Living through lockdown: Julian of Norwich, TS Eliot and the life-shaped hole in our hearts

For those who don't feel inclined to watch the film I made for A Bit Lit on life during lockdown, here's a rough transcript. My name is Mathew Lyons, and I am a freelance writer and historian. In practice, that means I am lucky enough to mostly work from home. Sometimes I work on the... Continue Reading →

The life-shaped hole in our hearts: lockdown, solace and cultural memory

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to contribute a brief film to the A Bit Lit YouTube channel, created by Andy Kesson and others as a forum for thoughts on literature, history and culture during lockdown. So here I am, talking about freedom and confinement, about emotional and spiritual spaces, about monasticism and... Continue Reading →

Kipling’s shadow: Orwell, Rushdie and the critics

This piece follows on from my other post about Kipling here. Both first appeared as part of Norman Geras' Writer's Choice feature on his blog. If we are ever to understand and appreciate Kipling’s art, we have to discard all our preconceptions about him and his world view. It is surprising how hard many critics... Continue Reading →

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