Topography Of Terror

Topography – a detailed description or representation on a map of the physical features of an area. Terror – the use of extreme fear to intimidate people, especially for political reasons. (Oxford Dictionary of English) I put off visiting the museum of Gestapo atrocities, aptly called The Topography of Terror. One knows what happened. Why go for total immersion? I have misgivings about the remembrance … Continue reading Topography Of Terror

Homo Conscius

Perhaps Timothy Balding’s new novel, Homo Conscius, is a series of connected vignettes. This, at any rate, was my first impression. The chapters are short and many could stand on their own as short stories or collections of bons mots. By chapter four, I was jolted back to my youth, around 1962, when we were all pretending we understood the existentialism of Sartre’s The Age … Continue reading Homo Conscius

Don’t Say Don’t.

New Year Resolutions are doomed to fail. The inclusion of the word ‘don’t,’ kills all hope of success. It is accepted in educational psychology, that people fail to register words such as don’t and stop, when used in the imperative. Why isn’t clear. Apparently, we hate negatives. The Charge of the Light Brigade was probably caused by the order, ‘Don’t charge the heights where the … Continue reading Don’t Say Don’t.

Perfecting Positive Putdowns.

‘I love your dress.’ ‘Thanks. My sister was buried in it.’ That is a positive putdown. Imagine the scenario. The gender traitor, the woman, who you know is going to declare to the world, she has never seen such poor taste the moment your back is turned, has just praised your dress. Your answer leaves her speechless, and you have made it to the sanctuary … Continue reading Perfecting Positive Putdowns.

Self Publish! It Can’t Get Any Worse

A friend, who knows I have been self-publishing my books since 1990, handed me a short article from Die Zeit. This is a German weekly, normally too heavy to lift with one hand – perhaps equivalent to The Observer, except it appears Thursdays for some obscure reason. The article was by Harald Martenstein, senior editor at the Tagespiegel. He is an author, with 17 titles … Continue reading Self Publish! It Can’t Get Any Worse

A Boxful Of Ideas

  Poetry and Prose by LGBT Writers. I was eighteen, when male homosexuality ceased to be a crime in the UK. The old law was harsh, and prescribed jail sentences. Back in history, the death penalty was applied. No wonder the law was called ‘the blackmailer’s charter.’ The point is that I grew up in a world where homosexuals were criminals. As a schoolboy, at … Continue reading A Boxful Of Ideas