Culture, Prose

Stone Age Mousetraps and Roman Cat Carriers

by Elizabeth Stell and George Prew Very often archaeology in its perverse way will present us with an object with no obvious function. It may have been a misshapen Stone Age mousetrap, a Mayan hole punch, or a Roman cat carrier – we will never know. When the artifact turns up in a modern day […]

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Comment, Diary, Prose

Slow Travel: Religious Rituals

by Tobias Thornes It was with some trepidation that I prepared to board a boat to Iran. It’s ironic that in the interlinked world of today borders are more sharply defined and suspiciously watched than ever, so that it’s no longer possible to travel freely, like our ancient ancestors on their long, slow trek out […]

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Culture, Food & Drink, Prose

Chicken Run or Ritual Slaughter

by Jacob Warn This article may be disturbing to some readers, particularly if they are meat-eaters. To understand my story, you have to understand my perspective, which is, currently, about as dark as you can get. Blind, bald, skin-seethed, dead. The action began just three hours ago, although life stretches back six whole weeks. I’m […]

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Poetry

Ritual of the Essay Crisis

by Alex Waygood   ‘Twas in the early hours of Monday morn That in the libr’y, one could plainly see A boy: who, with hunch’d back and bended neck, Didst type away on music theory. The clock struck three, then four, then five! The college soundly snored – Yet still the lad did keenly strive […]

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Culture, Prose

All You Need Is Change

by Lucy Mellor A common character description, be it in a novel, short story or play, is ‘doesn’t like change’. Whether said explicitly in the writing or, in the case of more crafty writers, implied by the character’s actions, it often seems to be an easy way of giving their personality that extra quirk, or […]

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Culture, Music, Prose

Rituel in memoriam Pierre Boulez

by David Maw Thursday’s Child Pierre Boulez was born on Thursday 26th March 1925 in the quiet provincial Loire town of Montbrison. An older brother of the same name had been born in 1920 but survived only a few months. His older sister, Jeanne, born in 1922, was to be a staunch supporter and confidante […]

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Interview, Prose

Oriel Interviews: ‘Just a job, but…’

Kathy Goudman, 65, lodge porter receptionist at Oriel, takes the rough with the smooth and doesn’t mind being a shoulder to cry on. | Interviewed by Giorgio Scherrer “My mother was the Yorkshire girl, my dad the Londoner. He was too short for the army in World War II, so he was sent down the […]

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Culture, Prose

A Lifelong Saturnalia: Books, Conversation & Human Connection

by Aidan Chivers I barely had time to walk over to my seat, sit down, and look up nervously before my interviewer fired me the question: ‘So what’s the point of literature?’ Fumbling around frantically for a suitably profound response, I remember stammering something about its potential for uniting people and the common ground it […]

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