Take a lucky dip in this refreshing pool of posts, randomly selected like literary Russian roulette (but more fun and much safer). Or filter by category to take a deeper dive into specific themes.  Enjoy!

Spider-thick world

Despite an occasional pathetic squeamishness, I protect insects and comfortably co-habit with spiders, and like the idea of this great old tree being thickly woven with them.  I also like...


A pleasing quickfire sprightliness to this word. It means, among other things, the essential or defining nature or characteristic of something, its particularities.  It can also mean a clever or nuanced...

All about revolutions

Fine understatement given how many billions of human hours have been lost obliging people to listen to revolutionary speeches.

‘That is slightly the problem with revolutions. There are an awful lot of...

As lively as …

You can imagine the spark lighting up a prim Victorian drawing room, when the sexes are brought together within a confined space.

'The ladies, since the gentlemen entered, have become...

Appreciation is a better mode for the understanding of achievement than are all the analytical kinds of accounting for the emergence of exceptional individuals.  Appreciation may judge, but always with gratitude, and frequently with awe and wonder.  

By ‘appreciation’ I mean something more than ‘adequate esteem’.  Need also enters into it, in the particular sense of turning to the genius of others in order to redress a lack in oneself, or finding in genius a stimulus to one’s own powers, whatever these may emerge as being.

Source: Harold Bloom, Genius (London: Fourth Estate, 2002), p. 5

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