Figures of Speech HOME

Contents list

2019
Article list for 2019

Scrapbook for June
The choice is theirs | News from the asylum | The last insanity

Why does the Devil have all the best tunes?
Because he has the best people writing them.

The Green-Red media infestation in Germany
Mixing green and red makes brown – no arguing with that.

Getting down with the kids
Swiss climate propaganda for little ones of all ages.

Schubert the Insignificant
Time to get rid of the 'Circles of Friends'. While we are about it, let's cast a gimlet eye on the Schubertiaden, those instruments of exploitation and oppression.

Goethe on ice
Showing off in Frankfurt and Weimar.

Could a UK prime minister be worse than Theresa May?
We are about to find out. The dreary political months in prospect in the UK.

Diving deep into Goethe's Der Fischer
Keeping cool on the bottom with the eighteen year-old Franz Schubert.

How many people listen to Schubert's music these days?
Not many.

Scrapbook for May
Calm and contented | Doris Day | Seen recently in passing

The European Parliament election 2019
No comfort for Brexiters as the green-red tsunami rolls on.

The Tory party at prayer
They are going to need all the divine intervention they can get.

Not a portrait of Franz Schubert
Let's sort it all out, once and for all.

Franz Schubert's Mensch
What did the preacher in Zseliz mean?

19 May: Another day, another referendum
Another act of Swiss obeisance to its international partners.

5 May 1799: A little local difficulty in Switzerland
220 years ago in the land of neutrality, peace and compromise.

Quote for the first day of May
From romance to realism

Scrapbook for April
Blending in | David Lama | Sunday morning coming down | Lest we forget | To leave or not to leave…

Walpurgisnacht
Chimney breasts – bottoms, too. Can Walpurgisnacht survive the #metoo era?

Two fabled stones from Graubünden
A walk on the wild side to Saint Zeno's Stone and the Baby Stone, both currently gathering moss.

Pollen
Earlier and more pollen – another nail in our climate coffin.

Notre Dame: What now?
Knock it down and build something better.

Isaiah the Obscured
Where is he when we need him?

All things Winterreise
An impressive new website for the Schubert/Müller song cycle.

Scientists – dontcha luv em?
Not much.

Switzerland
All rocks and hard places at the moment. The old Switzerland has gone, but can the new one survive?

Scrapbook for March
Pete North: defiant to the end

Heloise Höchner's first and last love
That dithering, heartless narcissist, Franz Grillparzer.

A farewell to Google
The new Figures of Speech site search.

Scrapbook for February
New: citation function | Let them eat plastic | http/https on Figures of Speech

Wilhelm Müller's 'three suns'
Memories of Die Winterreise in the current northern hemisphere cold snap.

Scrapbook for January
Brexit: Are we there, yet? | Why was this website taken offline etc.?

In praise of simplicity
Francis Jammes' Prayer to go to Paradise with the Donkeys.

Speaking in tongues through a glass darkly
Bernard-Henri Lévy – madness mangled.

Wer böpperlet a der chammer a?
Burns Night, 25 January. Night-time pranks, Swiss style.

Doris Leuthard: smiling through
A review of Werner Vogt's new biography of a Swiss political superstar.

Brexit: the end is in sight
But what end would that be? Who knows?

Dass sie hier gewesen D 775: Rückert and Schubert
Two lyrical geniuses at work.

Friedrich Rückert – Kindertodtenlieder
Blogging rhymes of passage through the dark forest of shades.

2018
Article list for 2018

Scrapbook for December
Spot the human dot | What's in a name? | Aspen year

Thoughts for the coming year
But no tidings of comfort and joy.

13 December: Saint Lucy's Day
220 years ago, William Wordsworth sent his 'Lucy' poems to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Alinde D 904: Rochlitz and Schubert
A lesson in metrical magic from the master.

Quotes and images of the month for December
Quotes: George Eliot Journals, Friedrich Hebbel, Diaries. Images: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Virgin and Child.

Scrapbook for November
More Envy of the World™ | InSight lands on Mars | Something for the flag experts | Three-bar flags | Good idea, Angela! | Our aspen | More means less

Brexit: where there's life, there's hope
Parliament 1 : People 0.

Hunting down immigrants in Chemnitz
At last some facts, three months after they were really needed. Better late than never.

19 November 1828: the death of Franz Schubert
190 years ago – time to be rational.

Thinking in tongues
A coda to Albrecht von Haller's Bernese dialect upbringing: some excerpts from Martin Walser's speech 'Remarks on our dialect'.

Quote and image of the month for November
Quote: Karl Friedrich von Kübeck: the viva voce examination, 1801. Image: Follower of Caravaggio, Saint Matthew and the Angel.

Empty gestures make most noise
The fake pieties of Armistice Day keep coming.

Protecting the German constitution
Enough empirical truth for the moment, Maaßen. Get out now, before you cause any more trouble for the Dear Leader.

Blasphemy redux
The unpleasant face of secular piety.

Lottery wins
Coping with divine rejection – a sufferer writes.

Richard North, the angry Sage of Bradford
Up a fjord without a paddle. 'My beautiful Flexcit! Wrecked, I tell you, all wrecked.'

A well-known opera – but which?
Guess.

Three early November anniversaries
Tristram Shandy's birth, the death of Byron's 'Boatswain' and Arthur Rimbaud's crossing of the Gotthard Pass.

Scrapbook for October
Kubitschek: down but not out | Aspen calm | The Great British Winter Festival | Gottfried Keller's 'Dreambook'

That German right-wing landslide
German politics through the looking glass.

Albrecht von Haller's love poem Doris
16 October 2018: 310 years since Haller's birth.

Life before Doris
Childhood isolation to adult fulfilment 1708-1732.

Albrecht Haller's poem Doris
A grown-up love poem 1730-1732

Life after Doris
Bereavements, rejections, ill-health and loss 1732-1777

Pepper, the dim robot
Compliant Members of Parliament outclassed by a laptop. It didn't take much.

Ballet Zürich's Winterreise
Great despair – and that's only the audience.

The Bavarian earthquake
— Did the earth move for you, Marie?
— Not that I noticed. Perhaps next time.

Digital servitude
From digital deathbed to bridal-bed bliss in one hectic weekend.

Phoenix rising
A review of Werner Vogt's new book SWISS – Die Airline der Schweiz

Scrapbook for September
Lunacy of the Year award | Of moles and men | Late summer Tennyson

Gay days in Old Vienna?
Oh no, not that again!

Deviant deed or personality type?
Writing about homosexuality when there wasn't any.

The Poets' War
Heinrich Heine and August Platen calling each other names.

Warm beds and elevated feelings
Sublime thoughts, openly expressed.

Is Theresa May the bottom of the U-bend?
Probably not: it appears to be one long pipe going straight down.

How to write a big book in two days
Professor Julian Horton shows us how.

