James Fenton reads his poem, “The Skip”

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James Fenton, the English poet and literary critic who was born today in history, 25 April, 1949, reads “The Skip”.

“Lacan hace referencia al componente cómico de los avatares amorosos…”: Sergio Zabalza

Jacques Lacan

Jacques Lacan

En su nota “Nos conocimos por Internet” (Pagina 12, 25.04.15), Sergio Zabalza afirma:

“Al respecto, Lacan hace referencia al componente cómico de los avatares amorosos, y no debe ser causalidad que la finalización de un análisis esté relacionada con la capacidad para poder reírse de uno mismo: esa disposición a dejarse sorprender por los vericuetos de una historia, por mínima o extraña que parezca. Quizás aquí está la clave que habilita a una persona para, más allá de las eventuales consecuencias, acceder a la acción.”

James Fenton reads his poem, “Yellow Tulips”

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James Fenton, the English poet and literary critic who was born today in history, 25 April, 1949, reads “Yellow Tulips”.

James Fenton, English poet and literary critic, was born today in history: 25 April, 1949

James Fenton

James Fenton

James Martin Fenton FRSL FRSA (born 25 April 1949, Lincoln) is an English poet, journalist and literary critic. He is a former Oxford Professor of Poetry.

Antonia Fraser understands the “welcome conviviality” of Trollope’s Palliser novels

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Antonia Fraser writes with regard to Can You Forgive Her? (1865) by Anthony Trollope, the English novelist who was born today in history, 24 April, 1815:

During the dark days of the war, I noticed that all the grownups were reading green leather volumes with gold lettering on the cover. I asked my mother what it was all about and I thought she replied: “It’s the trollop: he cheers us all up.” As it happens, I did know the word “trollop”, possibly through my favourite Harrison Ainsworth. Therefore I could quite see why a merry wench with oranges in her apron and other gifts to bestow, might cheer everyone up. (At the same time I took note that men could be trollops too). Naturally, my next step was to read one of these jolly works, helping myself from the green row in my parents’ bookcase.

At which point I fell in love. The book I had picked out at random was Can You Forgive Her?: instantly Lady Glencora Palliser became my heroine. She was not exactly a role model, being uneducated, impulsive, tousle-haired, addicted to the love rat Burgo Fitzgerald and, in later volumes, a marvellously anarchic wife to the prime minister. After all, who could resist Burgo? I quote: “He was one of those young men with dark hair and blue eyes, who wear no beard and are certainly among the handsomest of God’s creatures”. I feel moved when I contemplate the scene when the broken Burgo, living abroad because he has gambled everything away, has to be rescued from his debts by Glencora’s austere but chivalrous husband, Plantaganet Palliser, future Duke of Omnium: on condition the wastrel remains in a small German town where there is no public gaming-table.

There are six Palliser novels: the so-called “politicals” (as opposed to the Barsetshire series, although characters do overlap). I read the whole lot every two or three years and now understand the welcome conviviality they bring.

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