Variations on the same theme

If you're picking up a new book to read in the hope of learning something new, I have a surprise for you: it's not there. The beauty and genius of literature is that even though the whole gamut of human experience has been covered in previous works, new books always have something to tell us.... Continue Reading →

Fear Of Missing Out On The Free Stuff

We didn't need the Covid-19 crisis to tell us that the supply of media available out there far outstrips our ability and time to engage with and absorb it. Yet, for some reason, we've become acutely aware of this disturbing truth. It might have to do with many media outlets' recent decision to make their... Continue Reading →

The age of self-chronicling

Since deciding to start blogging every day, I have avoided writing in the first person, recounting my days and my experiences in typical public-diary fashion, as I didn't want this blog to be yet another machine of ego-production, yet another let-me-tell-you-about-my-life space. Yet, it turned out to be yet another machine, and yet another space,... Continue Reading →

When Robinson Crusoe starts to cough

In times of trouble, we act just like our immune system. We either keep a low profile or go into overdrive. Some like to track the second hand as it goes around the dial. Others mine the free/d hours of the day frenetically for new occupations. As a writer recently put it, we might find... Continue Reading →

Camus’ whispers and suspicions

'There still exist towns and countries where people have now and then an inkling of something different. In general it doesn’t change their lives. Still, they have had an intimation, and that’s so much to the good. Oran, however, seems to be a town without intimations; in other words, completely modern.' Like so many towns... Continue Reading →

Life in DIY mode

We are faced with a splendid opportunity: to be the architects of our own time, now that we have been given leave from the managers of our daily schedule. To be, as Pascal Bruckner has called it, an aristocracy of inner life. An aristocracy, I would say, of our internal clock. It is a rare... Continue Reading →

When St Vitus goes marching in

According to Google Trends, interest in the word 'epidemic' has increased from 6% to 100% since January 2020. That's stating the obvious, of course. Not all epidemics, however, are caused by bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms, attacking us silently from within, slowly taking our breath away, leaving our streets empty and silent. Some epidemics are... Continue Reading →

Where are the leaders of yesterday

A crisis is often also a wake-up call. The blaring alarm clock shaking us from the comfort of our daily sleep, the metaphorical arms taking us up by the collar, white or blue, and stirring us into lucidity. As we are vigorously roused into wakefulness, the gentle illusions of slumber evaporate like mist on the mountaintops.

Homer in quarantine

If you ask us whether we like being in self-isolation, we'd say absolutely not! There's nothing worse for a spinning top than to find itself brought to a sudden halt. However, if you ask Homer whether he would have enjoyed being in self-isolation, he'd probably say: well, my much-suffering brilliant friend, that depends.

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