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A Less-Beaten Path.

Nyssa Ruth Fahy: ‘Anthony Trollope’s 1859 travels through the West Indies was a generative time for the author. It not only expanded his horizons beyond continental Europe, it provided him with experiences and characters to populate multiple stories. In the languid heat of the tropics, Trollope conceived of worlds darker and more uncertain than those he had previously put to paper.’

Abstract Wealth and Community in ‘The Way We Live Now’.

Deirdre Mikolajcik; ‘While many of Anthony Trollope’s novels deal directly with swindlers and scams in the credit economy, ‘The Way We Live Now’ offers one of the best opportunities for studying the interplay of literature, economics, and community formation in the face of economic abstraction because the novel portrays a world in which economic systems are not simply the mathematical, disinterested entities economists described, but immersive, volatile systems able to shape identity.’

The ‘po-faced preachiness’ of the Turner.

By MICHAEL BLACKBURN. BRITAIN’S CULTURAL ELITES seem fully determined to drive themselves into oblivion. Just a few months ago thespian luvvies, in order to fix the climate emergency, chopped off the sponsorship they were receiving from the evil capitalist oil barons. Now the arty-farties and writers have come up with the beezer jape of having […]

Blame It on the Rain.

Michael Buckingham Gray: ‘He sweeps his foot back and forth in the mud, and with every new blare of the horn, prods his bicycle forward until there are no more cyclists ahead. Pulls the helmet off the handlebars and puts it on his head. Throws a leg over his bike. Then stomps on the pedals. His front wheel kicks sideways on the first turn. And in the second, he slides the rear of his bicycle.’

Breakfast with Mrs Greystone.

S.D. Brown: ‘They like to be up early so they can be “in the know” should anyone have failed to survive the night. Even those who are hard of hearing seem to be able to hear an ambulance siren two miles away! Bill Williams says he is keeping a book on who will be the next to go. “You can get good odds on yourself pegging it, given your age Frank,” he says with a wink.’

The last Mantegna.

Michelene Wandor: ‘In her will, Mrs van Hopper left me her library. As I went through the books, deciding what to keep and what to give away, I accidentally dropped a copy of Petrarch. Out of it fell a typed letter, addressed to a Count Alessandro Rietti. Three words were underlined in red: the names Isabella and Andrea, and the word “pearl”. The letter referred to a lost painting by Andrea Mantegna, a portrait of Isabella d’Este, the beautiful and powerful wife to one of the Gonzaga Dukes of Mantua.’

We’ll always have Atlee with us.

Michael Blackburn: ‘What the Attlee government ultimately did was embed a socialist mentality into the social, political and economic fabric of the country, so that even the Tories went along with enough of it to find themselves trapped by its ethos and industrial processes within a few years. The arrival of Thatcher shook things up economically but did not in reality break the post-war consensus, as the conventional narrative has it.’


Enzo Kohara Franca: ‘In the New World the new language turned out to be the obstacle. Jichan failed to learn Brazilian Portuguese. The morphemes, phonemes, the cadence – none of it made any sense to the Japanese speaker inside his head.’

April 2019. She went to the hospital for an infection.

Thos. Smith-Daly: ‘Baby home alone for 15 hours
so she could go out with her
friends in Swansea’s Wind Street.’

Reflections on my first thirty years. Part I.

Alan Macfarlane: ‘I first wrote down everything I thought I could remember about the period I was about to investigate. I then checked this against the diaries, letters and school reports. This has thrown some light on the way in which my memory works. It shows that, at least before I was ten, without supporting documentation almost everything would be irretrievable.’

The Party of Wales — but not as you know it.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Beautiful country that it is, there’s nothing in Wales between the southern and northern edges but mountains, fields and sheep. If Plaid have their way all of that will end up covered in wind turbines and solar panels as part of their fantasy Green Deal. It will be a land free of plastic, carbon neutral, of course, and a world leader in every aspect of political correctitude.’

On the brink of Winter 2019.

Peter Riley: ‘In his new book, Kei Miller realizes out of poetry and hard fact an entire elsewhere, a zone which lies beyond familiarity and order, beyond ownership, a dangerous zone, a fear-zone, a zone of licence and crime where “our deaths blossom like roses in the dark garden behind the house.” All his notations of this territory embrace contradiction.’

George, what is Fluxus?

Simon Collings: ‘In one of the clips Mekas comments: ‘Warhol and George, Warhol and Fluxus, somewhere there, very deep, they were the same. They were both Fluxus, both dealt essentially with nothingness. Both dismissed the current life civilization, everything that is being practised today, everything is the same, didn’t take any of it seriously. Both took life as a game, and laughed at it, each in his own way.’’

Harold Dickson, British Political Agent.

Piers Michael Smith: ‘This museum aims to remind us that the Dickson life is part of larger whole called Britain in relation to another whole called Kuwait, and that these two are themselves (implicitly) only parts of a still larger whole itself representational of another grander understanding.’

That memory thing.

Michael Blackburn: ‘It is ironic that the internet encourages the production of the written word and images of all kinds on a ferocious twenty-four hour basis while at the same time destroying so much of it. People say that nothing is forgotten on the web but it’s not true.’