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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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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. […]

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 Espana in Madrid. And while there is Bonnheur d’occasion subtly inscribed in a wall in the Place Saint Henri Metro station it would be great to see a sculpture on street level that brings the novel to life, or a Fennario scene in Verdun or (Read more…)

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 Espana in Madrid. And while there is Bonnheur d’occasion subtly inscribed in a wall in the Place Saint Henri Metro station it would be great to see a sculpture on street level that brings the novel to life, or a Fennario scene in Verdun or (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Prenzie Scamels

Four hundred years after he wrote them, we still use in everyday speech the many words and phrases Shakespeare coined. He gave us so many, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to list them all here. But two words he wrote have stopped us dead: prenzie and scamels. What do they mean? Were they more […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Too Many Books?

Tim Parks* wrote an intriguing essay in the New York Review of Books last week with that title. My first thought on seeing it was to wonder if one can ever have too many books. But of course, Parks – an author himself  – is looking at the bigger picture, not the ever-growing collection that […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Julius Caesar: Best of the Bard?

For my money, Julius Caesar is simply Billy Shakespeare’s best ever play. I mean, what’s not to like in it? It has some stonking great speeches in it – including one of his top five ever (Marc Antony’s “Friends, Romans, countrymen….”) as well as a passel of memorable lines you can quote at parties (Who among […]

Song of the Watermelon: Short Story in ‘Trust & Treachery’

This one’s a long time coming, folks.

A short story I wrote a while back — “Infinitas,” it’s called, about a group of shipwreck survivors who slowly lose touch with reality while trying to forge a new society aboard their life raft — is now available in an anthology of political fiction called Trust and Treachery: Tales of Power and Intrigue. Please consider giving it a read.

Filed under: Literature Tagged: Dark Quest Books, Infinitas, short story, Trust and Treachery

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Short Story in ‘Trust & Treachery’

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Why do lit-ah-rary types look down on SF

So what is it about science fiction that causes “literary” types to look down upon it? Like any genre, SF has its bad and good. No scratch that, like any writing, there is both bad and good. I’ve read plenty … Continue reading →

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The difficult art of reading poetry

Synecdoche. Metonymy. Not exactly words that trip lightly off the tongue. Unless, I suppose, you’re Harold Bloom. Those are two of the four fundamental tropes in literature, Bloom tells us. Identified originally by Kenneth Burke, who, as Bloom calls him, was a “profound student of rhetoric.” Bloom references Burke in his introduction to The Best […]

PostArctica: Bookish Butch

Proud to say my favorite former used bookstore owner has won best blog in the GLBT category! Way to go, Caroline!!

Canadian Blog Awards 2014 results

Bookish Butch

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Lucretius and the Renaissance

It’s fairly clear, even after reading only a few verses, why Lucretius’s didactic poem, On the Nature of Things – De Rerum Natura – made such an impact on thought, philosophy, religion and science in the Renaissance. It must have been like a lighthouse in the dark night; a “Eureka” moment for many of the age’s thinkers. […]

Molly'sBlog: Milton: A Master of Run-On Sentences

MILTON: A MASTER OF RUN-ON SENTENCES:

     I’m about halfway through the collected works of John Milton. It’s a project that’s taking some time. Mercifully the poetry is at the front of the volume. That’s good because most of Milton’s prose writings have little intrinsic interest. Aside from a few exceptions they are religious polemics against the high church prelates of his day. Reading such things tends to lower one’s estimate of the author. Especially as their tone is beneath even the usual level of political polemics. I’ll see if the tone improves with the more political pieces later in (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Weird World of Plotto

I came across Plotto a few years back – references to it in other works, rather than the actual book. it sounded strange, complex and wildly over-reaching. I couldn’t find one – it was long out of print. It wasn’t until I got my own copy that I realized how really odd, clumsy – and […]