democracy slips by, freedoms die, glaciers calve, the oceans’ oxygen falls and darkness beckons
Bathos is a literary term, coined by Alexander Pope in his 1727 essay "Peri Bathous", to describe amusingly failed attempts at sublimity. In particular, bathos is associated with anticlimax, an abrupt transition from a lofty style or grand topic to a common or vulgar one.
Alexander Pope, 1927
No easier to understand than bathos, though that at least is simply pathos with a more explosive consonant. The one aims directly at emotions, drawing them on, straining them, bringing out your inner self. The other is the ultimate anticlimax, a stupidity that sets out to deliberately frustrate serious emotion. Continue reading “Enigma Variations – Trumpet Score”
Evil in society is a common theme in any form of fiction. The time might be past, present or future, the characters human or not. In some evil triumphs, in others good and in yet more the reader is left not quite knowing which has gained the upper hand. Powerful as these tales may be, the fact remains that truth is often stranger than fiction. As in this tale. Continue reading “Evil in Society”
To what extent are stories a reflection of the author’s innermost thoughts, fears and hopes?
An author’s innermost thoughts reflected in a walk on the beach. By a storm, a Great Skua and a puppy. Continue reading “Reflections”
A Boston journalist researches an article about the US presidency in December 2018
An unprecedented northerly brought feet of snow, blizzards and freezing weather to much of mid and eastern America. The number of poor people who would die because they could not afford heating was as yet unknown. Trains were not running, airports closed. Most main roads would be deadly parking lots until the blizzards eased up sufficiently for them to be cleared. People were trapped in cars and trucks, some would die. Continue reading “Decaf Coffee”
A Gunnery Sergeant in Aleppo suffering with post traumatic stress disorder obeys his conscience and walks away
There are many tales of war, of sacrifice, of cruelty, of death and of survival. Some are lies, some are propaganda and some are truth. Who amongst us all really knows which is which. Continue reading “A Gunnery Sergeant in Aleppo”
Once you offend the powerful it’s too late to learn how to hide
The man who called himself Aeron is a central character in my spy thriller Aeron. He is a very successful international crook. This story provides the background of his early success in international crime. And shows how he eventually earned the wrath of what we nowadays call the 1 percent.
Australians enjoy the spectacle of war more than they care for those displaced by war
In this short story, Rasunah contemplates her not so successful love life as she attempts to meet a deadline for an article on asylum seekers incarcerated on the small tropical island of Nauru. Continue reading “Sex and Australian Asylum Seekers”
Social fiction; the use of stories to create the changes we want to see in this world
In 2013 at the Skoll World Forum, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus gave a powerful talk to hundreds of forum delegates from all around the world. He asked social entrepreneurs to write the possibility of a new future. He pointed out that science follows science fiction, with the fictional images of scientific inventions contributing to the drive to achieve those visions in reality. In describing what he believes is needed to create the changes we want to see in the world, he ask why we don’t have “social fiction.”
Continue reading “Social Fiction. They Killed My Mum”