13 May 2010 0 Comments

Cameron can’t solve English i.d. crisis

I was at Oxford University at the same time as Britain’s new prime minister. But while I spent all my free time at a famous old pub opposite the historic Bodleian Library with a pint of Guinness in the company of some old Irish porters, I never saw David Cameron there. Which makes me doubt […]

10 August 2006 0 Comments

Dashiell Hammett and really real mysteries

Writers have it all wrong. They think they need to learn about other writers. I studied English literature at Oxford University and I read all I could find of the sort of literary criticism which makes a novel seem like a piece of East German economic analysis. Three years later, I hadn’t learned a thing, […]