for all Canadians – George Grant’s classic masterpiece, documenting the poor decisions which led to the loss of sovereignty of Canada to the US empire, just at a time when the British empire had been weakened enough that our former subservience to that . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Lament For A Nation – A Review

Scripturient: Boccaccio’s Decameron

I never read The Decameron in any original, or complete translation. I have a bowdlerized edition I read in part some time ago, perhaps the 1970s. I recall seeing an art film based on the book, in the 1970s (directed Pier Pasolini). But I can’t recall it in any detail, except that it was subtitled. . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Boccaccio’s Decameron

Scripturient: Anthony and Cleopatra

While Julius Caesar is my favourite of all Shakespeare’s plays, I think Anthony and Cleopatra is my second favourite. I know it’s hard to choose any favourites from his plays, they’re all so good, but this one seems to resonate with me more than most others, enough to encourage me to reread it this week. . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Anthony and Cleopatra

PostArctica: Fictional Characters in Public

For me Literature always tells us more about the human condition than does our history books so there is something wonderful and enlightening about bringing the great characters of fiction to life in local ways such as the Bloomsday celebrations in Dublin or the statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the Plaza de . . . → Read More: PostArctica: Fictional Characters in Public

PostArctica: Fictional Characters in Public

For me Literature always tells us more about the human condition than does our history books so there is something wonderful and enlightening about bringing the great characters of fiction to life in local ways such as the Bloomsday celebrations in Dublin or the statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the Plaza de . . . → Read More: PostArctica: Fictional Characters in Public