Schubert's downward spiral, 1827
Driven to despair by a fourteen-year-old girl, apparently.

The pig got up and slowly walked away
7 September: 75 years since the death of Frank Crumit.

Scrapbook for August
Rattling the begging bowl | Coexistance | Ten to three | The noise of apples falling from trees | Tommy Robinson free | The obituary from Hell

Franz Schubert in search of lost time
Does happiness linger in places? No.

Rolling the bacterial dice in Old Vienna
Ah, Treponema pallidum pallidum! — and who's your pretty friend?

Google, facebook, Switzerland – peas in a pod
Internet user tracking the official Swiss way.

Language, Truth and Logic
We're right, you're wrong. Go away and shut up.

Scrapbook for July
Two lettuce leaves short of a salad | Tommy Robinson | For your diary | Our aspen in summer | Here we go again | Don't do it, Vernon! | The free market | That Brexit shambles | Novichok: the story so far

Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock: Der Zürchersee
Love Island 30 July 1750, with a Seefahrt that is not to be sniffed at. A meditation for the Swiss National Day, 1 August.

The Poetry Bookshop 1913-1935
Just what was needed on the eve of the Great War.

Brexit: statements to remember
Just make sure you remember them correctly.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's herbarium 1772
2 July 1778: 240th anniversary of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's death.

Germany: where are we? Where are we going?
Nowhere. Fast. Does it matter? No.

Franz Schubert below stairs
July-November 1818: 200 years ago in Hungary.

Scrapbook for June
Solar sucks | Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) | The Art of the Deal | Yet more site changes | More site changes | Site changes | Trump meets Rump

The Kaiserbrunnen in Konstanz
25 years ago the 'Fountain of the Emperors' caught up with the modern world.

5 July 1948: 70 years of the NHS soup kitchen
It could have been worse. No, it couldn't.

Folk Devils and Moral Panics
Just don't mention the war – even if you manage to remember it.

All at sea with Seehofer
Sink or swim time for Germany's flexible Interior Minister and his aggrieved party.

20 June 1914: blasting and blessing
Whipping up an artistic storm as the thunderclouds gather.

Hitler: demon, dummy or smooth operator?
Oh no, not him again…

The Swiss, bless 'em!
Sense and senselessness, all in one weekend.

Image of the month for June
Henriette Browne, A Girl Writing.

3 June 1828: Fugue at midnight
Franz Schubert once again working for nothing, 190 years ago.

Leftist bias at Google?
Surely not! Seek and ye shall find…

Scrapbook for May
Site changes | Yulia Skripal | Yet more on the GDPR | The GDPR(?) | UK trade post-Brexit | Playing the Windsors | Comment of the day | That time of year when… | 999 blue balloons | Site changes

23 May 1618: the Second Defenestration of Prague
400 years ago, the brutal start of the brutal Thirty Years' War.

Tommy Robinson: jailbird
That'll learn him. We certainly hope so.

Richard North: still bouncing off the walls
A quick glimpse through the peephole of his padded cell. No change – best not open the door.

German transgender gender
No laughing matter.

Serious advice for all men
Scouting for Girls or Boys. Some words for the innocent: Be prepared.

Peter Winkler reports from Planet Zog
At last, the Swiss get to hear the truth about that Trump chap. It's worse than they thought.

British Republic Day
20 May 2018 was the start; the end will come sooner than anyone thinks.

Staring into the cultural abyss
A wedding that will be remembered – but for all the wrong reasons.

Brexit and Ireland
Let the UK have a fresh start with Ireland.

Suicide by cop in Gaza
David picks up a rock and lobs it in Goliath's direction. We know how this will end.

Diana's revenge
The fall of the House of Windsor: coming along nicely.

Winston Churchill: animal lover
Horses, dogs, cats, geese, goldfish – even the odd ladybird.

Behind the copyright ramparts
Doing dead artists no favours at all.

Our battery-powered Smart Grid
Dumb as a rock – but at least it really is dumb now.

The New Hambacher Fest 2018
Those right-wing thugs winding us up again. Good job so few people heard about it.

5 May 1818: Marxmas
The 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. Still crazy after all these years.

3 May 1810: Lord Byron and Lt. Ekenhead swim across the Hellespont
Not as simple as it sounds.

Scrapbook for April
King Louis | Pallywood | The art of wellbeing tour | Sun Queen nuts | Germany: Toddlers mixing paint | Patience

The case of Alfie Evans
Awful. In every respect.

The hydrogen fuel cell takes flight
Bye bye, kerosene. You have served us well but it's time to go.

20 April 1945: Hitler's last birthday
The Klemperers' refugee flight during the last months of the Nazi regime.

The poisoning of the Skripals
An opera buffa of Wagnerian length, lacking all humour.

On the French road to nowhere
And currently getting nowhere fast, too.

Balsamico, Swiss style
Cheap and cheerful – a good Helvetian compromise.

3 April 2018: Happy birthday, Balsamico!
Twenty years and still going strong.

Dr Groddeck will see you now
Our Easter special: a psychoanalyst's view of Jan Davidszoon de Heem's Still life with bird's nest.

Scrapbook for March
The cloud of unknowing | Nerve gas: you ask, we answer. | The cheque's in the post | Amelia Earhart | Persil Man | Dog-bites-man

State of the Climate 2017
The ten points you need to know.

Figures of Speech discussion group closed
Silence is golden, it seems.

26 March 1828: Schubert's only concert
A breakthrough for Franz 190 years ago that came just too late.

21 March 1918: Operation Michael
The beginning of the end of the First World War, one hundred years ago.

The key question in abstract art
What on earth does it mean?

Going to the dogs
The decline and fall of Andermatt, Switzerland.

The Sound of Martial Music
Seven days in March eighty years ago: the Austrian Anschluss.

Judgement of Solomon required
Never mind. Let's all sit down and have a chat about it.

To Charlotte While Shaving
A remarkably prescient verse portrait of the childhood of Theresa May.

Scrapbook for February
Dementia and alcohol | A new dawn breaks | Deplorable fake news | Not so grand Coalition | Germany: Grand Coalition defined | Cuprinol Man

'Now WE ask the questions'
The wind of change in Germany? Götz Kubitschek's speech to the Zukunft Heimat demonstration in Cottbus on 24 February.

22 February 1943: the White Rose
Hans and Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst: guillotined on this day 75 years ago.

The PostAuto car crash
The unpleasant whiff of subsidy corruption in Switzerland.

Mass shootings in the USA
No quick fix, no easy solution.

Kippered Kirsty: a lesson to us all
In defence of the unreasonable, the bloody-minded and the pig-headed amongst us.

Midnight, 21 February 1818
On this day 200 years ago, Franz Schubert was drunk in charge of an inkpot.

Martin… er… who?
The German Foreign Minister for 36 hours. Gone and soon to be completely forgotten.

