Category Archives: Reviews

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

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Thinking students and student research.

In his excellent book Think Again (2012), John Taylor makes a strong case for putting philosophy at the centre of our teaching in order to develop students’ ability to think. As he says in his introduction: “Education should be all about … Continue reading

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‘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

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Sebald in Corsica: ‘Campo Santo’.

Campo Santo is one of four short pieces with Corsican settings in W.G. Sebald’s collection given the same title. These were fragments for a book about Corsica which remained unfinished at his untimely death in a road accident in 2001. Campo Santo … Continue reading

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Hadrian, the enlightened pre-enlightenment leader?

Marguerite Yourcenar’s wonderful novel Memoirs of Hadrian takes the form of a personal memoir written for the future Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius by the emperor Hadrian (76-138 CE) as he faces death. The book is a brilliant portrayal of a leader who … Continue reading

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The outstanding lesson

We were lucky enough to have Harriet Harper deliver a NewVIc lecture at Newham Sixth Form College on 14th October. Harriet is a former HMI and now helps to train teachers for the post-compulsory sector. We were delighted to be … Continue reading

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Tamsin Oglesby’s ‘Future Conditional’

When a play is dismissed by the Daily Mail as ‘lefty tosh’ it’s probably going to be worth seeing. I enjoyed Tamsin Oglesby’s polemical ‘Future Conditional’ which was full of debate and far from one-sided. This pacey ensemble piece which … Continue reading

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