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21 June 2013
Aphra Behn (1640 – 1689) was a prolific dramatist, spy, and Tory propagandist of the English Restoration. After spying for Charles II in Antwerp during the Dutch wars, she turned to literature and became a successful author—indeed, the first female literary author to earn her living entirely from her quill. It is possible nowadays to obtain her entire oeuvre in a six-volume collection (300+ pages per volume). However, her most prominent works include a comedy, such as The Rover (1677); a farce, such as The Emperor of the Moon (1687); and an amorous and political novel, Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister (1684-1687). The short novel, Oroonoko (1688), though not the first, is considered important to the development of the English novel, and perhaps the works for which she is best known today.

 

11 June 2013

On the afternoon of 22 May 2013, in the southwest London district of Woolwich, Drummer (Private) Lee Rigby, of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was hacked to death with knives and a meat cleaver by two Muslims, civically British but of Nigerian descent, who previously ran down their victim with a car. The killers, Michael Olumide Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Oluwatobi Adebowale, 22, remained in the scene, where the elder of the two justified their actions on video . . .

10 May 2013

Note: The following is the full text in English of an interview conducted by Moritz Schwarz for the German weekly periodical, Junge Freiheit. A full-page interview, it was conducted in English and subsequently translated into German and edited down to fit. The interview appears on page 3. The occasion is the publication by Antaios of a collection of essays by me in German translation, titled Warum Konservative immer verlieren [Why Conservatives Always Lose].

13 April 2013

The above is a video recording of my talk for the 13 April 2013 edition of the London Forum, held in central London. I am introduced by the organiser, Jeremy Bedford-Turner. The video was recorded by a member of the audience. The topic of my talk is the late Jonathan Bowden, orator, artist, writer, thinker, and friend, who passed away on 29 March 2012. The day before the talk would have been his 51st birthday. As announced after the speech, I am currently researching a book-length biography of Jonathan Bowden.

6 February 2013

In his acknowledgment pages Paul O’Keefe states that it took him a decade—not including the years of research already donated to him by another writer—to complete his biography of Wyndham Lewis, a project he began in 1990 while he was president of the Wyndham Lewis Society. And this is apparent, for this volume, holding 700 pages of tightly packed print, offers an indefatigably detailed and masochistically researched account of the British modernist artist and author’s life. Biographies differ in emphasis, depending on the author’s biases, and the tone here is set early in the first chapter, which consists of a detailed description of Lewis’ bisected brain—now preserved in the Pathology Museum of the Imperial College School of Medicine—and the progressive destruction (through compression of the adjacent structures) caused by the growth of its pituitary tumor, medically known as a chromophone adenoma. O’Keefe’s narration is temperate and balanced in the extreme . . .

25 March 2012

Sergei Eisenstein's second installment of his intended film trilogy about Ivan the Terrible began production in 1945. When finished, a year later, Stalin's censors harshly criticised the film on account of its ambivalent depiction of state terrorism. This led to a decision not to release the film, which, in turn, caused production of Part III to cease. Part II tells the story of Ivan's crushing of the boyars, and is remarkable, among other things, for its sudden switch to colour film during the last ten minutes. This was intended to symbolise the transition from good to bad, and is part of the general array of symbols used by Eisenstein to convey meaning or the nature of the main characters, who are likened to various animals. . .

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24 March 2012

While spending a few days in Alabama with misanthropic novelist Tito Perdue, the latter insisted I watch Sergei Eisenstein's 1944 film, Ivan the Terrible. This was the most user-friendly of an unrelentingly stern and serious collection of black and white films he had in store, all made for deathly serious men of 40 and above, all in DVD with covers depicting 40-and-above male faces unvaryingly creased with grief, rage, and despair. Made in the Soviet Union during Stalin's rule, Ivan is nevertheless an extraordinary production, as one would expect, albeit incomplete, since only Parts I and II out of an intended trilogy were ever made. (Stalin objected to Part II and funding was withdrawn, causing Part III never to leave the production stage.) Part I is the best of the surviving . . .

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