Category: Books

Book Reviews

‘I have never thought of writing as a profession. It is a solitary, independent activity in which practice can never bestow seniority… Whatever the motives, political or personal, which have led me to undertake to write something, the writing begins, as soon as I begin, a struggle to give meaning to experience. Every profession has […]

Read more

Blown away this week by the John Singer Sargent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. I hadn’t expected to be so enthralled by his work – I’d made the mistake of regarding him as a precursor to the radicalism that followed. And yet his work somehow imbibes that Modernism – to say call him unradical […]

Read more

I’ve just finished re-reading Voss by Patrick White – a relief in some senses, as it will be nice to have my brain back for a little while after almost total immersion in what is an astonishing, moving, harrowing piece of literature. Much has been written – although not enough – about the genius of […]

Read more

Just spent a delightful couple of days in North Lincolnshire on the trail of Percy Grainger, with my old friend Charlie Davie. Grainger collected folk songs in North Lincolnshire from 1906-09, pioneering the use of the phonograph to record the local folk singers. His visits to Brigg in particular, yielded a rich harvest of songs, […]

Read more