Prospero’s Isle

Latest articles

  • Shakespeare on Football

    by William Shakespeare

    In King Lear, Act I, Scene IV, 76-84, there is the following dialogue: Lear: "O! you sir, you, come you hither, sir. Who am I, sir? Oswald: My Lady’s father. Lear: ’My Lady’s Father!’ my Lord’s knave: you whore-son dog! you slave! you cur! Oswald: I am none of these, my Lord; I beseech your pardon. (...)

  • My struggle to overcome the CBBS (Compulsive Book-Buyer’s Syndrome)

    by Ray

    I have suffered for many years from this expensive, very time-consuming and rather frustrating affliction (the CBBS), whereby instead of just getting down to attacking the big pile of unread books that have been endlessly accumulating on my desk and bookshelves and floor space, I go out and buy (...)

  • Pepe Carvalho: a Spanish Hercule Poirot

    by Ray

    The Quintet of Buenos Aires by Manuel Vasquez Montalban is a big, rather verbose, but all in all quite captivating plunge into the darker side of life in contemporary Argentina as we follow the investigations of an odd-ball but very distinctive detective from Barcelona named Pepe Carvalho, who (...)

  • "The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus", edited by Brian Aldiss

    by Ray

    This is a really outstanding collection of science-fiction stories from the late forties and fifties, the golden age of sci-fi in my humble and no doubt biased opinion, that being the period when I first discovered the genre, which was all the rage then, in my youthful days. But it was (...)

  • Conversation in the Louvre

    by Ray

    Me: Look, there’s a statue of Julius Caesar!
    Him (an 8-year-old): Who’s he?
    Me: What do you mean, who’s he? Why, he’s the most famous general who ever lived!
    Him: Oh, now I remember - he’s the one who fought against Asterix!
    July 8, (...)

  • The Irish Civil War

    by Ray

    Like I think many other people I have always had a very confused understanding of the events that led to the establishment of an independant Ireland after the First World War: I knew that there had been an uprising in Dublin in Easter 1916 and that there had been fighting as well as internecine (...)

  • Lexique de lecture

    by Ray

    Certains de ces mots rencontrés au hasard de mes lectures ces dernières années m’étaient déjà vaguement familiers, et d’autres m’invitaient à deviner leur signification par leur structure ou par leur contexte. Mais le petit travail de recherche dans des dictionnaires que j’ai entrepris assez (...)

  • Cyrano de Bergerac à la Comédie Française

    by Cybervinnie

    La fameuse pièce d’Edmond Rostand est reprise depuis un an à la Comédie français, avec une mise en scène de Denis Podalydès. Nous y sommes allés avec Chimène et Mateo, après avoir lu la pièce ensemble; voir Cyrano sur scène, c’est toujours un événement...
    "A la fin de l’envoi, je touche..." La réplique (...)

  • The Dahlia Gardens in the Bois de Vincennes

    by Ray

    A visit to the Dahlia Gardens in Paris’s botanical gardens in the Bois de Vincennes in autumn when they are in full flower is one of the highlights of any year for Marie and I and, to judge by the flocks of visitors we saw there, for a good part of the inhabitants of the greater Paris area too. (...)