Manic Street Preachers – Rewind the Film (ft. Richard Hawley)

To kick-start the promotion for their upcoming eleventh studio album, the Manics have just released the new record’s title track, ‘Rewind the Film’. It’s a great song, and the addition of Richard Hawley is a perfect touch, but the real emotional weight lies in the accompanying video. The film depicts a day in the lifeContinue reading “Manic Street Preachers – Rewind the Film (ft. Richard Hawley)”

The hyperreality of tourism

Tourism, in its essence, is the process of attempting to reconcile fantasy with ‘reality’. One becomes a tourist through presupposing what a certain location might be like to see or experience, and then visiting there in the hope that this fantasy is accurate. As with all fantasy, however, a place in actuality will never compare toContinue reading “The hyperreality of tourism”

Hope and despair in modern European literature

We can see in the work of Franz Kafka and Albert Camus a certain preoccupation with issues surrounding death, mortality and the apparent meaninglessness of life. In Kafka’s The Trial and Camus’ The Outsider in particular, there is evident an exploration of the nature and meaning of life, the inevitability of death, and the futilityContinue reading “Hope and despair in modern European literature”

Originality and modernity in the work of Philip Larkin

Throughout the poetry of Philip Larkin there seems evident a certain paradox in regards to the concepts of originality and modernity in his work. For upon first reading, particularly the 1964 collection The Whitsun Weddings and 1974’s High Windows, Larkin’s innovation appears to be in its distinct unoriginality, with its reliance on traditional and comprehendibleContinue reading “Originality and modernity in the work of Philip Larkin”

The influence of jazz on the literary style and technique of Jack Kerouac

From what we know of Jack Kerouac’s life, in addition to evidence within his poetry and prose, there is on display a deep love, knowledge and understanding of jazz. It is perhaps because of Kerouac’s affinity with jazz, both in a cultural and a musical sense, that it is often seen as somewhat intrinsic toContinue reading “The influence of jazz on the literary style and technique of Jack Kerouac”

The sublime and Giacomo Balla’s Abstract Speed – The Car Has Passed (1913)

Giacomo Balla (1871-1978) was an Italian artist and a key figure in the development of Futurism, an early 20th century art movement which centred around a rejection of the past and an embracement of what the Futurists saw as issues representative of the age in which they live, namely advances in technology, industry and science,Continue reading “The sublime and Giacomo Balla’s Abstract Speed – The Car Has Passed (1913)”

Four instances of the sublime in music

Possibly more than any other form of art, it is music that lends itself most often and most effectively to feelings of the sublime. This is perhaps because music, unlike visual art, and certainly unlike literature, is abstract in its very essence. If we accept the definition of ‘abstract’ as that which is ‘characterised byContinue reading “Four instances of the sublime in music”

Authorship and creativity

Though Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiotic theories primarily constitute an analysis of language, its overriding principles can also be applied to the analysis of literature. Saussure’s desire to quantify linguistic study into something empirical, systematic and scientific highlights the ultimately methodical nature of speech and the construction of language. Of all the ideas that originate fromContinue reading “Authorship and creativity”