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Posts tagged with books

Dizzying obsession – a component of genius.

Given our preoccupation with the dangers of fruitless obsession, and the emphasis we put on the virtues of a balanced life, we sometimes forget that dizzying obsession is also, as Isaacson writes, “a component of genius.”

Posted in Blog on Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Milton’s Paradise Lost – a poem for October ’17.

Much gratitude to a client who presented me with John Carey’s brilliantly edited new version of Paradise Lost. I was a student of Carey’s once – and it is wonderful to be able to hear his voice in the Introduction. All very nostalgic,
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Posted in Blog on Friday, October 20, 2017
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Is Mindfulness Meditation BS?

Has the spiritual practice of meditation been cheapened by being used as a therapeutic tool? Or is there really no contradiction between using meditation to reduce stress and using it to explore spirituality? There was a great article I read recently in WIRED
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Posted in Blog on Thursday, September 14, 2017
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Greek poetry in the shadow of austerity.

In my recent post on Anna Pasternack’s “Lara” I bemoaned the fact that, in the West today, we are not as sensitive to poetry as the Russians were – and are still. It turns out I may have been wrong. Here’s an article
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Posted in Blog on Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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The untold love story.

Midway through my friend Anna Pasternack’s meticulously researched and profoundly moving “Lara” – an account of her great uncle Boris’ relationship with Olga Ivinskaya. What is striking is how utterly different their world was from ours – and I don’t just mean the
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Posted in Blog on Wednesday, June 21, 2017
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Reality is not what it seems.

Reading Carlo Rovelli’s deeply engrossing and brilliantly written “Reality is not what it seems.” Very reassuring to see just how tentative, uncertain and sometimes downright incapable the likes of Einstein were on occasion. Rovelli rightly sees this as a virtue: “True genius,” he
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Posted in Blog on Sunday, March 5, 2017
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We forget how profoundly the gut influences the way new feel in ourselves.

Have just finished reading Giulia Enders marvelously entertaining – and hugely informative – book on a system of organs in the body that have a greater bearing on our emotional state than we imagine. Most of us are so enamored of the brain,
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Posted in Blog on Friday, February 17, 2017
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You don’t get anywhere by NOT ‘wasting’ time.

Have been reading Carlo Rovelli’s “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” which opens with the observation that, in his youth, Einstein spent a year “loafing aimlessly”. As Rovelli remarks, “You don’t get anywhere by not ‘wasting’ time.” So very true. And so utterly forgotten.
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Posted in Blog on Wednesday, February 8, 2017
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He didn’t so much bite the hand that fed him as tear it off with bared fangs.

Now who would have thought Wagner was influenced by Buddhism! The Times Book of the week today: BEING WAGNER: THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL by Simon Callow. Reviewed by Michael Gove. “Wagner (1813-83) wrote the most emotionally powerful and intellectually challenging works of
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Posted in Blog on Saturday, January 28, 2017
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Hey Hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today.

Zipping through Vol 4 of Caro’s Life of LBJ, widely regarded as the greatest piece of non-fiction ever written. An extraordinary study of power. Not always savoury but extremely instructive. It tells you what it takes. What it really takes. The very man
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Posted in Blog on Monday, November 28, 2016
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