Category Archives: Culture

My islands – by Line Mariani Playfair

I have always had a strong affinity for atlases and islands. Whether a single volcanic rock or one likely to fragment or disappear underwater, each one seems to be calling me, speaking to my imagination. I was fascinated by Thor … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Guest blogs, History | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

‘What if?’ – dystopias in fiction.

Fictional dystopias use the power of ‘what if?’ to change something or extrapolate particular social or technological trends and imagine the impact on people’s lives. The best ones are also good stories, well told, about people; their hopes, fears, feelings … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Fiction, Learning resources, Reviews, Students | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The last Corsican.

“I’ve decided to keep this diary because I’m going to die in the next few days…I am condemned because, having refused to be evacuated with the others, I will be annihilated by the incendiary bombs which are systematically ravaging the … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Fiction | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Matisse in Corsica.

The great artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was inspired to use colour in radical new ways during his first visit to Corsica. After their wedding in early 1898, Matisse and his wife Amélie Parayre spent their honeymoon first in London and … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Brecht’s radical Galileo

Brecht’s ‘Life of Galileo’ is a great piece of theatre with universal appeal. It’s also a particularly good one for science students because it brings the scientific method to life. Galileo’s struggle to get acceptance for the ‘Copernican’ heliocentric model … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, History, Learning resources, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mathematics of Survival

Poetry gives our language the wings to fly and in difficult times we need strong wings. Starting with just the alphabet, the poetic form allows our ideas to soar. Just like those in our previous anthologies, the student poems in … Continue reading

Posted in NewVIc, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

More fictional dystopias

Reading Dystopias offered an introduction to the genre of dystopian fiction through 4 classic dystopian novels. Here are four more which are also well worth reading. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953) [211 pages] Fahrenheit 451: The temperature at which … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Fiction, Learning resources, Politics, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abdellatif Laâbi: attesting against barbarism.

The brilliant Moroccan poet, novelist and playwright Abdellatif Laâbi is the epitome of the engaged writer. Born in Fez in 1942, he studied at the University of Rabat and was one of the founders of the literary magazine Souffles in … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Theodore Zeldin on ‘what is worth knowing?’

What is worth knowing? It’s a good question, given how much there is to know and the impossibility of knowing more than a tiny fraction of the total. Theodore Zeldin’s latest collection of essays, ‘The hidden pleasures of life’ (Quercus, 2015) … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Philosophy, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Instinct, heart and reason – Daniel Pennac on the refugee crisis.

The popular French writer and teacher Daniel Pennac, author of Chagrin d’école (translated as School Blues) and Les droits du lecteur (The Rights of the Reader) amongst others, has written a powerful essay on the refugee crisis for a book … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Politics, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From ‘Recovery’ by Rabindranath Tagore

from Recovery – poem no.10 from arogya by Rabindranath Tagore (1941) Lazily afloat on time’s stream, My mind turns to the sky. As I cross its empty expanses Shadowy pictures form in my eyes Of the many ages of the long past … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Primo Levi on work and education

In his wonderful La chiave a stella (The Wrench) published in 1978, Primo Levi shares with us an exchange of stories told by Faussone, the itinerant Piedmontese rigger, and a narrator who, like Levi himself, is an industrial chemist at the point … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Philosophy, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering John Playfair

On Saturday 23rd April 2016, over a hundred of John Playfair’s friends joined his family for a concert of clarinet music ranging from Mozart to Cole Porter held at St.Michael’s and All Angels church in Turnham Green, London. Here, in … Continue reading

Posted in Culture | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A-level Drama in London.

Drama / Theatre Studies is an important area of study. It enriches the sixth form offer and provides students with opportunities to develop their cultural education, their understanding of the human condition, their confidence and ability to communicate well and work … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education, Education policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Carthage’ by Joyce Carol Oates.

Joyce Carol Oates’ brilliant novel ‘Carthage’ carries the reader along on a compelling looping, zig-zag narrative which starts and finishes in the heart of a sympathetic comfortably-off family in the small upstate New York town of Carthage. Along the way, … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Fiction, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment