‘M’appari tutt’ amor’: James Joyce’s Italian Influences in Ulysses

Many students of Ulysses will be familiar to the point of boredom with James Joyce’s oft-quoted remark in a letter to Bertrand Russell, wherein he boasted that, should Dublin ever suffer an atomic blast ‘it would be possible to rebuild the entire city, brick by brick’ with the novel as a guide. But what isContinue reading “‘M’appari tutt’ amor’: James Joyce’s Italian Influences in Ulysses”

“Do tell me why you’re laughing”: Irony and Sincerity in Goodbye to Berlin and The Line of Beauty

Have we reached the point of the ‘Sincere Turn’ in the current era of political discourse? Can earnestness ever be the predominant function of parliamentary debates and panel shows or, with Britain specifically in mind, is the sneering cult of the arched eyebrow destined to have its way? Superficially, it felt as if the UKContinue reading ““Do tell me why you’re laughing”: Irony and Sincerity in Goodbye to Berlin and The Line of Beauty”

Thomas Mann, James Joyce and the Problem of Self-Isolation in Modernism.

A paradoxical feature of living through the early stages of a pandemic is the civic requirement to alienate oneself within a global population bound to each other by the same invisible enemy. Indeed, one of the challenges of generating new discourses of self and other around the spread of coronavirus is orienting them around localContinue reading “Thomas Mann, James Joyce and the Problem of Self-Isolation in Modernism.”

The Sopranos S6E15, ‘Remember When’.

This episode’s comic and unsettling meditation on what it means to watch your friends grow old escalates David Chase’s interest in life after New Jersey, finding in the relationship between memory and peace a blueprint for dying gracefully. ‘You probably don’t even hear it when it happens, right?’ Bobby Baccalieri’s eerie prophecy of a mobster’sContinue reading “The Sopranos S6E15, ‘Remember When’.”

The Sopranos S6E8, ‘Johnny Cakes’.

An episode which chronicles a number of strange and sometimes poignant reconciliations and sunderings assesses arguably The Sopranos’ most pressing question – whether humanity truly possesses the capacity for positive, long-term change. A number of epistemologies accumulate around the hospital where Tony Soprano is fighting for his life against the septic shock inflicted by theContinue reading “The Sopranos S6E8, ‘Johnny Cakes’.”

The Sopranos S6E1, ‘Members Only’.

The endgame of David Chase’s show reveals a terrifying fragility behind the edifice of the protagonists’ lives, with the first episode of the final season often shocking in its proximity to the way of all flesh.  The astonishing montage which fills us in on events in the two years since Tony Soprano killed Tony BlundettoContinue reading “The Sopranos S6E1, ‘Members Only’.”

Is Jack Grealish ready to become one of the Premier League’s best midfielders?

Of the three new additions to the Premier League this season, Aston Villa are the most immediately unremarkable, their stroll to 15th, relying on a solid home record, less talked about than the methodical, impregnable approach of Chris Wilder’s surprise package Sheffield United, or Norwich’s immensely watchable but risky attacking play under Daniel Farke. WhatContinue reading “Is Jack Grealish ready to become one of the Premier League’s best midfielders?”

Review: The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019).

Martin Scorsese’s epic of the middleman is a measured and ambitious study of the nature of complicity. Though its prosaic style means it lacks the vivacity of some of Scorsese’s greatest films, The Irishman atones for this with a chilling central message about the selfishness of compromise. As the global connections which structure modern relationsContinue reading “Review: The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019).”

How does Mason Mount fit in to England’s midfield puzzle?

A curious by-product of the transformation of Gareth Southgate’s England side from a peripheral influence in tournaments to a legitimate international juggernaut has been that the perennial question of a creative attacking midfielder within their set-up has changed somewhat. England now possess arguably the most potent front three in world football in Raheem Sterling, HarryContinue reading “How does Mason Mount fit in to England’s midfield puzzle?”

Review: Il Gattopardo / The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963).

Set in a bracing cinematic universe where scene and character alike are marked by rich and complex detail, the aristocratic mind is the richest and most complex interior of them all in Luchino Visconti’s stunning historical epic. A gripe not infrequently levelled at contemporary ‘prestige TV’ is its fixation with the bourgeois mind as theContinue reading “Review: Il Gattopardo / The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963).”

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