The Ghost in the Arena

  The Ghost in the Arena     Writing is a blood-sport. And in many blood-sports you tend to find the influence of religion. Think of the superstitions of bullfighters. Or the outspoken religiosity of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Or the Zen-like spirituality of karate. Faith brings these fighters, who frequently flirt with death…

This Sweet Land Chapter III

  III   The stars swam over the bay, hidden by the smoke that danced upwards from the busy beach. The long, red-sand bay of Ghadira was full of people on that wind-less, cloud-less May night. By the water’s edge the black sea turned luminous at the touch of so many gas lamps and crackling…

My Favourite Passages From The Shadows of Paradise

    I   Writing. A piece of fucking writing, Johnny mumbled to himself with awe-struck delight as he walked back to his seat. For a brief, intense time after that Johnny started telling the world, with the typically local graceless bravado, that he was going to be a writer! He suddenly spent hours reading,…

A Poetic Foundation

  The poetic foundation of a new novel…     I   That one embrace, Arms clasped Fingers entwined; That lasts lifetimes.   Mine’s and yours. If only I knew it then.   II   I would forsake the tides of history To guarantee your happiness: And I will. But quickly, before the clouds Veil…

Zorba The Perfect Novel

Originally posted on The Champagne Epicurean:
One of literary history’s most under-appreciated work of art, written by a Greek nomad who couldn’t get farther away from Greece if he had emigrated to Saturn. Nikos Kazantzakis was a Nietzschean, a Buddhist, an adventurer, writer of the beautifully profane The Last Temptation of Christ. In Zorba the…

Read The Shadows of Paradise – First Chapter

On a day when there is legitimate fear over the future of democracy with the inauguration of potentially dangerous, populist pseudo-autocrat, I have decided to embrace the democratic spirit, sidestep literary capitalism, and share with you, dear readers, the first chapter of my manuscript, The Shadows of Paradise. For more information about the novel read…

Don’t Forget The Happiness Part – Farewell 2016

Quotes from my writing 2016   So long as we are dying, we all return to the thing that kills us. Because that’s where we’re truly happy. The Shadows Of Paradise   But then again, only people under siege could know the meaning of happiness! White Clouds Of Mourning   When the Fernet Branca came,…

The Shadows Of Paradise Vlog II

My second video blog about my ongoing novel The Shadows Of Paradise. Working hard on it, despite the depressing world news, and soldiering on – writing is the hardest thing anyone can do in the comfort world. I do encourage your feedback, after all, despite it all, the democratic process is still alive and strong!…

The Real Good Stuff in Fiction

  For a couple of centuries now, at least since the likes of Henry James and Dostoevsky, the literary world has been in the grasp of the psychological novel. All the major masterpieces since then have been, in some way or another, a psychology-centred work. Gone are the days of the adventure novels, of Moby-Dick…

Third-World, First Rate

  For centuries now the Western world has held a monopoly on literature. Think of the literary greats and your mind rushes to Londoners, Americans, Frenchmen, Russians. This happens even if you are the most open-minded of people. And in a way it is only fair: the novel is a European invention. It gestated in…

The End of a Journey – Writing White Clouds of Mourning

How is one supposed to feel at the end of a journey? Finite. Infinite. Calm. Insane. There are as many possible sensations as can be named, and others which remain beyond the lexicon of man. You’d think I’d be used to it by now. This novel is my seventh journey – but even as this…