Quote of The Week

"I forsee all sorts of unforseen problems."

Sir Humphrey Appleby in the TV show Yes Minister.



We are back from three months in France, unscathed by terrorism or politics. Now we have to face the politics on this side of the Atlantic. If it is any consolation (which it is not), politics in Europe right now is very nearly as unbalanced and dangerous as it is here. There have been many times like this in the past, and sanity has prevailed – eventually. We hope for the best.

Topics of the Week

The Featured Essay has nothing to do with politics. “Classical Music Radio – A Memoir” is an excerpt from a longer essay, and marks the beginning of a new music workshop at Stony Brook University at the end of September (see “Music” page).

Writing Life features a nice, lightweight, unworrying piece about buying a new diary, “The Future Lies Ahead.”
Just a reminder of my two newest books.

Not Quite a Stranger: Essays on Life in France is a collection of more or less humorous pieces recording my many visits to that beautiful and baffling country over a period of fifty years.

Lucky Man is the non-memoir that replaced the memoir I had originally intended to write, and am writing now. Various fragments of my life – mostly essays and miscellaneous non-fiction – had been accumulating like Radon gas in the basement for many decades. These I arranged into thematic sections on learning, teaching, working, travelling and so on, in a kind of biographical tapas that the curious reader can dip into at any point, according to taste.

More details at Amazon.com and on the Books and Audio page of this site.


All my broadcasts are now available as podcasts on iTunes and Google. Just enter my name in the Search box.