I’ve just finished reading a book, Henry V, War Criminal and Other Shakespearian Puzzles, which explores a number of puzzles, and apparent contradictions, in some (or in fact most) of Shakespeare’s plays. I guess when you happen to be this hugely famous author any little mistake, or apparent mistake, is suddenly scrutinised extensively, and debated over by academics of all stripes. Then we have somebody like Shakespeare, who in many cases is viewed as not just one of, but the greatest, writer that the English language has ever produced, and we are speaking of a language that has produced countless numbers of great writers. However while writers such as Charles Dickens can produce a love/hate relationship, Shakespeare seems to be loved by all (except for those high school students who are forced to study his plays).
Goethe – Germany’s Renaissance Man
One of the places that I ended up visiting in Frankfurt was the Goethe House, and while a part of me wants to simply write about the house (particularly since the website is actually pretty detailed), I will either leave that for my travel blog, or another post in this blog at another time. However, what I will say is that the house itself is quite large, comprising of four floors, all of them packed full of Goethe related material, and lots and lots of artwork (though he wasn’t much of painter, rather the paintings were from his father’s collection). Next door, well not so much next door because it is actually a part of the museum, is another gallery of paintings by Goethe’s contemporaries. Actually, the staff were pretty keen on me going in and having a look, which is what I eventually did.
The Big Short – Capitalism in Crisis
Once again I watched a movie that when I started writing a review on IMDB I realised that there was a lot more that I could say about the film than I could easily fit in one of its posts (and even then those post are more for reviews of the film than actually deeply exploring the ideas that come out of the film, not that I actually don’t do that since it is better for me to jump over to my blog to explore the themes). Anyway, The Big Short is based upon a book of the same name and is about some Wall Street traders who predict the coming collapse of the housing market in the United States and decided to bets against this with the purpose of making a profiting (which is what Wall Street traders do). The movie follows these four people from when fund manager Michael Burry first identifies a problem within the market to when the US government bails out the banks.
Don Juan in Hell – George Bernard Shaw’s Man & Superman
As I have said on my numerous reviews on Goodreads (and elsewhere), a play is meant to be watched, not read, and it can be very difficult to truly appreciate a play unless you watch it performed. The problem is that you rarely see many plays performed by playwrights of the past (unless that playwright is Shakespeare – he is still very popular). This means that it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to actually see any of Shaw’s works. However, imagine my delight when I jumped onto the website of the Palace Nova Brighton Bay and discovered that they were showing a production of Shaw’s Man & Superman that was recently staged in London. While I have seen movie adaptations of couple of his plays (The Devil’s Disciple and Caeser and Cleopatra – both of which have now been removed from Youtube due to copyright violations), I have yet, until now, seen one of his plays performed. Of all the plays that they could have chosen they selected a relatively obscure one.
Pink Floyd’s The Wall – The Alienation of Success
I find it really bizarre that a film that the producers really didn’t like, and was described by one of the writers as ‘too depressing’ and by the director as ‘the longest student film ever made’ has become a cult classic, won 2 BAFTA Awards, and has received a combined user rating of 8 on IMDB. However, I probably shouldn’t consider it all that surprising since the film that we as kids voted as ‘the worst film ever made’ was Plan 9 From Outer Space (though that only receives a combined user rating of 4 on IMDB, and I personally have yet to even watch it – still, it is considered a cult classic, particularly since it has a combined user rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 66% with the premise that it is so bad it is actually really good). Anyway, I have already written a review (of Pink Floyd The Wall, not Plan 9 from Outer Space), though IMDB does not give me huge amounts of room to be able to really explore this film, so I will do it here.
Montaigne’s Essays – A French Aristocrat shares his personal opinions
Before I dive into talking about Montaigne’s basically random thoughts, all of his essays are available on the internet (Project Gutenberg hosts all of them) if you… Read more “Montaigne’s Essays – A French Aristocrat shares his personal opinions”
Proverbs – Wisdom for the Ages
As we were coming to the end of the year in our Bible study group, we were discussing whether we would stick to the standard curriculum, or whether we would branch out on our own for a couple of weeks. I suggested that we might consider having a look at one of my favourite books of the Bible, that being the book of Proverbs.
A story about Art, Argument, and Motorbikes
This is one of those books that I am wondering why it took me so long to get around to reading. I guess a part of it had to do with the title (when I was younger anything that reeked of another religion would be automatically discarded), but then I guess it also had to do with the fact that it was only recently that I obtained a copy (thanks to gift card that was given to me as a present), and when my bookclub decided to have a session devoted entirely to, well, controversial books, it gave me an excuse to read it.
11 Things I Learnt from Stephen Hawking
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking 1988 – 9/10 Ever since I took up physics in year 11 I have had a love affair with the… Read more “11 Things I Learnt from Stephen Hawking”