nigel beale

The best books, Somerset Maugham once quite rightly insisted, are enjoyable to read. By this measure, Arrival: The Story of CanLit is a virtuoso performance. It’s fun, not at all academic. It’s informative – many of the most important works in the Canadian canon are evaluated (albeit cursorily) – it’s also funny, well written and […]

First appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal The following is based on a series of separate audio interviews conducted with writers Rebecca Rosenblum, Nam Le and Anne Enright for The Biblio File, a radio program/podcast hosted by Nigel Beale. During each interview three people were in the room: the writer, the host, and Flannery […]

 How Neglected Literature can Yield Unexpected Treasures First appeared in LOGOS. by Nigel Beale. ‘Collect what excites you’ is the best piece of wisdom anyone who loves books can ever impart.  I’ve been doling it out for decades;  extraordinary, though, how long it’s taken for me to actually heed my own advice, or more accurately, […]

Photo Source: National Portrait Gallery, London. Tom Paulin’s minute analysis of Keats’s great poem is so suffused in his own ideology that he completely misses the poem’s very obvious subject Some may contend that Tom Paulin’s recent Marxist reading of To Autumn in the Guardian helped them to a richer appreciation of Keats’s art. I contend […]

First appeared in The Guardian One can find fault with his showy, wilfully obscure style, but the world he predicted 50 years ago is the one we live in Fifty years ago, Marshall McLuhan was musing about how media served to extend the human brain. At the time, though some had an inkling of his […]

First appeared in The Guardian Writers like Flaubert have been accused of over-using metaphor, but is it possible to have too much of such a good thing? An angry question hounds my appreciation of the novel, like a hungry hyena: To what degree can metaphor be used before intruding on realism’s capacity to replicate life […]

“A genre is hardening. It is becoming possible to describe today’s ‘big, ambitious novel.’ Familial resemblances are asserting themselves, and a parent can be named: Dickens.” — James Wood, “Hysterical Realism.” “A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise […]

First appeared in Guerilla Magazine It all starts with the equipment. Barber Patrick Shank uses what was used on him when he was a kid. Wahl clippers, an Andis trimmer, Supercut scissors. Pinaud talc to clean off the collar, dry the skin, and prevent post-cut itching. Pinaud is French. The company was founded in 1810. […]