Monthly Archives: December 2017

No Post Today…

…because I just discovered I urgently need another eye operation. It will take place first thing tomorrow, so no blog from me. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, depending on what happens. I guess I won’t be seeing Star Wars at the weekend.

Three Taboos 2

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Our next taboo concerns ghettoised writing. As someone who prefers inclusivity at any cost, I now feel impatient with the ghettoisation of certain types of literature; women’s writing, gay writing and to a lesser extent black writing, only because I find it hard to read about any section of the population in isolation from any […]

Three Taboos 1

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1. The Missing Males   This is the first of three short pieces on new taboo subjects. And it’s something I first noticed on the last tour – an almost total absence of male readers in the audiences. The only men who turn up now are students or retirees. Anyone else is an anomaly. A […]

Finding Light In Darkness

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How do you tell the story of a disaster without being accused of cheapening a tragedy or overwhelming visitors? More and more, buildings are opening that reveal terrible histories in an intelligent new way of curating. Budapest’s House of Terror, contains exhibits related to the equally disastrous fascist and communist regimes in 20th-century Hungary and is […]

New York VS London

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It’s my first trip back tp NYC is a long while. Customs has finally been sorted out, even with newly added forms, scans, questions and access that reminds you of attempting to get into an oversubscribed new restaurant. It’s not bad at all. Heathrow is overcrowded, Gatwick sometimes sends you through tunnels  and underpasses  that look […]

Addicted To Travel

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For a quarter of a century I went nowhere. I worked, ate, slept and saw millions of movies. The movie-viewing was part of my job and took up all my available free time. While others had gap years,  unpaid travel leave and sabbaticals I was in Curzons, Odeons and my own full-size office cinema. My […]

Overcoming Prejudice One Contact At A Time

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At the end of this weekend I’m heading for New York on a very brief stopover. I haven’t been back in years, and for too long my main contact with the US has come from the UK and US press. Consequently, I’ve heard far too much about the extremes of American society, either the super-rich […]

Raquel!

As I’m now only a short distance from the Mayan complex of Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatan it occasions me to forget the astonishing history of this lost civilisation and recall instead the truly hideous 1970 TV special ‘Raquel!’ which featured Ms Welch singing and posing her way through different world locations with Tom Jones […]

Why Authors Are Forgotten: Part 6

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In Richard Hughes’s ‘A High Wind In Jamaica’, some British children living in the Caribbean survive a hurricane and are sent back to England, but are captured by pirates. It’s an adventure about children, but certainly not aimed at them. Because in a turnabout, it’s the pirates who have to be afraid…it’s a haunting book […]

Why Authors Are Forgotten: Part 5

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  The project of unearthing these writers became a labour of love that made me new friends around the world, as I tracked them down and heard their stories. I discovered how Walt Disney saved banned European writers, how a bestselling Tibetan monk turned out to be a plumber from Devon and how Alfred Hitchcock […]