Tristram Shandy, Gentleman


I do not dread the judgements of the ignorant multitude; I ask, however, that they spare my little works in which it was always the design to pass in turn from jests to serious matters and from serious matters to jests

Translation of the epigraph to Volume III

I picked up Laurence Sterne’s novel again this week. “Again” because when I finished reading volumes I and II last year I thought I might read the rest of the novel following the original publication of the volumes (the novel being published between 1759 and 1767), and there was a year gap between the publication of the first two volumes and III and IV.

This has also handily (and you might say it was the sole purpose of my decision) given me a strategy to navigate a novel – one that is often labelled as one of the greatest comic novels in the English language – that I feel purposefully pushes back at its readers.

Under No Illusion

To follow a minute-by-minute cycle of news is to be constantly threatened by illusion. So I’m not just staying off Twitter, I’m cutting back on the news sites in my RSS feed, and deleting browser bookmarks to newspapers. Instead, I am turning more of my attention to monthly magazines, quarterly journals, and books. I’m trying to get a somewhat longer view of things — trying to start thinking about issues one when some of the basic facts about them have been sorted out. Taking the short view has burned me far too many times.

– Alan Jacobs

My copy of the new issue of Delayed Gratification arrived in the post today.


I began buying it about a year ago and thanks to a subscription bought for me for Christmas by my sister I will be reading it well into this year. It’s difficult to remember what sparked my initial decision to buy it, but the issues Alan Jacobs brings up in this post from earlier this year are definitely similar to the ones bothering me at the time.

Whether Delayed Gratification will usher in a slow news revolution is debatable. Perhaps it’s unimportant. For currently it provides an alternative to the existing news landscape and I’d definitely recommend you buying a copy.

Going For A Song: ‘Hammer Down’

Magnolia Electric Co. – Hammer Down

Jason Molina died four years ago this week. I recently came across this news story from 2015 about a song he recorded with Alasdair Roberts, and Will and Paul Oldham. The four had gotten together at Paul Oldham’s farmhouse on 10 September 2001 to record some songs; waking up on the morning of the 11th they spent the day watching what was happening in New York. The song they recorded that evening, ‘September 11’, written by Jason, had now, the article went on to say, been posted on the website of the Secretly Canadian record label.

Continue reading “Going For A Song: ‘Hammer Down’”

Going For A Song: ‘Gimme Shelter’

The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

Recently I watched the music documentary The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America, and wasn’t expecting to find it as good as I did. What struck me most was the devotion they inspired, and the high regard and love for them that exists still in the countries they visited.

Continue reading “Going For A Song: ‘Gimme Shelter’”

Going For A Song: ‘2/15’

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – 2/15

What I wanted to write about this week I’ve just not found the time to. Instead I’ve chosen this live version of a favourite song of mine, ‘2/15′. I discovered this version while looking for the Palace Brothers song ‘I send my love to you’ which I wrote about a few weeks back.

It’s a medley actually. ‘2/15′ is the first song and is off the Marquis de Tren and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy album Get on Jolly; the second song is Palace Music’s ‘New Partner’ from their album Viva Last Blues.