Tag Archives: Society

A Respectable Life? Ruth Scurr’s John Aubrey: My Own Life

Scurr, Ruth. John Aubrey: My Own Life.Vintage, 2015. You are probably aware of John Aubrey’s Brief Livesand of Anthony Powell’s John Aubrey and His Friends. Anyone reading about Restoration England is also fairly used to coming across references to Aubrey … Continue reading

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Whither the Fruit of Her Hands? Marilyn Yalom’s A History of the Wife

Yalom, Marilyn. A History of the Wife. HarperCollins, 2001.  Most of us are probably at least vaguely familiar with Proverbs 31 10-31 which defines the “virtuous woman . . . her price is far above rubies. [pearls or coral in some … Continue reading

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Arriving Here. Ali Smith’s Winter

Smith, Ali. Winter. Penguin Canada, 2017. Opening Ali Smith’s Winter reveals quotations from Shakespeare, Barbara Hepworth, Theresa May, Muriel Spark, and Charles Dickens and surely gives advance notice that once again Smith will be leading her readers on a crazy paving … Continue reading

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Resistance? Not so Futile? Questioning the Algorithm. Harari’s Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Harari, Yuval Noah. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. 2015. Trans. Yuval Noah Harari. Signal, 2016. While Descartes posited “I think; therefore, I am,” today, we know we exist because our profiles exist in cyberspace. “I text, therefore, I am.” (There’s … Continue reading

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Adjusting Focus: Joanna Trollope’s City of Friends

Trollope, Joanna. City of Friends. Mantle, 2017. ebook. City of Friends is Joanna Trollope’s twentieth novel. She is, I suppose, known primarily for what we might call “women’s fiction.” Certainly, many of her novels deal with what some readers may feel are … Continue reading

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Making Sense? Terry Eagleton’s Materialism

Eagleton, Terry. Materialism. Yale UP. 2016.  As regular followers of this blog know, I am rather fond of Terry Eagleton’s writing. This small volume—I suppose if I were being particularly precise I might call it a monograph—does not fail to … Continue reading

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Pursuing Elsewhere: Ali Smith’s Public Library

Smith, Ali. Public Library and Other Stories. Hamish Hamilton, 2015. If you are a reader, and I expect you are given that you’re reading this blog, then you are probably intimately acquainted with your local public library. That is to … Continue reading

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