litmatters2

Open to Persuasion

November 2015

When I was asked a few years ago if I would like to edit one of Jane Austen’s novels, I quickly answered that I would be happy to, and especially if I could edit her greatest novel. “I’m … Read More...

Opium’s Invasion

October 2015

“Who is the man who can take his leave of the realms of opium?” demanded the French poet and critic Charles Baudelaire in Les Paradis artificiels (1860). Not Thomas De Quincey. Opium was the central fact of his … Read More...

Lucy in the Sky

September 2015

What is the relationship between drugs and human creativity? Consider the case of opium. The ancient Greek epic poet Homer almost certainly refers to it in The Odyssey as “a drug to quiet all pain and strife”, and … Read More...

JCC & TDQ

August 2015

My first thought was, “Why is Ronnie Wood at The University Women’s Club in Mayfair?” But then I quickly realized it wasn’t Ronnie Wood. It was instead the man I was waiting to speak to: Dr John Cooper … Read More...

So-Called Liberated Days

July 2015

I have seen Rod Stewart live seven times: Calgary in 1984; Wembley Stadium in London in 1986 (“it’s not raining”, but it was); Brighton in 1987 (he danced with his mom whilst singing “My Girl” by the Temptations); … Read More...