Imaginationist Manifesto – Then and Now

Imaginationist Manifesto (2011) So fragile is the reality of life, that it is not real at all. Man is increasingly discontent with his destiny, for he makes himself more aware of it daily. A destiny he sees to be one of disquietude, disappointments and failures – and yet he does not know what his destiny…

Bullfighting and the Revolt Against Self-Enslavement

In the last few weeks I have been re-learning how to love one of my earliest and most faithful of loves: Spain. Whenever a lecturer mentions a glimmer of Spanish art I get carried away into a fantasy world – I feel like a sixteen-year-old again. And now I have the opportunity to make myself…

The Destruction of Art

I have just finished watching Mary Beard’s new series Forbidden Art and my mind whirls with new insights into the nature and power of art. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about over the last few days. Yesterday, as I read for my Zuloaga assignment over a beer at a dive bar, I thought…

A Manifesto for Existential History

I feel the same wonder towards the Parthenon that a Catholic must feel for the Virgin. My atheistic sense of reason has not dulled my sense of the sublime. I seek it not in the supernatural but in the historic, in the artistic, in my fellow man.             During a lecture on Paleochristian art this…

Desert Island Books

  A brief aside for a moment of reflection. Last night, I went to Sliema, and although life was buzzing, it wasn’t quite the same as a usual summer night. Coronavirus is hitting the peak of a second wave here in Malta. Soon, these bars will be obstacle courses yet again, life will be sapped…

The Romantic in the Age of Enlightenment

  The Romantic, that great 18th century, European invention, was born out of a guttural distaste for Enlightenment notions of science and rationalism. Romanticism was a disavowal of the modern world and its underlying values in favour of a nostalgic return to a naturalistic, beauteous past. An artistic revolt against the Industrial Revolution and its…

Why I Love Japanese Literature

  Literature, just as porn, is a reflection of a nation’s identity. Whilst porn reflects a certain truthful stereotype – the harsh, blonde German woman, the sultry French girl, the busty, flashy American, big-assed Brazilian, etc – literature reflects a more profound way a nation sees the world. In France, the literature is philosophical, erotic…

Sevilla and a Nobel Betrayed

  How more like a clear blue sky emerging from the cracks of dawn the Moorish Alcazar appeared in comparison to the dark night of the cathedral. The cathedral of Sevilla – you’re often reminded it is one of the biggest in the world – is politics. Faith is enslaved to the earthly ambitions of…

A Review of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

This is a sexy book. There is no better adjective to describe it. The Unbearable Lightness of Being makes you want to do something kinky. In a sense, this is one of the most European novels you’re likely to read. Milan Kundera is a Czech novelist who’s been living in France for the last few…

My Kind of Vegetarian

   You should never read books by title alone. A book should not be judged by its title. I could truly appreciate the poignancy of those platitudes after reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang. I had heard a lot of good things about the book. It had won the 2016 Booker Prize and was quickly…