The Block Museum’s current exhibition, “William Blake and the Age of Aquarius,” is a study of time travel and tripping. It connects Blake’s ethereal radicalism to that of the 1960’s to that of the post-truth U.S., and in Chicago, Faith Wilding’s show at Western Exhibitions. [ . . .]
CRAIG BROWN: In our contemporary climate, would George Orwell be allowed a platform to speak up about anything?
THE DAILY MAIL 2/14/18
A week or two ago, I pointed out that Brexiteers and Remainers alike are convinced that if George Orwell were alive today he would be firmly on their side.
This raises another question. In our contemporary climate, would George Orwell be allowed a platform to speak up about anything?
In America, the wonderful comic writer Garrison Keillor has been silenced following allegations of improper conduct. The long-running radio show he created has been given a new name and old episodes are no longer being repeated; his weekly newspaper column has been cancelled; and a plaque in his honour at his old university has been removed.
‘She recoiled. I apologised. I sent her an email of apology and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.’
Nearly 70 years after his death, George Orwell is still regarded as one of our greatest essayists and novelists, but a trawl through his life and work by the Thought Police would, I’m sorry to say, unearth far worse.
Even his most sympathetic biographers acknowledge that, as an officer of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, he paid regular visits to the waterfront brothels of Rangoon. After spending time in Morocco, he also confessed to his friend Harold Acton that he ‘seldom tasted such bliss as with certain Moroccan girls’.
A friend recalled Orwell saying that ‘he found himself increasingly attracted by the young Arab girls’. He confessed to the same friend that he told his wife, Eileen, he ‘had to have one of these girls on just one occasion’. Eileen agreed, and so he went ahead [ . . . ]
Full Story at: CRAIG BROWN: Was George Orwell just a dirty old man?
What happens when we die?” is one of the existential questions that humans have puzzled over since we first grew aware of our own mortality. Few of us can ever have contemplated that our name might be seized from our gravestone by a bestselling author, assigned to a fictional evil wizard and our final place of rest transformed into a vacuous bucket list novelty for fans of a popular fantasy franchise
That is, however, the fate which has befallen Thomas Riddell, who died in Edinburgh in 1806. His grave, nestled within the city’s Greyfriars Kirkyard, has become a pilgrimage for hundreds of visitors every day, who trek to the site to see an inscription that possibly inspired the naming of a character in a book.
Riddell’s name, you see, is a bit like that of Tom Riddle, otherwise known as the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort, the primary antagonist of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. On another tombstone nearby, someone has scrawled “Sirius Black, 1953 – 1996”, a reference to another series character [ . . . ]