Showing posts from April, 2023

The Kraken and the Minotaur

  I’ve just come back from co-leading a Book Club holiday near Oxford with HF Holidays. It was hard work but rewarding. The book I chose - and about which I led discussions - was Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, which I wrote about in a previous blog. I chose it for its many references to Narnia and the ideas of  CS Lewis and Owen Barfield, two of Oxford’s famous Inklings.  But there were also some connections that were sheer serendipity. For one, the country house hotel we were using (Harrington House in Bourton-on-the-Water) had this statue of a faun in its garden. And even better, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford were holding a temporary exhibition on the subject of the Labyrinth. I found the exhibition fascinating and inspiring. I could have got tons more discussion points for Piranesi out of it, especially the similarities between Valentine Ketterley in the book and Sir Arthur Evans, who took over the dig on Crete in true colonial fashion and projected his own interpretations onto it