It's a hard life at the FBI
Maybe get a blister on your little finger. Maybe get a blister on your thumb.

Watergate through the looking glass
No smoking gun but a lot of mirrors.

Desperately hating Donald
The German-speaking media opines on President Trump's SOTUS speech.

Pulling the plug on the Swiss broadcaster
An interesting referendum coming up on 4 March in Switzerland.

The real Elizabeth Layton
Wartime clouds of smoke in 10 Downing Street.

The Peter Principle – May extension
Every day more and more people ask themselves: How did someone as dim and incompetent as Theresa May get to be Prime Minister of Britain?

Quote and image of the month for January
Quote: Gérard de Nerval, Aurélia ou le rêve et la vie. Image: Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night.

Scrapbook for January
Germany: no change – as usual | The End of the Rainbow | A word to the wise | Ordinary Passengers | Our solitary aspen cluster | NHS excuse of the week | Envy-of-the-World™ – no change | Warpaint | Eight dummies and a funeral

Franz Schubert's 31st birthday
31 January 1828. Celebrating his last birthday with a big hit.

January 1818: Franz Schubert dodges the draft
Saved for musical posterity by three quarters of an inch.

21 January: Saint Meinrad's Day
Clubbing in the Dark Forest. Even the ravens were upset.

Hotting things up in the USA
A guide to making measurements fit the theory.

Swiss Government-sponsored CAGW alarmism
Does the Swiss Federal Metereological Office actually believe the stuff they write? We hope not.

Gary Oldman shines in Darkest Hour
An actor with Winston Churchill's DNA – A review of Joe Wright's film Darkest Hour.

The Base and the Superstructure
Why you can never control social media. It is what it is.

W.H. Auden's poem The Witnesses
Poetry for the social media age.

What Theresa did next
Our puzzled readers write.

Hole in the wall
The one in the north wall of the Eiger.

Mistrust of strangers
Too late for Mia Valentin.

New Year's greetings from the fuzz
The police in Cologne spreading happiness around.

Two Swiss railway station waiting-room murals
Witnessing the collapse of civilisation. Perhaps.

Were the Nazis left-wing extremists?
Yes.

New Year's Greetings from the Oxford Sausage, 1772
Student humour 245 years ago. No safe spaces here.

2017
Article list for 2017.

Scrapbook for December
'On the Morning of Christ's Nativity' | You have been warned! | A puzzle we can answer | Every terror cloud has a silver lining | Grumpy Monday | Dim and Dhimmi | Judith: not to be messed with

The Windsors: only a matter of time
A grumpy end of year report.

What is time? Don't ask.
Two thousand years of confusion and error – that's a long time. And it's not over yet.

21 December: the centenary of Heinrich Böll's birth
Rushing to the post office.

Strategic goals for the UK post Brexit
A least someone in the UK is thinking strategically.

Martin Schulz and the New European Order
Berlusconi, Bloom and Beppe were right – just ask the Hungarians.

Rocks, hard places, cherries and unsquared circles
A Swiss view of the Brexit negotiations – as baffled as everyone else.

Brexit: all you need to know so far
Ten days of Dim Theresa. It could have been worse. Actually, no.

Ocean plastic – go and preach at the real miscreants
Please can we have our supermarket bags back?

Here comes the sun
Well, now and again – in winter not so often, but certainly never overnight.

Cooking the goose and the gander
What's sauce for the MSM goose is sauce for the Breitbart gander.

13 December: Saint Lucy's Day
Johann Peter Hebel's classic story Unverhofftes Wiedersehen, 'The Unhoped-for Reunion'.

4 December: Saint Barbara's Day
Empirical fact and the triumph of human imagination.

The Germanwatch Peruvian shakedown
Taking on Big Coal. Nothing happens till the lawyers get involved.

Scrapbook for November
Don't worry, be happy | Shaping the science agenda | Diana's revenge | Peace at last | Thanksgiving | Dim and dangerous | Site changes | Distraction therapy | Still on your own

Richard North beyond redemption
A quick glance through the peephole of his padded cell. There's no hope for this one.

Abnormal normals
Mr Climate takes normals to abnormal lengths in pursuit of global warming.

Squaring circles in Berlin
Or political Venn diagrams with no overlaps.

The UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn
Ten days of conspicuous consumption come to an end. Good riddance.

No change, please – we're not Jamaicans
This gripping German soap: we can't stand the tension!

Sextus and Cynthia, a lovely couple
Just don't invite them to your dinner party.

Extreme weather: quite the norm, really
After a sip of the green stuff, Mr Climate gets a little overexcited.

Sheer uselessness
Counting down to Christmas the UK Government way.

Figures of Speech discussion group
Talking amongst ourselves

An outrageous libel of a dead hero 2
Beyond the press reports it's worse than we thought.

Quote and image of the month for October
Quote: Brian Aldiss, Report on Probability A (1969). Image: William Holman Hunt, The Hireling Shepherd (1851).

Scrapbook for October
CSI: Las Vegas – Crime Scene Incompetence | More days of autumn | British beer | Stag hunting | The twelve days of autumn | Swiss family picnic | Dice rolling by a skilled opponent | The unseen cost of wind [energy]

The UK Communications Act 2003
The process is the punishment, yet again. Think on.

The mystery of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
A tour of words in single quotation marks, such as 'given', 'acquired', 'stolen', 'hidden', 'lost', 'found', 'unknown' and 'discovered'.

An outrageous libel of a dead hero
Smears and innuendoes come easily to climate scientists.

Mrs Shopping-List meets Pericles
Not a good match. Even the slogan needs to get a grip.

Quote and image of the month for September
Quote: Wolfdietrich Schnurre, Der Schattenfotograf, 1978. Images: Various, The Cheder.

Scrapbook for September
Last supper [updated] | A century of progress | Please, Lord, let they handmaid depart in peace (ASAP). | Keeping an eye on the Germans | The school run – alpine style | How to become a published author

The Envy-of-the-World™: solution found!
More of it.

Luddites of the world, unite!
A civilisational reboot in a small Swiss town, now up before the beak.

The AfD: the uncouth, the amateur, the gormless.
Still better than the others, though.

No change, please – we're German
Waiting for Brünnhilde to finish – but why bother? The ending is always the same.

Still on your own
Wear a bin-bag over your head and a bullet-proof vest.

Theresa goes shopping in Florence
The shopping-list Prime Minister does the Renaissance.

Goethe's Gotthard obsession
Three long journeys in 22 years, culminating in a pact with the Devil.

1775. Lili: the first Gotthard journey
On the road with the Werther tribute band.

1779. Charlotte: the second Gotthard journey
Educating your duke. Don't bother.

1797. Barbara: the third Gotthard journey
Tell, Faust and a box of rocks. 220 years ago on 16 September Goethe entered Switzerland en route to the Gotthard. How time flies!

