Category Archives: Classics

The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (translated by Edward G. Seidensticker)

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki is a writer I associate very strongly with a kind of claustrophobic, highly charged, erotic, chaotic, madcap kind of fiction. I’ve read both Diary of a Mad Old Man and The Key and both novels are quite similar … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, fiction, Japanese | 4 Comments

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

For those of you who have seen the movie Gladiator, you may recognise the name Marcus Aurelius as being the old emperor who offers Maximus the stewardship of Rome, only to be assassinated by his own son, inadvertently condemning Maximus … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, comfort books, non-fiction, philosophy | 7 Comments

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

I first hear of Sylvia Townsend Warner when David Mitchell (who I adore) named her book The Corner That Held Them as one of his favourite books of all time. This was some time ago and I never got around … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, fiction, gender | 9 Comments

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

My challenge towards the end of the year is to read some of those books I bought with lofty ideals in mind only to place them on my shelf like so much high-brow decoration. When I first conceived of this … Continue reading

Posted in Books I Ought to Read, Classics | 9 Comments

Books I Ought to Read No.5: Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

I have, for the longest time, been intending to get around to reading Old Goriot, but as usual never quite got around to it. It seems I am not alone. When I took my secondhand copy, an old Caxton Edition … Continue reading

Posted in Books I Ought to Read, Classics, fiction | 6 Comments

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

There are moments in reading that catch you just so, that transform a book into an experience. Perhaps it is just a matter of timing, that you’ve achieved just the right blend of vulnerability, receptiveness and desire and the writer … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, nature, non-fiction, outwith | 7 Comments

Essays in Idleness and Hōjōki by Kenkō and Chōmei (translated by Meredith McKinney)

“Where can one be, what can one do, to find a little safe shelter in this world, and a little peace of mind?” February has been a patchy reading month, it has been interesting and a bit wild, and I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Japanese, outwith, philosophy | 6 Comments