‘I Do Not Find It Easy’

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

For some people, old age is like a mirage: always on the horizon but never reached – by themselves at any rate. When my father was in his early eighties, he referred somewhat disdainfully to his neighbour, eight years younger than he, as ‘the old man’, but he never applied the epithet to himself. And […]

At the Whim of the Gods

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

In the ancient world, happiness was a gift of the gods that could be withdrawn at any moment. No one imagined it to be a state of mind that could be deliberately pursued and permanently achieved. When philosophers advocated the pursuit of happiness, they had in mind something quite different from the life of continuous […]

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‘A Defect of the Soul’

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

At the time of writing this review, one of the hot films was The Social Network, a dramatisation of the founding of Facebook by the Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg. Jesse Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg as a borderline sociopath who lacks human empathy, yet is colossally endowed with the sort of genius that made the invention of […]

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RLF - March