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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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The first piece of classical music I ever remember hearing was Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.4 at the age of 7. I know it was this because our headmistress had it played every Monday morning at the start of school assembly in the Invicta Infants School, Blackheath. This was followed by ‘Jupiter’ from Holst’s Planet Suite and ‘Fingal’s Cave’ by Mendelssohn, a piece of music I still can’t listen to…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory & The Arts
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New evidence shows that human beings were already standing on their own two feet seven million years ago. So it would seem I'm going in the reverse direction, for I'm now barely able to stand up some days. The neurological damage to my lower limbs, my weight-loss and general unwellness suggest that I will have to finally curtail my travelling. (I know, I photograph as my usual picture of health…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Fantasy Schmantasy I know it's my problem. I've tried so many times with fantasy novels, but there's only a very fine strand of them I can really appreciate. Those are the ones carrying the weight of reality with them, the ones that put humans ahead of invented creatures. I always loved the film 'Dragonslayer', partly for Ralph Richardson's speech explaining why the dragon is angry; he's old and…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Free at last. No more hospitals for now. Apart from the unappealing carrot of another experimental trial (this one with even lower survival odds and half of it placebos) happening at the other end of the city there's nothing else, so I'm letting nature take its course. This doesn't automatically mean I'm going to vanish overnight, and my most fervent wish is to stay well enough for at least part…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Hot Enough For May Southern Europe is experiencing an unpleasant, debilitating heatwave. This afternoon in Barcelona's Palo Alto market a young woman fainted in front of me and was instantly attended by an ambulance team. Instead of being concerned for her I could only think that the NHS would have warned her of a two-hour delay. The market is the least likely to ever be compared to Camden Market…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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The 20th century was a century of movement. Aldous Huxley once wrote, 'Now that we can travel easily, we spend our lives traveling.' The pendulum began to swing back during the pandemic, when many realised that a large proportion of their journeys were unnecessary, and it had been moving against the petrol engine for some time - climate change has seen to that. So what are we now to make of Robert…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Surrealism is back with a vengeance in the UK at the moment; the only possible response to times of upheaval etc etc., but how much of it is any good? Surrealism has always been the art student's first port of call. It's easy to produce - just put a woman in a room with a chicken's head and surround her with hyenas. It's amazing how much bad surrealist art consists of a collection of random…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Abandoning a friend in a pub, Tony Hancock says, 'Very well, I shall leave you in the company of these Hogarthian grotesques.' And everybody knew what he meant. William Hogarth had been the moral chronicler of his times, those being the first half of the eighteenth century, but his power still resonated in the twentieth. It's surprising, considering he was associated with the pre-modern age before…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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This the second part of my short story. Feel free to download it, print it out, make a papier maché clock from it etc etc. The Sultan's fascination with time gradually dimmed, but the course of his kingdom was now set. With time had come punctuality, and efficiency, and profitability. It was not a concept, like the alchemical one of turning coal into gold, that he could easily discard. His guards…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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It's time for a story. I wrote this a very long time ago, when I was very enamoured with Persian culture. I'll drop the second half tomorrow. -------------- The Sultan Omar Mehmet Shay-Tarrazin was a ruler much given to statistics, not particularly through his own choice. It was simply that he had so much of everything, there was a fascination in quantifying it. He had seventy-three concubines and…
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