Category Archives: Philosophical, Psychological & Historical Considerations

Bertrand Russell complained about one of his grandmother’s preferred puns, “What is mind? Doesn’s matter. What is matter? Never mind.” And yet we, as a species, continuously attempt to fathom the mystery of the mind, with the help of philosophy, psychology and history. Shakespeare has given us much food for thought on all three, as well as music for those who love the music of words.

Italian Referendum

“Small choice in rotten apples” (Taming of the Screw 1.1) The Italians said “no” in the recent referendum. Its main objective was to reform the Italian Constitution, strengthen the authority of the government and reduce the power of the electorate … Continue reading

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Trump, Revolution in a Tea Cup

“Men judge by the complexion of the sky, the state and inclination of the day.” King Richard II The apparent enthusiasm for Trump’s success in the US presidential elections is an event historically recurrent and humanly understandable. The wonderful vignette … Continue reading

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Self-Help and the War on Common Sense

“… I talk of dreams, which are the children of an idle brain, begot of nothing but vain fantasy, Which is as thin of substance as the air And more inconstant than the wind Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. … Continue reading

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Burkini and Bikini

“Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy…” The debate about the admissibility of burkinis on European beaches has mostly spared the American audience. But the issue is sufficiently grotesque to deserve … Continue reading

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The Clintons’ War on Women

“I do condemn mine ears that have so long attended thee” (Cymbeline, act 1, sc. 6) This is an unpleasant blog to write and I apologize in advance for the language, to my twenty-five readers. As a mitigating factor, the … Continue reading

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Shakespeare on Brexit

The championship of exaggerations is over and the first dust of time is settling on the Brexit referendum. In the circumstances, it may be somewhat amusing to evaluate the reactions rather than the results. Considering that opinions are formed in … Continue reading

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Orlando’s Horror

Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak; for I must talk of murders… Titus Andronicus, act 5, sc. 1 I will not repeat comments and reflections on the Orlando massacre. Rather, I will follow an imaginary trail … Continue reading

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Chicago Burning

“…a man’s life’s no more than to say ‘One.’ ” Hamlet, act V, sc. 1 During the recent Memorial Day week-end in Chicago, eight people were killed, and at least 57 more wounded. For somewhat  folkloristically funereal reasons, it is … Continue reading

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Spectacle, Ornaments and Marionettes

“Thus ornament is but the guiled shore To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word, The seeming truth which cunning times put on To entrap the wisest.” (Merchant of Venice, act 3, sc. … Continue reading

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Victory Day Memories

…memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume… Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7 Seventy-one years ago, May 9, 1945, was Victory Day. Nazi Germany officially signed the unconditional surrender to the Soviet Union. For Russia, WWII became the … Continue reading

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