Wednesday, September 19, 2012


'It has become a banality to say that we live in a.time of historical crisis, that a whole epoch is ending, and a new one as yet without a name is beginning. Some are glad for this others sorry but all agree upon the fact. In reality what is happening is something deeper. We are witnessing a judgement on not one epoch in history but on history itself; and in this sense we live in an apocalyptic time.'

from Berdyaev 'The fate of man in the modern world' 1935

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Macdonald at Penguin Classics

Ross Macdonald is now on the Penguin Classics list! How wonderful. (Launched in July 2012)

Read this article about Macdonald - True Grit

Here is what they say about him:

This month everyone’s talking about Ross Macdonald, the don of hardboiled crime fiction joining the Penguin Modern Classics list in July. His series of novels about the fictional detective Lew Archer have long been admired by writers like William Goldman, Eudora Welty and John Lutz, who said of him: "No once since Macdonald has written with such poetic inevitability about people, their secret cares, their emotional scars, their sadness, cowardice, and courage. He reminded the rest of us of what was possible in our genre." It is this mastery and elevation of his genre into the realms of the literary that warrants Macdonald his place on the list; his subtle characterization, respect for fine prose and Byzantine, complex plotting set him apart from his fellow crime writers, and place him alongside denizens like Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler in the hardboiled hall of fame. Our favourite is The Underground Man, which sees Lew Archer unearthing a hidden history of failed marriages, runaway children, and a man's life consumed by a search for the father who abandoned him. A transfixing storyteller who marries the thrills of detective fiction with the sadness and loneliness of his criminals, warped by poverty and domestic anguish, Macdonald is noir at its most dazzling.
The five gripping stories include: The Underground Man, The Goodbye Look, The Chill, The Drowning Pool, and The Galton Case.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


"To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood."
from 'Nature' by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I approve!

Sweet tooth

For the past two weeks Radio 4 has been broadcasting 'Sweet tooth' as the Book at Bedtime. It is the story of a Cambridge graduate in mathematics who is hired by MI5 to spy on a novelist. Serena, the spy has the role of representing a literary foundation who present him with a grant. I really enjoyed the story.

Although the series has now stopped they have said on the website that it will be repeated in the future, You can find the website here. Unfortunately I think this link only works to those of us from the UK.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Changes in the nature of work

I have started to read 'Speaking to each other ... about society' by Richard Hoggart and he has a very interesting essay entitled 'Changes in working class life'. Written in 1960, the essay describes how the mills and factories of northern England are starting to suffer and work is becoming more specialised. I find it quite striking that 50 years later after all the changes that have happened we are still surprised when factories close and work is moved on across the globe.

Our education system is still struggling to cope with a system of work where skilled workers are at a premium. Even a skilled workforce is not immune to global change. 

I find it strange that no one is willing to forecast into the future that there will not be a place for unskilled work. Retail / service jobs are going to be reduced to a minimum. How are we going to cope?

I would like to see more emphasis on work that is primarily creative, work that cannot be reproduced elsewhere at a lower cost. This does not mean I am neglecting skilled work but we need to be creative with our skilled workers, we need to be strategic with the focus in our education system.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Still here

Sorry for no updates, I'm still here and more is coming soon ... If you are looking for something why not drop me a comment?