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Showing posts from January, 2014


EYEWEAR'S FILM CRITIC ON A FILM THAT PEOPLE WILL BE DISCUSSING FOR DECADES TO COME, DESPITE, OR BECAUSE OF, ITS HEDONISTIC VIM AND STARK LOOK AT BANKING CRIME. Martin Scorsese delves into a territory not completely unfamiliar to him, but perhaps at a level of rambunctiousness, vivacity and also repugnance that reminds us how great a director he can be. There is certain material that beckons his cinematic technique and knowledge that puts him on a pedestal among his contemporaries. In every regard, American Hustle looks like an ITV soap in comparison to The Wolf of Wall Street. The film tells the true story of Jordan Belfort, a wholly unlikeable character that due to incisive and bombastic screenwriting and editing, by Terrence Winter and Thelma Schoonmaker respectively, we are happy to watch for three hours. While we certainly are not rooting for Belfort, we are fascinated by what the abomination will do next.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort absolutely fearlessly, something all too …


Dear TLS -

I was glad to see a review in your latest issue (January 24) by Mona Tabbara, of The Boy From Aleppo Who Painted The War, in your In Brief section.

I am the editor and publisher of Sumia Sukkar's debut novel, which is why I was particularly struck by this review.

Sukkar's novel is about the Syrian civil war between 2012 and early 2013 - each chapter marks an increasingly terrible moment of escalation, from the cutting of electricity to a final gas attack outside of Damascus.  The book, filled with intertextual allusion, features many characters, but the narrator is Adam, a young man on the Autistic Spectrum.

Despite the fact that Ms Sukkar is the youngest-ever British Muslim woman to publish a novel - and despite the fact this is a political novel with much to say about terrorism, violence, faith, and art - and also develops a portrait of a very loving Muslim family coping with mental health issues and also wider social struggle - anyway, despite all of this, your revie…


In this centenary year of Dylan Thomas (and the 60th anniversary of Under Milk Wood), I offer these thoughts on the greatest Welsh poet of the 20th century, originally from my doctoral research.

Dylan Thomas in the Forties and His Critics

Dylan Thomas has been defined as the quintessential Forties poet, though his work had already been widely published and celebrated in the Thirties. Associated, sometimes ambiguously, with the aims and manifestoes of several key movements of modernism, such as English surrealism, then the Apocalypse, or New Romanticism, his oeuvre has ultimately transcended, even as it remains somewhat hobbled by, those groupings and entanglements. Thomas is virtually unique among major British twentieth-century poets for remaining controversial more than fifty years after his death. The controversy circles around whether in fact he is a major poet. For example he is not included in The Cambridge Companion to English Poets whose six twentieth century poets are Hardy, Ye…