Oliver Sacks, peerless explorer of the human brain, has today died of cancer aged 82. Inspired by case histories of patients suffering from neurological disorders, Sacks's eloquent musings on consciousness — which he termed 'neurological novels' — included The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat and Awakenings, the former adapted into a Michael Nyman opera, the latter an Oscar-nominated film. His combination of intellectual rigour, philosophical expressiveness and...
Last night's Proms performance of Sibelius's Kullervo symphony was radiant, unforgettable, but there has also been a pure coincidence this past week which is simply too good to pass over unremarked: Thursday also saw the first-time publication of J.R.R. Tolkien's version of the same narrative, The Story of Kullervo.What has struck me with force in the past few days is that a dark, violent Nordic tale, the same section of Finland's national epic the Kalevala, not only cast a spell but also...
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