Monthly Archives: December 2015

IBN FADLĀN AND THE LAND OF DARKNESS: ARAB TRAVELLERS IN THE FAR NORTH

Arab travellers and Vikings coming together… sounds like fiction (and Crichton did create a decent story out of this premise in Eaters of the Dead), but not the case. This book compiles accounts by Arab travellers detailing various Turkic people who populate northern regions where the nights are so short “there is no time for the water to boil before the dawn prayer.” Continue reading

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HEROES AND VILLAINS

There’s a part early on in the novella where Marianne asks Jewel if barbarians die of madness, because there is a number of cases where madness has led to suicide and homicide in the towns of the Professors. Jewel answers with a list of physical diseases that the Barbarians die of instead. In some ways that hit me most this time, because I remember in my house that my parents and those around in the neighbourhood at that time didn’t recognise depression as an illness, they just saw it as a middle-class triviality – I guess they saw it as when you’re busy surviving, there’s no time for luxuries like living, I don’t know (because there was a lot of madness there as well). Continue reading

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THE DIARY OF FRIDA KAHLO

What I love most about her journal is what I hate most about my journal keeping. She was very liberated; it truly was an outlet without heed to form, perfection or cleanliness: she clearly didn’t give a fuck if one entry stained another. Continue reading

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THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

[written June 2013] Fashioned from Sumerian tales of Bilgames, the standard Akkadian text of Gilgamesh serves as one of the earliest surviving works of literature, and a popular first record of bromance too. It’s so much more than that, though. … Continue reading

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Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita… Take #5/Final Reminder & Court Summons

I’d like to say I have a good excuse for not reading Master and Margarita as promised to do so in a previous blog post… To be honest, I think moving three times in the last half a year, giving … Continue reading

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