Quote and image of the month for August
Quotes: Heinrich Heine (1831) and Conrad Ferdinand Meyer (1887). Images: Léopold Robert, L'Arrivée des Moissonneurs dans les marais Pontins (1830) and Friedrich Kallmorgen, Erntezeit (1891).

Scrapbook for August
Decanting the dregs | That Google diversity thing

Moral money
Pierre Gauchat's wonderful Swiss banknotes: gone but not forgotten.

Gratitude: the cement of civilisation
Thank you, ancestors, for all you have done for us.

And is there honey still for tea?
Rupert Brooke, born 130 years ago.

The days of wine and roses
Ernest Dowson, born 150 years ago.

The Gotthard Pass: the heart of Switzerland
Still beating weakly despite all the bypass operations.

Quote and image of the month for July
Quote: Georg Heym, Ophelia, 1911. Image: John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1851-2.

Scrapbook for July
The Grenfell fire: the EU fingerprint | Getting the most out of solar panels | What's in a name®? | Planet Snowball with brief warm spells

Stephen Hawking speaks
…or not, as the case may be. Either way he's a dummy.

Dr Weather and Mr Climate
Don't drink the green stuff in the beaker! Too late.

Winston and his Swiss paintmaker
A review of Champagner mit Churchill, Philipp Gut's account of the friendship between Winston Churchill and his Swiss paint supplier, Willy Sax.

The German connection
100 years ago, on 17 July 1917, the Windsors emerged into a grateful world.

The total stress of Tom Bombadil
The bit the Lord of the Rings films left behind, thank goodness.

Quote and image of the month for June
Quote: Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. A Story of the French Revolution, 1859. Image: Samuel Bough, London from Shooter's Hill, 1872.

Scrapbook for June
Progress Illinois Style | Arnie's smallest audience | Dim and dimmer | Pulling teeth | Summer solstice | Trump: the first five months | North update: no hope | Steady as she goes | Jack of all trades, master of none | The art of political survival | No wheels on her waggon | Tesla – makes your hair stand on end | Hung parliament, unfortunately not properly | Swedish National Day | One proxy reconstruction doth not a denial make. Fifty-eight: probably | Smile, you're on Candid Camera | Lucky Lukens | Enough is enough | Breakfast like an emperor

Herd management
The knock on the door in the night. It's for your own good. Really.

The pursuit of happiness
Not as simple as it sounds, especially in two languages.

The other Austrian Economics
The patriotic way to buy your folkwear.

Ransomware: the never-ending story
Don't rely on antivirus software to keep you safe. It won't.

UK sovereignty. Then what?
Some thoughts for laundry-list minds.

Maria Theresia, the great Empress
Born 300 years ago on 13 May 2017.

The wartime prime minister – shaken and stirred
A review of Jonathan Teplitzky's film Churchill.

The Swiss, God bless 'em!
Cultural appropriation in translation.

Goethe's Heidenröslein
Surviving a little prick.

Scrapbook for May
Still on your own | That Tory manifesto | The path of healing | Our Swiss sunbeam expert writes | The rich: not like us

WannaCry – the dust settles (a bit)
This vale of tears, with some shafts of light.

The French, dontcha luv 'em!
No. And neither did Goethe.

The future of energy in Switzerland
There isn't one. Why is it always the voters who have to stick the tail on this donkey?

Christian Schubart: the prison years
The author of Die Forelle gets taught a lesson.

Schubart's dungeon cell in Hohenasperg
Now you see it, now you don't.

The commander and the clergyman
Bad cop and even worse cop with some old scores to settle.

His Serene Radiance
Carl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg.

Re-education
Improving you until you stink.

Some relief, 1778
The worst seems to be over.

Fresh air, 1779
A glimpse of a distant, unreachable horizon. The permissibility of pleasure.

The entertainer, 1780
Keeping the commander and his troops cheerful.

Renewal, 1782
Recovering from Rieger.

The Crypt of Princes
Insult your captor publicly: that will get you out of prison in no time.

Free at last
He might have been better off staying in prison.

Schubert: Greatest Hits
Pick 'n mix in the sweetshop. Some tips on getting to know Schubert's music.

Scrapbook for April
Site changes

Lied auf dem Wasser zu singen
D 774. Great poem. Great music. Two geniuses at work.

Schubert's friend Johann Senn
For some people, being born on the first of April is no joke.

The Senn family
A Tyrolean family at the centre of political turmoil.

The Tyrolean Fatherland
A land of exceptionalism, independence and Catholic bigotry.

Johann Senn in the Stadtkonvikt and after
The young Tyrolean in Vienna.

Revolting students
German nationalism and political reform.

Cooling down the hotheads
The suppression of academic unrest.

The first exile
Johann Senn's exile in Innsbruck and his army years.

The wilderness years
Life and literary failure after the army.

Who's afraid of Immanuel Kant?
230 years of the Critique of Pure Reason

Scrapbook for March
Martin McGuinness | Something that could not have been said ten years ago | Federal Bureau of Indeterminateness | PR, the European disease | Tour d'horizon (desperation edition)

On your own
Time for a stiff upper lip. It is, after all, the only anti-terrorist weapon you have.

Too much understanding
Gotthold Lessing's little boy

Zurich-Petrograd, one-way
A hundred years ago in April, a decisive moment in history.

Schubert: from child to musical genius
It was managed by a job… and a good job, too!

Quote and image of the month for February
Quote: George Steiner, Real Presences, 1989. Image: the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

Scrapbook for February
Jack of all trades… | Site changes | Samoyeds | Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, reloaded | Scandi noir blacker humour | The Envy-of-the-World™, again | The madness of Prince Charlie | Scandi noir black humour | John Bates, whistleblower | Whose side is North on? | Myron Ebell at the GWPF | Sir Detail and friend | Snowflakes of the month

The Wind in the Willows
A new edition of Kenneth Grahame's classic, beautifully illustrated by David Petersen.

Will the real Schubert please stand up?
Franz Schubert, master of disguise.

CAGW in proportion
The Blaise Pascal guide to Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Finding Trumpy
The four unaccounted hours of the most powerful man on earth.

Alistair Cooke: urbane BBC opiner
If only Letter from America had taken comments.

The media: Nixon's revenge
Fings ain't wot they used to be. Better get used to it and stop grumbling.

Quote and image of the month for January
Quote: Wilhelm Busch, [Sahst du das wunderbare Bild von Brouwer?]. Image: Adriaen Brouwer, Die Operation am Rücken.

Scrapbook for January
Wimmin's busts | Faking it | Swiss snowflakes losing it | George Mikes: an oldie but goldie | Two simple questions that men cannot answer | The poor Hamburger, the poor Berliner | Rail travel costs

Figures of Speech discussion group
Talking amongst ourselves

Bedlam through the peephole
A glimpse of the enlightened inmates up close.

Trembling above the abyss
Goethe conquering one of his demons in Strasbourg Cathedral.

