Monthly Archives: November 2007

Weekend break

I’ll be away for a few days. See you next week. Behave. Here’s something to look at while I’m gone.

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Sick building

The university language centre, where I work, is on the seventh floor of one of Rome’s ugliest buildings, halfway between the Pyramid and St Paul outside the Walls. Thrown up in the 1970s, it manages to seem both shoddy and … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, rome, work | 1 Comment

Recreational drugs

This is painted on the outside wall of the basement of the building in which I work.The care with which the mushroom has been rendered, in all its – how shall I say this? – hallucinatory splendour is in stark … Continue reading

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Free speech

In today’s Guardian, Brian Klug makes an interesting point about the brouhaha surrounding the Oxford Union’s decision to invite two fascists – who shall here remain nameless – to participate in a debate on free speech. He points out that … Continue reading

Posted in freedom of speech, human rights | 1 Comment

Little Monsters update

Little Monsters has been described by a certain Caitriona (thank you, Caitriona!) as a tear-jerker on the Picador blog. The novel’s made me cry in the past for a variety of reasons, but it’s slightly disconcerting (and, of course, wholly … Continue reading

Posted in little monsters, picador, shameless self-promotion | 2 Comments

Music: Dolly Parton et al.

Have you ever combined two ingredients you’re slightly iffy about and produced something rather wonderful? No, neither have I. I’d started to wonder if it was possible. Until I heard Dolly Parton’s version of Stairway to Heaven. You can listen … Continue reading

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One of the most important, and useful, books to have come out recently in Italy isn’t a novel, but an exposure of the role played by the Camorra, the international Mafia-style structure with its base in the organised crime of … Continue reading

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