Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

canaletto and London: a bit too postcard perfect

The best of cities, in the best of seasons. But what was really happening behind those walls and in those narrow streets on that sunny afternoon. After all, the picture is just too pleasant. Only a tourist could believe it. … Continue reading

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among the prince of dandies: lookin’ for homespun dignity

Thomas Carlyle and Jane Welsh Carlyle. Marriage as an “excellent mystery.” Both the Carlyle’s, despite their quirks and prejudices, were fond of entertaining newcomers. Since the publication of  Sartor Resartus, Carlyle had become a literary lion, and Jane, for all … Continue reading

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the odd couple: birds of a leather

Thomas Carlyle and Jane Welsh Carlyle…. …Jane whose character included a certain touch of masochism, held a certain profound relish for the domestic drama. She had thought of writing a novel, she admitted, about the “mysteries” of Number 6, her … Continue reading

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odd couple: “excellent mystery”

Marriage is sometimes described in prayer books as an “excellent mystery”; something that cannot help but stimulate the imagination. Every marriage, union, is slightly mysterious , whether the partnership succeeds or fails. There is usually something that escapes analysis. There … Continue reading

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hidden, unknowable and unthinkable

Richard Francis Burton, born in the nineteenth-century, rightfully belonged to the Renaissance, and should have been contemporary with  Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake. Instead he was trapped in the century least capable of appraising his talents, confined and … Continue reading

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the Fat lady

Finding behind the laughter all kinds of hate, cruelty and perverted fantasies. In a way, the Glasses are an intimate club, as David Leitch once said, a peculiarly intimate club in which Salinger’s readers were overtly invited to associate themselves … Continue reading

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J.D : the winsome as unfair advantage

A part of the charge of immaturity often brought against J.D. Salinger is the fact that he did not deal with mature love. The implication is that he “escapes” from sex. It is an open question whether this escape is … Continue reading

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something sad, terrific

Nathaniel Hawthorne was ten years away from Brook Farm, the socialist, utopian project, before he wrote the book The Blithedale Romance, from his observations there. By then, the success of The Scarlet Letter had justified his habit of looking at … Continue reading

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hotel player piano

A largely automated hotel, a luggage storing robot, and automatic check in desk with self-service touch screens. The future is here and its getting restless. Our love hate relationship with technology probably goes back to the Platonic idea of the … Continue reading

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cockney: semantics and the glottal stop

Argot. Jargon. The charm and bane of the vernacular. If anyone is sensitive about accent, its the English. Accent being a key marking point of where to place the individual on the pecking order of a society ultra-conscious of class … Continue reading

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