a common reader

English texts

Philosophy of mind

July 1st, 2014  |  by  |  published in English texts, FOCUS, wetenschap | Comments Off on Philosophy of mind

Philosophy of mind

How do we think? Can machines think? What is consciousness? And many more questions on artificial intelligence and the philosophy of mind.

A pilgrimage to La Paz

June 4th, 2014  |  by  |  published in English texts, mensenrechten, politiek | Comments Off on A pilgrimage to La Paz

A pilgrimage to La Paz

“We look like a bunch of pilgrims gathering to start a pilgrimage to Canterbury.” “You may be right about being pilgrims, but you can’t compare this sweltering place to a fourteenth century English tavern.” We all laughed. In a way the young man was right: four unconnected people had flocked together. First we were sitting […]

Ola-Dele Kuku

May 29th, 2014  |  by  |  published in English texts, FOCUS, KUNST | 1 Comment »

Ola-Dele Kuku

When I first saw one of Ola-Dele Kuku’s furniture pieces, I was immediately captured. This piece was exhibited in the Design Museum Ghent. Actually, ‘furniture’ is a misleading label. The objects he creates certainly present themselves as furniture, but they do not limit themselves to mere functionality. All his creations boast an unusual playfulness, as […]

Culture meets money: the publishing industry

May 3rd, 2014  |  by  |  published in English texts, FOCUS, over boeken | Comments Off on Culture meets money: the publishing industry

Culture meets money: the publishing industry

I don’t belong to this book’s intended public, but what with its interesting title and all, I bought it anyway. I read it, too, but that wouldn’t matter so much to its publishers.

Why I want you to read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath

April 27th, 2014  |  by  |  published in boeken van belang, Engelse literatuur, English texts, FOCUS | Comments Off on Why I want you to read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath

Why I want you to read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath

Only when you read its very last paragraph, you’ll appreciate the true scale of this novel. It is as audacious, as confidently grand as the Ode to Joy of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

John Carey — the pleasure of reading

April 11th, 2014  |  by  |  published in Engelse literatuur, English texts, FOCUS | Comments Off on John Carey — the pleasure of reading

John Carey — the pleasure of reading

John Carey The Unexpected Professor The pleasure of reading is such that it is even a joy to read about other’s reading habits. I think that is why I ordered this book before it was published. It was advertised on The Thought Fox (Faber and Faber’s blog about books) and I was seduced by: John […]

Our Kind of Traitor

April 10th, 2014  |  by  |  published in Engelse literatuur, English texts, FOCUS | Comments Off on Our Kind of Traitor

Our Kind of Traitor

In Our Kind of Traitor, le Carré has replaced the Cold War setting by a modern equivalent: Russian mafia, high finance, and money laundering.

Why I want you to read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

March 14th, 2014  |  by  |  published in English texts, FOCUS, Russische literatuur | Comments Off on Why I want you to read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Why I want you to read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

You’ll get up with Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, early in the morning, and follow him throughout the day, from sleeping hut to sickbay to mess hut, through the labour camp and back. You’ll get to know the complex social rules that governed this environment: the hierarchical status from camp commandant over warders and foremen down to convicts like Shukhov himself, their crafty solutions for gaining some warmth or food, their unpitying harshness toward one another, the way they’d go easy on the relative newcomers. Above all, you will feel the hunger and the cold.

Doom & Gloom

March 3rd, 2014  |  by  |  published in English texts, FOCUS, wetenschap | 1 Comment »

Doom & Gloom

Recently I’ve been tempted to introduce a tag called “doom thinking”, and label quite a few of my books with it. Here’s why I didn’t.



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