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Showing posts from February, 2019

Without vision the people perish...

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John Carey in his admirable biography of Golding says of  "Darkness Visible" that a simple summary of its plot would sound preposterous and, agreeing, I will not try here.

At its heart are three figures. Matty, an eccentric who appears out of the fires of the Blitz in war torn London hideously disfigured by fire. Mr Pedigree, a pedophile school teacher, whose life enters a downward spiral having been betrayed by Matty`s remorseless honesty.  Sophy, who with her twin Toni, grow up in the same town that connects Matty with Mr Pedigree and where their failed attempt to kidnap a child from a local public school brings the denouement that is Matty`s death and Mr Pedigree`s presumed redemption.

The outward narrative that connects these three figures together is, as Carey notes, mostly unbelievable and yet this detracts from the novel not one whit. What matters consistently is the inward dynamics that propel the principal characters outward actions and here Golding`s vision is rem…

The uncanny biography

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I was on my way to bed on Tuesday night and found myself contemplating Andrei Bely's "Kotik Letaev' his experimental novel that follows a child from birth onwards capturing the unfolding of its awareness whilst mirroring Rudolf Steiner's understanding of the development of consciousness. What, I found myself thinking, do I really think about Rudolf Steiner? The next day, over breakfast, I open my current book, John Cary's excellent biography of William Golding and within a page, I learn that Golding's first teaching appointment was at a Steiner school (as one of his lifelong friends, met at Oxford, became a minister in the Steiner inspired, Christian Community). Golding himself, whilst initially impressed by Steiner's work, found Steiner's followers less appealing. I smiled at the coincidence and thought no more of it.

On Wednesday evening, I found myself thinking of how and when did my early, thirteen-year-old, introduction to Transcendental meditati…