Climate scientists
Some are good, but most are just a basket of disreputables. Would you buy a used thermometer from any of them?

Pie-in-the-sky charts
Just run that decarbonisation thing past us again, would you?

We'll do it our way
Blaming the Amis the European way.

Franz Peter Schubert's family
Marking the 220th anniversary of the birth of the composer Franz Peter Schubert.

Charlie to the rescue
The future King saves the world with a stroke of his pen and becomes a peer-reviewed prince.

Blacking up for beginners
The harmless pleasures of byegone days.

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles
220 years and still going strong – well, some of it at least.

Facing facts in the post-fact era
Few facts, not much truth and plenty of fake news.

2016
Article list for 2016.

Quote and image of the month for December 2016
Quote: Berger and Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality. Image: Lorenzo Lotto, Annunciazione.

Scrapbook for December
Editor's note | Himmel und Hölle | Another mystery of modern life | Turning spare kids into money | Shutting stable doors | FoS website change | Testing for Microsoft | Thank you, President Putin!

On the road to nowhere
At the moment short, but tremendously expensive. That's OK, the French are paying.

Backup hell: a visit to the crypt
Christmas, the traditional season for tales of horror.

Beyond analysis
Geertgen tot Sint Jans' painting Geboorte van Christus / Nativity at Night.

Rolling noiselessly through the void
A meditation upon Saint Lucy's day, data adjusted.

Judge Judy, the Divine Comedy for our times
The TV programme is a moral compass among the lost souls of modern America.

John Betjeman's poem 'Christmas'
It takes a proper Christian to write a Christmas poem.

'Modesty' – or not, as the case may be.
Antonio Corradini's veiled masterpiece: no modesty at all here, in any sense.

Energy made easy
The thinking person's guide to Energy Derangement Syndrome (EDS).

The Nobel Ceremony 2016
The bling! The frocks! The food! The hypocrisy! No wonder King Charles the Unbathed looks grumpy.

Who is Schober? what is he?
Why are you asking me? I've no idea either.

Growing up, growing apart
All change: Sweden, Germany and Austria

On the couch
Austrian analytics: detachment, integration, inferiority, compensation.

Family life
Depravity, tragedy and 'bluebottles' taking notes.

The cloud of unknowing
Managing the documentary record.

The Schobert wakes
Schubert and Schober: charisma, friendship, money and social power.

The cultural circles: 1815-1823
The singer, the salons, the reading club and the dilettante.

The dark years: 1823-1826
Schubert's crisis years, Schober in Breslau.

The final Schubert years: 1825-1828
The days of wine and roses in the coffee-house.

Schober after Schubert
Moving on and falling out.

Quote and image of the month for November
Quote: Jules Laforgue, Winter Coming On. Image: Édouard-Léon Cortès, Place de Madeleine, après la pluié.

Scrapbook for November
Envy-of-the-World™ – again | Snowflakes of the Month | Back to the palace | Pointless polling | North gets it – not really | Nigel Farage | Trump: change and hopes | FoS website restructured | All Saints' and All Souls' Days 2016 | Emailing for dummies

OUP WOTY 'post-truth': WTF!
OUP discovers 'objective facts' and sticks it to us knuckledraggers. We still won though, and that's a fact.

Man and machine
The Bad Aibling rail crash 09.02.2016: the idiot who operated the system, and the idiots who designed it.

Climate cognitive dissonance
Coping with uncomfortable climate facts: time to give up?

The Schubert trajectory
Standing back for a detail-free biography.

Esprit de corps in elected bodies
Lurches to the left of me, lurches to the right, here I am: stuck in the middle with you.

Quote and image of the month for October
Quote: René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, Meditation III. Image: Edward Hopper, Automat.

Scrapbook for October
More intimations of mortality | Alan Turing, useful genius | Dismantling Hillary | Aberfan: a tale of two inquiries | Matt Ridley: Global Warming versus Global Greening | Snowflake of the Month | A grave question | More Waugh | The plague of politics | Intimations of mortality | Mummy knows best | Looking over your shoulder | Spare the rod

The Man in Black: an expert writes
Art historians – they are just not like us. The tedious tale of this slapdash portrait continues.

Freedom of speech
Alive and well and at ease in Swizerland, its home since the 18th century.

A victim remembers
A gentle encounter behind the tarpaulin.

The conquering hero
That Batley and Spen by-election.

Schiaparelli
Yet another European bites the dust on the red ink planet.

The Man in Black
No, not that one, the other one – the expensive one. It's still all about cash, though.

Brian Cox: the zombie staggers on
Back in your box, Jean-Jacques!

Bees pulling strings
It's always the same in hierarchical societies.

Those formative years
The truth never hurt anyone. The compact guide to developing a thick skin.

John Dalton, 250 years old
One of the founding fathers of the Scientific Revolution. Thank you, Sir.

The grape harvest
French white wine: alcohol, child labour, girls for hire and a certain unmistakeable 'finish'.

Babi Yar
Where is there an end to it, the soundless wailing.

Bible studies
Short meditation for Sunday 2 October involving the Bible, that essential book for atheists. Oh… and that other book.

The Jacobin Conspiracy
Making the mood music of Schubert's times.

Circles of conspiracy
Secret meetings, handwritten circulars and strange gestures.

Franz Hebenstreit
The hothead cavalry lieutenant with the big voice.

Andreas von Riedel
The mathematics teacher. How much can a man survive?

Joseph Vinzenz Degen
Some pieces of silver. Fortune favours the betrayer.

Making the punishment fit the crime
Learning from the conspiracy. Closing down discussion and criticism.

The atmosphere under the belljar
The calm people of the becalmed empire keep their noses clean.

Quote and image of the month for September
Quote: Marianne Hem Eriksen, Doors to the dead; T. S. Eliot, Burnt Norton. Image: Martinus Rørbye, Entrance to an Inn in the Praestegarden at Hillested.

Scrapbook for September
Late learning | Immigrants, always resented | Snowflake of the Month | Design update | Feed a cold, starve a fever | One mystery fewer | Restoration and reconstruction | Missing links | The medium is the message, Tim | Quelle finesse!

Wrong again
And again and again. Ashes and hyssop time on this website.

That Sappho thing
Hold on tight to your dreams.

Rustling inspiration
More for Schubert fans: a closer look at Wohin? from Die schöne Müllerin.

Channelled speech
Decorating the slaughterhouse with geraniums.

The houseman's friend
An illustrated guide to emptying the Gtech floor cleaner: a disgustingly filthy corner of the internet.

Wishful thinking
There are practical limits to making allowances, however worthy.

Churchill in Zurich
Seventy years ago on 19 September 1946 Winston Churchill delivered his famous 'Europe' speech in Zurich. Only the people were delighted.

Franz's belljar
The belljar of the Austrian Emperor Franz II comes down over his people. Young composers included.

