The political acrobatics of acrostic poems

Reading is a visual act because writing is a practice meant to be seen. Words appeal to the eyes, even though their final destination is the mind, where they are processed into meaning. I like to think that once humans invented script, they just wanted to play with it. Homo ludens, right? Otherwise, how canContinue reading “The political acrobatics of acrostic poems”

Classical anti-classicism

For the ancient Romans, the past was dominated by Greece and Greek classicism, just like the Renaissance and most of our modern period were dominated by classical antiquity. In fact, our modern love affair with the classical past and classical authors starts with the Paduan scholar and poet Lovato Lovati (1241–1309). He wrote: ‘Do you despiseContinue reading “Classical anti-classicism”

The postmodernist vision of history through Baudelaire’s ‘Le Charogne’ (I)

Having recently read Gabrielle Spiegel’s The Past as text, I realised how important it is to reflect on the articulation of text and reality. The more recent poststructuralist views that everything is textuality may ultimately be a foolish experiment, but it has the potential to cast light on some of the problems arising from the attemptContinue reading “The postmodernist vision of history through Baudelaire’s ‘Le Charogne’ (I)”

The Wicked Fairy at the Manger, a strategic mistake

Last night the church of All Souls Langham Place came alive with the students’ Christmas dinner. One highlight was Hugh Palmer, the rector, who dressed up as Father Christmas and told a poem – rather subversively, I should think, overturning the traditional roles of patron-client involved in dealings with the big fat man – outliningContinue reading “The Wicked Fairy at the Manger, a strategic mistake”

Ovid for our time

January etymologically both closed and opened its doors nearly a month ago, for Janus has two heads, one looking back at the forgone year, one looking forth, to new beginnings, like Bilbo Baggins… Now that February too is almost spent, I thought I’d entertain you in some well-seasoned Ovid: January is done, and the yearContinue reading “Ovid for our time”

Dragoste interconfesională în Spania musulmană

Acum că am părăsit Andaluzia și trecutul ei maur, voi incheia seria de visare umeiado-almohado-almoravidă cu două postări. Prima dintre ele, cea de față, privește o poveste de dragoste dintre un poet musulman, Ibn al-Haddad din Alméria secolului al XI-lea și o creștină pe nume Nuwayra, pe care unele izvoare o prezintă ca fiind o măicuțăContinue reading “Dragoste interconfesională în Spania musulmană”

Dedicatia zilei: Nichita Stanescu – Sunt un om viu

M-am trezit viu, sper cǎ și dumneavoastrǎ. Dacǎ da, atunci vǎ propun o viiturǎ de bucurie a vieții pe care o împǎrtǎsesc în aceastǎ zi de marți, cu brațele spre cer. Sunt un om viu.Nimic din ce-i omenesc nu mi-e străin.Abia am timp să mă mir că exist, darmă bucur totdeauna că sunt. Nu măContinue reading “Dedicatia zilei: Nichita Stanescu – Sunt un om viu”