When I arrived to study at Oxford in October 1963, the bohemian style was black plastic or leather jackets for women and black leather or navy donkey jackets for men. I stuck to cavalry twills and a duffle coat, at least for a few months.
The hostility between India and Pakistan has become a habit to which both the elites have become addicted. Any attempt towards a rational solution to real problems is denounced by chauvinists on both sides.
I am an atheist and do not know the meaning of the ‘religious pain’ that is felt by believers of every cast when what they believe in is insulted.
Poland, after the First World War, was beset by chaos, disorder, and a foolish incursion by the Red Army, which helped to produce the ultra-nationalist military dictatorship of General Pilsudski.
Socially, the Cuban revolution created an education system and health service that remain the envy of much of the neo-liberal world.
There is no real agreement among scholars as to whether Homer and Hesiod were contemporaries or whether Homer came a hundred or so years later or earlier. How could there be, given that both poets recited and sang in an oral culture.
I think democracy is on the decline in the West. Ruling parties are the same: neo-liberalism at home and wars abroad.
Anthony Powell was the most European of 20th-century British novelists.
I was in my mid-teens when someone gave me a copy of ‘Pears Encyclopaedia of Myth and Legends’ as a birthday present. It sat on my shelves for many months before I looked at it. When I did, I couldn’t stop reading it.
In some ways, the ’60s were a reaction to the ’50s and the intensity of the Cold War.