The other Spaun
Crazy uncle Franz Seraph von Spaun: an heroic life of principled resistance bordering on the psychotic.

Walking with Walser
Martin Walser, Heimatkunde and the art of leaving things unsaid.

In praise of Stephen McIntyre
Dipping a curious toe into the murky pond of climate science. Sharks or minnows?

Quote and image of the month for August
Quote: Friedrich Schiller, Wilhelm Tell. Image: Ernst Stückelberg, Wilhelm Tell mit Sohn/William Tell and son.

Scrapbook for August
The Fall of Man, not quite | Democratic accident | Nice binary dates | Swiss birthnames in 2015 | 'Deep Insight of the Month' award | Sledghammer vs. dagger… | The official mind | Snowflake of the Month

Arthur Szyk: FDR's 'Soldier in Art'
Satan Leads the Ball considered.

Climate alarmism
Down the rabbit hole into the strange, topsy-turvy world of climate alarmism.

Citroën DS23
Gone but not forgotten: the rustbucket goddess remembered.

Artificial Intelligence
Not a very intelligent thing to have.

Portrait of the age
Joseph, Leopold and the Enlightenment manifesto made visible by Pompeo Batoni.

The shipwreck on the winedark sea
Tempestuous times for patient polymaths with time on their hands.

The antennae of the race
A lot of crackles, whistles and static during a storm-tossed life.

Non-linear obscurity
Looking inside his head. Obscurity, manifestations, light and shade in fragments.

The Odyssean shipwreck
Struggling on with the windswept Odysseus: over, on and under the water.

The Pisan shipwreck
Pound scribbling in the shipwreck of the prison camp.

The shipwreck in Rock Drill
The white goddess hits the waves in an ample bikini. Grab it while you can.

The shipwreck in Thrones
Getting to the end of the journey, somehow.

Conclusion and bibliography
Was it worth it, the great tempest? No.

Quote and image of the month for July
Quote: Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That. Image: William Orpen, Ready To Start. Self Portrait.

Scrapbook for July
Turkey: the choice | You ask, we answer | Two charts | Respected journalist | Hip dysplasia | Goddess | In video we trust | The chosen ones choose | Boots

The Bastille Spirit
The Green Fairy is not your friend, Brendan.

Classic books
The great unread, a mountain to be climbed? Or shall we just skirt round the outside, like sensible people do?

Renaissance mechanics
Skilful recreations of some classical paintings as garage workshop scenes.

Devaluing the family
Let's not upset the childlessly carefree with all these nasty value judgements.

Andrea Leadsom, next Prime Minister of the UK
Without a shadow of a doubt.

Dinner in the desert
Help yourself to whatever you want; the choice is yours. Just don't vomit on your host.

The cradle of the Habsburgs
Great oaks from little acorns grow. Not only that, Emperor Rudolf I died 825 years ago on 15 July 1291.

UK politics grassroots guide
Puzzled and confused by politicians? Empress Maria Theresia knew what to do. The thinking person's guide with detailed construction plans suitable for every level and all budgets.

Quote and image of the month for June
Quote: Basil Bunting, Briggflatts. Image: Aureliano de Beruete, Espinos en flor. Plantío de los Infantes (Flowering Hawthorn).

Scrapbook for June
Leave means leave | Jo Cox™: the people speak | Hitting nail on head time | Jo Cox™ | Journalist falls off bar stool | Richard North's posting pause | Mark of respect | Nutjob loners | The funeral parlour | Gotthard conundrum | Envy-of-the-World™ | Gotthard tunnel. Gotthard tunnel? | Brown people

The Tory Chosen Ones
Toeing the party line.

EU Referendum, mopping up
First thoughts after the non-deluge.

Voters
Now you see them, now you don't.

The fine art of wonderment
The Vincent van Gogh guide to Platonic astonishment.

Infamous last words
For all things there is a time: a time to sniff; a time hold your nose and look away.

Gretchen am Spinnrade
Schubert again. This time the seventeen year-old's 'stroke of genius of the first order'.

The alien hatches
Blood on the body, the table, the walls and the floor – just don't mention the Tiber.

Carbon dioxide: the science is settling nicely
More vindication for the Chief Scientist of this website.

Ignorant? Uninformed? Thick?
We would really like to have your considered opinion on Brexit.

No X please, you're not British
An electoral shambles, just what is needed for a close-run referendum result.

Sahra[sic] Wagenknecht
Neo-Stalinist political lunatic of the first order; a fantasist, too.

The green tick
The successful parasite does not kill its host. Blood sucking in Norway gone wrong.

Quote and image of the month for May 2016
Quote: Stefan Zweig, Die Welt von Gestern: Erinnerungen eines Europäers. Image: Friderike und Stefan Zweig auf einem Bahnhof/The Zweigs on a station platform.

Scrapbook for May
Equation | Not a good end | The Donald | How to feel inadequate | Unbalanced revulsion | Le Temps des cerises

At the court of the Sun Queen
One of Hillary Clinton's courtiers speaks out: the result is not reassuring.

Before Schubert
The ancestors who made him possible.

Carl and Susanna Schubert
The pious farmer who educated his sons; the farming family who survived disease and famine to prosper.

The two brothers
Johann Karl and Franz Theodor: from the farming village to the Jesuit High School.

The brothers reach Vienna
Karl lands on his feet in the big city, then helps Franz Theodor to do the same.

The two sisters
Elisabeth and Magdalena Vietz: two sisters for two brothers.

Franz Theodor and Elisabeth's children
The composer's family: fifteen children, few survivors, one musical genius.

European wars
Your cut-out-and-keep guide, specially designed for the use of British Prime Ministers.

In search of lost timelessness
That midnight feeling.

Saving time
Why?

The EU referendum to date
An incoherent shambles, totally predictable.

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
One reason among many for the decline and fall of the Habsburg Empire.

On your own
The three pillars of the Protestant revolution: salvation by faith alone, through Christ alone and through scripture alone.

The calling
Do your best with what you are given: the importance of the 'calling'.

The elect
Are you one of the elect? Prove it, particularly to yourself.

The heavenly balance sheet
The cycle of redeemable sin compared with the fixed plan of virtuous action.

Rewards on earth and in Heaven
Irresistable grace will bring the rewards of Earthly life.

For the greater glory of God: Carl Schubert
The servant of the Catholic God leads an upright and pious life albeit without lasting utility.

For the greater glory of God: Benjamin Franklin
The servant of the Calvinist God follows a programme of self-improvement.

The trivial round, the common task
The beneficial effect of work in pursuit of the 'calling'.

Work: unpleasing to God
Work if you have to, but not too hard. It might even be better to live on your own in a cave for a few years.

Quote and image of the month for April
Quote: William Shakespeare, Cymbeline. Image: Dandelions: Two photos of a Swiss alpine meadow taken three weeks apart.

