I finished reading M. A. Screech‘s Montaigne And Melancholy a couple of weeks ago now. Among the many interesting passages there is one in which Screech discusses s treatment of Julian the Apostate. Montaigne, the orthodox Catholic, “never blackened a man he did not agree with.” In the case of [Read more…]
Goethe, writing from Frascati in 1787: All in all, associating with more and more people agrees with me. I observe their various temperaments and the way each behaves. This one acts his part, that one does not; this one will make his way easily, that one with great difficulty: this [Read more…]
Francis Bacon was no atheist; he sought to tread the via media of the reformed English church between the two extremes of Popish superstition on the one hand and profane superstition on the other. In his Meditationes Sacrae, in the section titled “Of Heresies,” Bacon writes: Ye err, not knowing [Read more…]
Title: Special Lecture On Goethe’s Visit To Naples, 1987 Location: Gion Community Centre Link out: Click here Introduction In 1786, the great German writer Johann von Goethe, already rich and famous as the author of The Sorrows of Young Werther (Die Leiden des jungen Werthers), the 37-year-old Goethe set off [Read more…]
So far my preparations for November’s lecture on E. M. Forster have consisted of reading the novels again, even the ones I read earlier this year. I finished A Room With A View last week, and polished off A Passage to India this week. I was introduced to E. M. [Read more…]
Last Saturday I happened to have a three-hour gap between two of my English classes because another of my clients had requested that we postpone our meeting from lunchtime to early evening. It was too early to make use of the spa facilities at one of the city centre hotels, so [Read more…]
I have been travelling through Italy in the company of Goethe this summer, by which I mean, of course, that I have been reading his “Italian Journey” and tracing his progress across Austria, through the Brenner, down to Lake Garda and then eastwards to Verona and Venice before turning south. [Read more…]
A few months ago I was struck by the paucity of theatrical productions in Hiroshima and berated a few of my students on the matter. The pat answer was invariably “Ah, Japanese are very shy.” My protests don’t seem to have had much effect on the recreational habits of the million or so “shy” Hiroshimites, but they did land me a handful of free tickets for a kyogen performance on the noh stage at Aster Plaza towards the end of March.
The party I was attached to boarded the Moscow-bound train at Ulaanbaatar on the evening of 21st September. We had all received packed suppers from our guides and had also secured for ourselves a few other vital supplies from the bar of Ulaanbaatar’s main hotel. Thus fortified against the rumoured shortages of on-board refreshments we settled into our coupe for the first evening of our trans-Siberian journey.