Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

Stick Figure Iconography: Rosalind


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Shakespeare‘s tragic characters are usually easy to depict, as they have instruments of death and destruction to wave around. Comedic characters are usually a little trickier, like today’s subject: Rosalind! …

goodticklebrain iconography-rosalind

Mya Gosling: Stick Figure Iconography: Rosalind


Shakespeare And Politics


(Guardian Stage) – Mark Lawson:

Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek former finance minister talks about the lessons politicians could learn from Shakespeare. …

theguardian 2018/mar/19 shakespeare-politics


The Third Policeman


(Independent Books) – Joe Sommerlad:

Flann O’Brien was the pen name of Brian O’Nolan (1911-66), a novelist and satirist who originally rose to prominence as a columnist for The Irish Times, writing for that newspaper under the pseudonym “Myles na gCopaleen”.

His second novel, The Third Policeman, was not published in his lifetime but its posthumous release in the late Sixties saw it quickly recognised as a masterpiece of absurdist comic writing. …

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Flann O'Brien: The Third Policeman

Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Legacy


(Preposterous Universe) – Sean Carroll:

Stephen Hawking is the rare scientist who is also a celebrity and cultural phenomenon. But he is also the rare cultural phenomenon whose celebrity is entirely deserved. His contributions can be characterized very simply: Hawking contributed more to our understanding of gravity than any physicist since Albert Einstein. …

preposterousuniverse stephen-hawkings-scientific-legacy

Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time

The Exodus Debunked: Archaeological Issues


(Patheos::ATP) – Jonathan MS Pearce:

We must first remember that ancient Egypt was a very literate context with a huge amount of recording of events and, well, an awful lot of things. As with any sort of Bayesian approach to history, we can do away with claims such as absence of evidence is not evidence of absence because when we would expect evidence and it is not there, then we genuinely do have a problem when assessing the overall probability of a given interpretation of data being true.

In this case, we would definitely expect to see some evidence of the Exodus as described in the Bible because it was such a massive supposedly historical event. The rebuttal so often heard is that, since history is written by the victors, the Egyptians were interested in rubbing out this embarrassing set of events from their recorded history. However, the ramifications of the Exodus would have been so huge that there simply would be no way that this event wouldn’t be referenced in some manner.

In fact, the only appearance of Israel as an entity in all the texts and inscriptions and is artefacts of Egypt’s is in a very brief reference dated to the end of the 13th century BCE. This is, of course, the famous Merneptah Stele, a victory stele of the Nineteenth Dynasty. It is on one-line postscript to some detail all is of some victories in Libya. As Bradley states, it is a sort of “meanwhile, back in Canaan” (p.267):

“Ashkelon has been overcome; Gezer has been captured; Yano’am is made non-existent. Israel is laid waste and his seed is not.”

And that’s it. That is the totality of reference to Israel in Egyptian history at the time. …

tippling 2018/03/16 archaeological-issues

Finkelstein, Silberman: The Bible Unearthed

Wikipedia: The Bible Unearthed

Stick Figure Iconography: Julius Caesar


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

It’s the Ides of March, and what are the Ides of March without Julius Caesar? So here’s the latest in my ongoing examination of the distinguishing characteristics and props of Shakespeare’s most famous characters. …

goodticklebrain iconography-julius-caesar

Mya Gosling: Stick Figure Iconography: Julius Caesar

Stick Figure Iconography: Lady Macbeth


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Lady Macbeths generally come in all manner of shapes, colors, costumes, and hairstyles nowadays, so it’s a bit hard to nail down an iconic look, but one thing is certain: slap a bunch of stage blood on a lady’s hands, have her look slightly unhinged, and Hey Presto! You’ve got yourself a Lady Macbeth. …

goodticklebrain iconography-lady-macbeth

Mya Gosling: Stick Figure Iconography: Lady Macbeth

The Exodus Debunked: Chronology


(Patheos::ATP) – Jonathan MS Pearce:

“… In the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which [is] the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.” (1 Kings 6:1 KJV)

There has been much written about the chronology of ancient Egypt and it is still very much a work in progress. Young Earth Creationists and Biblical Maximalists (those who try to maximise the veracity of the Bible in and through archaeology by using it circularly as a foundation to benchmarking dates, as opposed to Biblical Minimalists) try very hard to massage and co-opt in order to harmonise. Trying to tie in the enslavement of the Hebrew people and the position of vizier that Joseph took on with the utter lack of evidence for such things outside of the Bible is a difficult pastime. …

tippling 2018/03/07 chronology

John Loftus: Christianity in the Light of Science

Julius Caesar: One Page Summary


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Hope you enjoyed A Stick-Figure Julius Caesar as much as possible! Coming up… something completely different, thank goodness! …

goodticklebrain julius-caesar summary

Mya Gosling: Julius Caesar: One Page Summary

Ambrose Bierce – The Great American Cynic


(Patheos::ATP) – Bert Bigelow:

I posted an earlier article on Bierce that had a long list of quotes from “The Devil’s Dictionary.” Here is a shorter list with some different ones that I think are quite amusing. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

  • Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. 
  • Edible – good to eat and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm. 
  • Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.

tippling 2018/03/05 ambrose-bierce

Ambrose Bierce: The Devils Dictionary