You Want a Role Model, Here’s Mary Beard

I am the least woke person you’re ever likely to meet. I find the era of ‘rights’ we live in tiring, jaded and leaning towards the dictatorial. And it’s such a shame because rights are, of course, the fundamentals of 21st century Western civilisation. They are ideas we inherited, in very raw form, from our…

The Classic and the Contemporary

Przemek Pyszczek The Polish artist Przemek Pyszczek is a young, upcoming artist on the contemporary art scene. His work merges painting and sculpture on a singular continuum. He studied architecture and most of his pieces are installations; colourful structures inspired by his homeland and memories. Pyszczek says he is influenced by “observing the physical world…

The Fallen Warriors of Aphaia

There is no greater holy grail for a natural scientist than capturing evidence of evolution happening before his very eyes, a moment that freezes the metamorphosis between one species into another, or merely a new mutation.             Art historians are also sometimes let in on such a rare, wondrous moment. I can think of no…

Bull-Leaping Minoans

What was the first European civilisation? How do we know they were truly European? And ought we be proud of the legacy these forefathers unwittingly initiated?             These are the kinds of questions that sail round one’s mind when reading about the Minoan civilisation.             Despite the beauty of the ruins found in Crete, the…

The Fayum Portraits

The Fayum Portraits How do civilisations die out? Are they wiped out by conquerors, decimated by natural disasters, emaciated by ongoing famine? Is it really that straightforward a question to answer?             Art has always been a marker for civilisations, a culture’s own self-made DNA. Archeologists and historians can date artifacts by their artistic styles,…

Fatherhood in the End of History

We are well and truly living through the End of History. The great battle of ideologies of the last two hundred years are over. Fascism vs Communism. Liberalism vs Conservatism. Nationalism vs Marxism. Democracy vs Dictatorship. Liberalism and free-market economies have won the day. And although the world is not uniformly democratic and liberal, there is no argument.

Reflections on Fatherhood

Maybe it’ll be easier when my son’s older and fatherhood won’t just be about routine, about regimented days and nights (but isn’t he just the sweetest thing!), and I’ll be able to take my son up to bed, tell him to put away all devices, and read him a poem, slow down time for the two of us, a poem like John Donne’

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…

Stalking Beatrice

A Short-Story in Verse   The Timeless Meets the Timely   The shadow of eternity falls painfully On the moment that craves immortality. Memories fortified into cold marble Cast a pall of nascent experiences Seeking to shed their wind-starved wings. The Timeless gods so unfamiliar yet intimate Are a forest, labyrinthine and unkind, That guide…

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…