Tag Archives: God

Rilke: a poet’s death

Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. A portrait of Rilke painted two years after his death by Leonid Pasternak Public domain Rose, oh reiner widerspruch, lust, Niemandes schlaf zu sein under soviel lidern Rose, o pure contradiction, desire, to be no one’s sleep beneath so many lids. Rainer Maria Rilke, epitaph. On December […]

Faith and patron saints during the Black Death

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta   Saint Roch. 1502. Francesco Francia.  Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain.  The Black Death of 1348 was the greatest biomedical disaster in European history. Although it was not the first plague epidemic, the Black Death swept through Europe, killing millions indiscriminately and affecting society like no other natural calamity.1 Attempts to understand the […]

Blood is the life

Saameer Pani Sydney, Australia   The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Giovanni di Paolo. 1455/60. The Art Institute of Chicago. Vampire—the  very  word  itself  conjures  up  images  of  supernatural  creatures  who  look  not  unlike  you  and  me,  prowl  about  at  night, prey on unsuspecting souls, and sink their fangs into innumerable, hapless victims to […]

Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding and the reputation of the medical profession 1742

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, USA     In his first published novel from 1742, Henry Fielding chronicles the journey and foibles of three principle characters: the amenable Parson Adams, the so-called beautiful wench Fanny, and her paramour Joseph Andrews—the namesake of the novel.1 Adventures and misadventures befall the young protagonist Andrews, none the least falling […]

A happy individual knows nothing

Basil Brooke Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa   Socrates and his students. Seljuk manuscript, early 13th century. Mubashshir ibn Fātik. Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul It seems that most people, most of the time, tend to avoid the really big questions, the hows and whys of existence, preferring to wait and see what happens when they die. […]

One thing we can’t live without

Liam Farrell Crossmaglen, Ireland   When God appeared to me and ordained me as his prophet, I was rather disappointed. He was tall and rather overtly Aryan, with a long, white beard (no genuflection to the minorities), and worst of all, had a cultured English accent. He doesn’t sound one bit like Morgan Freeman, I […]