A Midsummer Night's Dream

14 July 2013

This is what makes a culture, this kind of occasion, this play, this green sward, this shared delight, the company of all these friends and strangers. This is Shakespeare in the Park, thanks to Repercussion Theatre.

Julie Tamiko Manning as Titania and Alain Goulem as Bottom [Photo: Repercussion Theatre]


2013 Commonwealth Literary Prize shortlists

9 April 2013

The Commonwealth Foundation has announced shortlists for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Part of Commonwealth Writers, the prizes unearth, develop and promote the best new writing from across the Commonwealth, developing literary connections worldwide.

 
How to Eat Like an Italian, by Davide D'Alessandro

25 March 2013


Photo courtesy Davide D'Alessandro

We all must eat to survive, but visitors to Italy are invited to join in a little activity, done three times daily, that is another pillar of the dolce vita, namely eating to have pleasure. And lots of it.

Another excerpt from Davide D'Alessandro's unpublished book The Dolce Vita Code.

La Gelateria, by Davide D'Alessandro

16 March 2013

gelato, that most simple, small, and affordable item of gastronomic art, is a fundamental part of the dolce vita. Few things, big or little, so easily inject us with happiness and evoke a smile of satisfaction. Have it often, certainly daily, while in Italy. 

More from Davide D'Alessandro's The Dolce Vita Code.


Luca D'Alessandro [Photo courtesy Davide D'Alessandro]

The Science of the Dolce Vita, by Davide D'Alessandro

6 March 2013


Via Veneto, Rome [Photo: Linda Leith]

Why do so many visitors to the mecca of pleasure fail to experience the wonders of the dolce vita? The answer, I submit, lies in psychological research.

The Foreword to Davide D'Alessandro's The Dolce Vita Code.

Walking Through the Trees, part III, by Kenneth Radu

2 March 2013

It’s worth remembering that the word paradise traces its origins to the word pairidaeza, which in the ancient Iranian language Avestan, means a wall constructed to enclose cultivated grounds or a small grove of fruit trees. There is the wall again. As for Eden, that fabulous paradise lost, one need say no more.


Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Walking Through the Trees, part II, by Kenneth Radu

28 February 2013

Aside from necessary funds, restoring a landscape or great garden requires patience, understanding, knowledge, and a good helping of genius. Gardens, unlike pyramids or palaces, can disappear through neglect, financial collapse, or death of original maker. They are often staked to the fortunes of the families.


Eden Project, Cornwall

A practical guide for new Canadians - Step Six, by Felicia Mihali

21 February 2013

Step Six: Buying a Car and a Home

If you insist on buying a house, then at least be smart enough to wait until at least 7-10 years after your arrival. Do the math. You need to spend the first three years on your education, one year getting out of debt, and three years earning enough to put aside a big down payment.

A practical guide for new Canadians - Step Five, by Felicia Mihali

1 February 2013

Step Five: Ideology

You have to stop making comparisons between this political system and the one you left behind. The one back home may have been funnier to watch, but don’t forget how ineffective it was. So ineffective, in fact, that you decided to leave the country despite the good laugh you had over the political debates. Politics will be less funny in Canada.

Photo: Martine Doyon




Space for a Pen, part III, by Kenneth Radu

9 December 2012


John Ruskin attached a tower to his bedroom on his mountainside estate, Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water in Cumbria. Unlike Sackville-West’s, his tower room windowed on all sides, almost a capsule, offered a corner in which to escape from recurring nightmares or to watch the stars.


Space for a Pen, part II, by Kenneth Radu

6 December 2012

I think of Virginia Woolf’s essay and cabin, Vita Sackville-West’s tower, and Carlyle’s study, their necessary, self-imposed isolation, and wonder how Jane Austen managed to produce six scintillating novels, at least two of which are masterpieces, in the midst of the busy domesticity of a small house where servants and family bumped against each other crossing a threshold.


Vita Sackville-West's Tower and White Garden at Sissinghurst 
 
Space for a Pen, part I, by Kenneth Radu

5 December 2012

Though Carlyle was a literary giant of quasi-mythic proportions and a hero to Victorians, his theories and writing are largely forgotten or ignored outside of university departments of English. That is the fate enjoyed by many a writer, and one need not be dead.

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