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I was just sent this:

“I think Tony Blair is one of the most un-Dostoevskian characters in Britain.”

The words are the archbishop of Canterbury’s, and I have to say, bloody brilliant.

If you read the whole Guardian article, you realise that the Dostoevsky reference was not taken completely out of the blue, but prompted by a question on Tony Blair’s performance at the Chilcot Enquiry, asked at a lecture given on Dostoevsky.  Nonetheless, rather amusing, especially coming from the clergy, don’t you think (Why do I imagine priests being dreadfully boring?)?

Oh, but wait, it gets better;

“I did once rather unkindly say that Tony Blair did do God but he didn’t do irony. Irony is when you recognise that your own sense of dramatic power is always something that is going to be absurd in the light of truth. The readiness to cope with that absurdity is something that you have to learn in order to grow up.”


On Woman’s Hour they are talking about Coco Chanel and now Francoise Hardy is singing about her friend the rose and also, I imagine, about withering away, decay and death (must learn French) and I’d like to be in Paris right now, more precisely with the cherubs and the nymphs on Pont Alexandre III, because over-the-top art nouveau is the perfect antidote to dreary autumn weather and that vacant feeling left by the long-gone melancholy glamour of the 60’s. And in Paris quality red wine is mandatory. Steel constructions and stone ornaments filtered through a red-wine haze is what makes it so beautiful.

But I’m not in Paris. I am sitting at home, eating lunch consisting of chai tea and riesen chocolate while wrestling with Mikhail Bakhtin. Actually it’s a bit of a triangle drama between me, Bakhtin and Milan Kundera. Francoise is cheerleading, although it’s not clear whose side she is on. Possibly on Dostoevsky’s. He is also here, standing in the corner, with his polyphonic novel, looking terribly misunderstood.

Milan Kundera says “The novelist is neither historian nor prophet: he is an explorer of existence” and “existence is not what has occurred, existence is the realm of human possibilities, everything that man can become, everything he is capable of.”

And I think, really, are we not all explorers of existence? At least our own existence. I think I’m going to put that on my business card either way. Explorer of existence and gratifier of human mankind. Charges on a pro rata basis. And Francoise sings j’ai besoin d’espoir sinon je ne suis rien which I think I will use as an advertising slogan (really, must learn French).

I clearly have nothing of importance to talk about. So bye. Au revoir, a bientot mes amis.

on twitter

  • RT @artinsociety: Albrecht Dürer died #OTD 1528, almost 500 years ago, but his studies of animals and bugs live on ~ here’s his finely-obse… 10 months ago
  • RT @TheSyriaCmpgn: These photos show the devastating conditions Syrian refugees are facing in Lebanon after a brutal storm left their tents… 1 year ago
  • RT @jeremycorbyn: I, Daniel Blake will be shown on TV for the first time, tonight at 9.45pm on BBC 2. It shows the human cost of this Tory… 1 year ago


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mimi harcourt