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Archive for June, 2012

This entry is somewhat remarkable in that consists solely of links to other people’s blog entries with almost no discussion or intervention. I do most heartily commend all of the pieces, but admit that it also functions as an easy historical record for me of a period in which I have not blogged. (more…)

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The attack on sickness benefits has been going on for a number of years but has been vastly accelerated by the LibCons. This attack is both a personal and political matter for me. It has been brilliantly covered in a number of articles by HarpyMarx which I link to below. I wanted however to both produce a brief guide to the way in which the attacks have proceeded and my own encounters with the system. (more…)

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Fire and Circuses

Although I do not want to spend all my time looking backwards and I have already offered some thoughts on the past 18 months, I must not overlook some of the best things I have read on the net. It is, after all, from the net, in the form of email, blogs and links to articles, that I both acquire the majority of my information about what is going on in the world, and even more that I read the best of the analysis which inspires and intrigues me. (more…)

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As we shall see, there is a sense in which this Tale follows on directly from Tale 14 – it too has as a central concern the effects upon a young man of having his conscience awakened. This raises again the question of the way in which certain Tales are grouped and the order in which they are presented; I would certainly suggest that Tales 14 and 15 do need to be considered as, to some degree, complementary. Having said this the milieu and characters, not to mention the outcome, of this story are very different to those of The Struggles of Conscience, and centre on a relationship of which Crabbe must have had considerable personal knowledge. (more…)

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Long-term readers will know that I am fan of TV talent shows, especially those for singers, as reinvented by Messrs Cowell and Fuller some time ago. However of recent years I had become disenchanted, most especially by American Idol which has always been the benchmark, and has produced by much the highest quality of contestant and winner. (more…)

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The Struggles of Conscience forms one of that subset of The Tales concerned with the rise and fall of young men (other prominent examples include Tale 5, The Patron, Tale 11, Edward Shore and Tale 21, The Learned Boy). Although these tales are very different in their particular protagonists and their central issues, it is worth forming the connection, both because it raises questions around the autobiographical elements which may have worked their way, consciously or unconsciously, into such stories, but also because it is interesting to observe how Crabbe uses this particular narrative format to examine some of his major ideological, political and moral concerns. (more…)

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I wrote of  Tale 12 – Squire Thomas  – on September 28th 2010, so my project of providing a commentary on Crabbe’s Tales is proving a protracted one, as I suspected it would! However in the 21 months since then, I have not just read the next Tale – I have read all the early (18thC) poems, The Parish-Register, The Borough, the rest of the Tales and am embarked on Tales of The Hall. I have also read some books of criticism/biography. This effort has now intensified in preparation for a one-day Conference on Crabbe in July. My knowledge has therefore increased substantially, and I feel that I begin to have a better grasp of the poet – or, more accurately, I have a better feeling for the many problems, ambiguities and issues which a more in-depth study of any figure of interest inevitably entails. (more…)

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