Scrapbook for April
Aide-memoire | #BringBackOurMen | Heartwarming | Dressing gown | Boaty McBoatface | John Whittingdale, chick magnet | The devastating power of hashtags | The terrorists are winning | Butch Spaniards on the rampage | A helpful tip for savers | Headline of the year candidate | The helping hand

Cherry blossom time
Unfortunately coinciding with April snow time this year.

Dark chocolate, green lunacy
Fear and loathing in the aisles: buying chocolate the insane way.

Out of the swamp
More Schubert. Matthisson and Brun wallow, Goethe and Schubert ascend to the light.

Richard North
Psychiatric case review: condition worsening.

Do not sleep…
…while the stewards of the world are busy.

Imperial chemistry
Emperor Leopold II's secret and dangerous hobby.

The real Lili Marleen
Certainly not hanging around lamposts.

The Habsburg lip
Branding a dynasty with a genetic defect. If you've got it, flaunt it.

Quote and image of the month for March
Quote: Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind. Image: Albert Edelfelt, Good Friends, Portrait of the Artist's Sister Bertha Edelfelt.

Scrapbook for March
Tears: an instrument of foreign policy | Wasting police time | Headline of the year award | Rigour, not mortis | Geography made easy | The god of the forest | Hyacinth time | Swiss referendum updates | The Dohlen are here!

Bedsheet, spreadsheet
How much is your health worth to you?

What's the French for 'dodo'?
Whatever it is, it's dead.

Lenten thoughts, newly assembled
As Christians come to the end of Lent, a period of self-denial and reflection, we ask the question: is it good not to spend money?

Heinrich Heine, 17 February 1856
A tardy commemoration of the 160th anniversary of the death of Heinrich Heine.

The great survivor
The Swiss artist Hans Erni's monster mural Die Schweiz, das Ferienland der Völker. Rescued, but why and for whom?

The Swiss muddle
Switzerland, Britzerland! So much rubbish, so little time to dispose of it all.

The Hans Erni lockdown
Imprisoned in museums and coffee table books, his work is destined for internet oblivion.

Switzerland: now safe to visit
Another spine is pulled from the Swiss hedgehog. After safer travel we now have worry-free flatpack shopping. It may not end well.

Tristram's bad start in life, 2 March 1718
Two hundred and ninety-eight years ago Tristram Shandy was conceived – anything but immaculately.

Montségur, 16 March 1244
The ashes of the 'Friends of God'.

The Cathars, the 'Friends of God'
Recovering the traces of an obliterated monastic order.

The Albigensian crusade
The terrible crusade against its own people and the royal conquest of the Languedoc.

The community under siege
The siege of the hilltop fort of Montségur. Eight months of resistance until the attackers found the fatal flaw in the defenses.

The crowned knot of fire
The fiery end of the 'Friends of God' on Montségur and the obliteration of the movement.

Montségur: video materials
Selected video materials about Montségur.

Quote and image of the month for February
Quote: Fink et al., The Oasis of Happiness: Toward an Ontology of Play. Image: Benjamin Williams Leader, February Fill Dyke.

Scrapbook
Solar Impulse update | Spare the rod, spoil the child | Swiss snow having orderly fun | The propagation of nonsense | Accumulated wisdom | Some more people not saying things | Eamonn and Ruth's little secret | Headline of the year award

From a night of frosty wreck
From George Meredith's The Thrush in February.

Language Lab
The untouchables: decimate and beg the question.

Swiss democracy, seriously compromised
Fighting the ruling classes. Do Swiss referendums matter, or are they just national focus groups?

False gods in graven images
Will the real John Walker please stand up?

Die Forelle
Fishy tales, speculations, a decade in a dungeon, oblivion and immortality. You can't beat a good song.

Franz Schubert – The Trout Quintet
The young genius playing for his supper in provincial Austria.

Franz Schubert – The Trout
A taste of immortality for a forgotten poet from an unknown composer.

Christian Schubart – The road to doom
How to make enemies and the fine art of annoying nearly everyone at the same time.

Christian Schubart – Taking the bait
Muddying the waters and choosing the perfect bait for the victim: a masterpiece!

Christian Schubart – The Trout
The bright, romantic allegory of deception and kidnap on the autopsy slab.

The grass on the weirs
Serenity amid the tumult of life. Reflection and regret.

Quote and image of the month for January 2016
Quote: Edward FitzGerald, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Image: Ivar Arosenius, Backusfest.

Rabid lexicography
The insensitivity, it drives you mad!

Not like us
Our continental friends, God bless them!

Language Lab
A collection of Americanisms and the Great British Stress Shift.

IKEA's loose screw
The last thing you want in a cheap flatpack company is a screw loose. Steptoe and Son go scandi noir.

Nathan's rings
Lessing's Nathan, not called 'the Wise' for nothing.

Brief Encounter II
Fings ain't wot they used to be: Not every man is Trevor Howard. Girls should listen to the accumulated wisdom of the ages.

Mohammed: not my prophet
Do I have a choice? Probably not.

Lunatic calendars
A cheerful month-long Ramadan fast in Svalbard (a.k.a. Spitzbergen) in summer. Is it supper time yet?

Hemingway under the hood
Let's lift the lid on the genius and his chiasmic creations.

Sharing the risk
We agree with Mark Steyn on almost everything — just not this.

Bathtime for St. Kevin
Seventy-two reasons not to read 'Finnegans Wake'. And one reason to do so.

The dismal science
Still guessing after all these years.

The below above
The mould spreads slowly but surely into the jam below.

Sanitised swearing
A trigger warning: sensitive souls should have the sal volatile handy.

Souvenirs
Which is real, the souvenir or the memory?

Rockers do it better
Stylish exits by those two rockers, Lemmy Kilmister and Arthur Schopenhauer. They'll be back!

2015
Article list for 2015.

Quote and image of the month for December
Quote: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Image: Modesto Urgell e Inglada, La vuelta del entierro/Returning from the burial.

Die Winterreise
Schubert yet again, but no cheerful bits at all this time, just loss, betrayal, rejection, alienation and wandering.

Chapter 1 – The birth of the text of Die Winterreise.
The 'Urania' text, the 'Waldhornist' text and Schubert's synthesis.

Chapter 2 – Poems 1-12
A narrative of loss, rejection and wandering: the first twelve poems of the Die Winterreise and the narrative thread.

Chapter 3 – Poems 13-24
Themes of despair, alienation and wandering: the last twelve poems of the Die Winterreise; thematic structure and the death paradox.

Chapter 4 – Wilhelm Müller
The biographical background to Wilhelm Müller's poem collection Die Winterreise.

Chapter 5 – Franz Schubert
The biographical background to Franz Schubert's setting of the song-cycle Winterreise.

Language Lab
Follicle mites face off, likely causing problems.

M'learned wag
The search for wit in lawyers continues.

