On the dying of time

For all of my life—I am seventy this year—I have been taught and heard all the wrong things about writing, and how to write. I think of this as the John Gardner/David Lodge/E. B. White school of writing—all of them worthy practitioners of the craft, and all of them...

The Lincoln Compromise

(Another bit of the novel in progress, A Republic of Books, to be found growing elsewhere on this ethereal site) Abraham Lincoln, whom I love as if he had been an actual character in my life and a member of my family, is one of the great villains of our history. How...

Who killed Phidias?

When simple murder is not enough [and yet another bit from the seemingly never ending novel A Republic of Books, that is the ‘work in progress’, more of which is to be found elsewhere on this ethereal site.] I once wrote a novel about Phidias. There is...

A note on the little I have learned

And that a man might be an island after all. [Yet another portion of A Republic of Books, more of which can be found elsewhere on this ethereal site.] I had some reason a few years ago to think about Eden and man’s lost innocence and whatever is the cause of this that...

The seven senses

  As is so often the case, the Greeks got there first. Perhaps not always exactly or correctly, but at least in spirit. The seven liberal arts, as set out in ancient thought as the keys to education, are grammar, logic, and rhetoric, enhanced by arithmetic, geometry,...