Occasional Essays


Hearing the Sonnet A brief introduction to the Shakespearean sonnet, and a study of how, in poetry and beyond, order enables the expression and enunciation of freedoms.

Dickens and Kafka: the unconscious made public An informal look at the Court of Society in the first writer and the Court of the Self in the second. A connected essay, A first encounter with Franz Kafka, details just that.

‘The hand comes little, clenched’ A few barely conscious paragraphs on how permanence is only possible when seen from the standpoint of an evanescent existence.

Deconstruction, avant la lettre A few thoughts on how the drive to construct interpretative systems precedes (and obstructs) interpretation itself.

Author of Alice - Lewis Carroll A look at the thought of Charles Dodgson and of the artists who illustrated his work. (Many graphics)

World, self and change How playing the violin at night in the lunatic wing of a mill-town workhouse settled the ghosts.

Personal thoughts on The Tao Te Ching I was requested to write this by the London Times, but in the end it was not published.

Philip Larkin: Arrival One of Philip Larkin's unusual metaphysical poems, with a brief note.

Poetic Anxiety looks at the uneasy apprehension of mortality that dwells at the rim of existence, and how this apprehension finds expression in the work of Philip Larkin and Franz Kafka. The essay then takes a tentative look at the notion that my sense of I may be a defensive illusion rather than an entity.

The Mirror's Gaze a chance meeting with a stranger is recalled: the two discuss a story written by Walter de la Mare, Miss Duveen.

Becky Sharp of Vanity Fair: A Brief Character Study a few lines on one of the most intriguing women in English fiction.

An encounter with Rebecca de Winter (via the Narrator). An essay on another Rebecca, another intriguing woman.

Kara a review of the film released in 2012 by Quantic Dream