Close shaves of the Scholastic kind
We use Alexander's sword to cut the Gordian knot of William of Occam's non-existent razor.

Solar Impulse
More news from the suspension of belief department. This time Wacky Races meets Alice in Wonderland.

Fidei defensor
Defender of the faith: The Christmas message of the second in line to the British throne.

Suspending disbelief in modern life
The operatic guide to the week's news in which we do not go quietly into that good night.

Die schöne Müllerin
Schubert again. Two blondes making out. A talking stream looks on as the hunter gets the girl. Many trigger alerts here.

Chapter 1 – The song-cycle and its prologue
The genesis of the idea of a song-cycle from Wilhem Müller's prologue to Die schöne Müllerin.

Chapter 2 – Poems 1-12
Love and joy: a structural analysis of the first twelve poems of the Die schöne Müllerin.

Chapter 3 – Poems 13-23
Despair and death: a structural analysis of the last eleven poems of the Die schöne Müllerin.

Chapter 4 – The context of the work
The problem of the narrative song-cycle; the biographical component.

Quote and image of the month for November
Quote: Wilhelm Müller, Die Winterreise. Image: Carl Julius von Leypold, Der Wanderer im Sturm/The wanderer in the storm.

Shaken, stirred and rusted
Objects of technological desire do not die, they just rust away and become ever more pointless.

The dramatic Climatic Unit
One aspect of climatic nonsense still going strong after nearly half a century and now probably too late to fix.

Language Lab
Today we are reaching out to all the significant others on the planet.

Tumbril for two, please!
The Swedish Charlie tackles the evils of this world: hot baths.

Engaging God: God help us!
After the atrocities in Paris, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, 'engages God' on a walk. What have we done to deserve this?

Enlightenment redux
Brendan O'Neill calls on us to fight for the Enlightenment. Don't bother: it's dead and gone.

Jigsaw-puzzle grammar
Writing for meaning, as opposed to writing for tedious pedants.

Antisocial media
The definitive guide to staying sane in the social media age.

Highbrow cat-stroking
If you don't mind displaying your intellectual credentials, here's how to do it.

Myth Thwitzerland
The 700th anniversary of the Battle of Morgarten in Switzerland and the cloud of unknowing that surrounds it. Something for everyone.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's NBFF
Rousseau befriends an extremely rich autocrat who wants to use mathematical skills to control the world.

Mars will now say a few words
The God of War speaks on the impending Armistice Day, 11.11.2015

Wiki-wacky
Wiki-wacky-woo, I don't know you. Or much about anything else, for that matter.

Microsoft. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…
Vista, Ribbon, Win 8, Win 10. Shall I go on?

All Souls' Day, 2 November
Some thoughts for All Souls' Day, 2 November on the Litany for All Souls' Day of Johann Georg Jacobi, set to music by Franz Schubert.

All Saints' Day, 1 November
Some thoughts for All Saints' Day, 1 November on the painting La Toussaint by the French artist Émile Friant.

How to lose money
Desperate to lose some money quickly? Here's how to do it: buy gold. Here is the thinking person's guide for which you have been waiting so long.

Quote and image of the month for October
Quote: Ezra Pound, The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Image: Édouard Manet, Un bar aux Folies Bergère.

Carbon dioxide: the science is settled
The much-awaited canonical statement of this blog on the subject of Anthropogenic Global Warming and Climate Change: our chief scientist reports.

Transitioning to November
Whatever happens, don't mention the H-word! We offer an alternative for those damaged.

Fanatics: the good and the bad
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's good fanatic: let's see how that worked out.

The bad old days
Thank goodness they have gone! Forced gender assignment, a complete lack of ethnic, religious or sexual diversity.

Rousseau! Back in your box!
The Swiss people have spoken. Will Jean-Jacques finally flee back to his sarcophagus, in Switzerland at least?

Troubling the living stream
Easter 1916: The stony heart of fanaticism as seen by W.B. Yeats.

Wittgenstein’s disease
Many people suffer from this disease in silence, attempting to hide their distress from others. A sufferer writes.

Who are you calling a snob?
Classical music? Let's take this outside in the car park.

Red Burgundy – The agony and the ecstasy
How to waste a lot of money and suffer much disappointment in the search for the special one. Skid Row awaits.

Nietzsche's birthday
Friedrich Nietzsche would have been 171 today, so let's dig out one or two of his undeservedly neglected poems to celebrate the occasion.

Rousseau in Nature
He's on the stagger still, this time in two Danish universities. [corrected 17.10.2015]

Business Girls
John Betjeman. For once not the lovable eccentric with a fondness for women, old buildings and steam railways, but the poet. The very good poet.

Data despair
One more push in the battle against 'data are'. There are still pockets of resistance: bitter people with nothing to lose who will probably fight to the last bullet.

EU referendum: No thank you!
Holding a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union is more than slightly bonkers. If it didn't work in 1975, why will it work now?

Rousseau staggers on
Latest sightings of this website's favourite zombie. Some people seem quite shocked.

How to end an extremely long poem
You have scribbled 6,000 lines of impenetrable poetry. How do you stop? Like this.

Atlas Shrugged: 'Whatever…'.
The great unread: a literary assessment of Ayn Rand's magnum opus. As doorstopper, serviceable; as novel, beyond awful.

Democracy and delegation
Quote of the day: Modern democracy and delegation from an Ancient Greek perspective.

Celestial advice
There is always room for helpful celestial advice when things don't seem to be going your way.

Jeannot in church
A contribution from a member of the French branch of our therapy group for the liturgically damaged.

The good old days
The good old days of life on the land before the curse of industrialisation.

Quote and image of the month for September
Quote: Blaise Pascal, Pensées sur la religion et sur quelques autres sujets. Image: Hubble, the Pillars of Creation.

Bye bye, democracy. Hello, general will.
We seem to be reading more and more these days about the limitations of democracy and the need to take decisions for the common good. All this can only mean one thing: the zombie has awakened and is walking abroad once more. Its name? Jean-Jacques Rousseau. …

Tests of faith, the lunatic's friends
Two ancient stories about belief, lunacy, faith and other quite important things.

Schubert, you idiot!
How Franz Schubert managed to write one of the greatest secular choral works, despite messing up somewhat.
Part of an occasional series on the composer.

S.E.E.D.
It's only now that you find out who your true friends are.

You swine!
It’s a pretty horrible smell. Imagine Saturday night in the gents of the Dog and Badger, late, after every gent has been in there, and even the dog and the badger by the smell of it.

Greenwich Dump Time
Greenwich Gasworks, where are you now? Don't ask.

List of updated content
A list of updated content.

Contents list
A complete list in date order of the content on this website.

Site search
Search the Figures of Speech site.

Blogroll
Some other interesting wbsites.

About
About Figures of Speech

Schubert collection
A collection of all the pieces on this website related to Franz Schubert or his world.