Christmas in Bangkok

The Thai people, I’m told, Like holidays— All sorts of holidays: Chinese, Buddhists, Christian; All great occasions To decorate the monster shopping malls. Downtown, on Plenchit Street, In a restaurant where I eat lunch— Shrimp with cashew nuts, Diet Coke with ice;...

Literary references

The business of comparing national literatures across languages and time is definitely tricky. Take the English 19th century prose from Jane Austen through Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Trollope, George Eliot, Hardy, to Joseph Conrad. By any yardstick it would be...

Strange Moment in American-Russian Relationship

In 1775, Colonies in North America rebelled against the British rule.  The British government discovered that it had a serious problem.  It had the best fleet in the world but it hardly had an army.  The British, like other monarchies of that period,...

Rules for Writers to Help Them Write

Many writers develop rules to help them write.  Sometimes such rules embody almost inhuman abilities in areas such as discipline.  Anthony Trollope would write several hours every morning, no matter what.  Once he finished a novel while he still had...

Now on Twitter

Get updates on the novel and other various ideas at Twitter. Follow me here: https://twitter.com/Berengaut.
Where is Europe?

Where is Europe?

Is this a silly question?  It certainly seems silly.  Of course, we all know where Europe is.  But do we really? To know where Europe is one has to know where its borders are.  And what are Europe’s borders?  Well, it’s all water, isn’t...
Etymology

Etymology

There is something about etymology, the study of the history of words, which makes it difficult, once one has started to look up the origin of words, to stop. Perhaps it is because there is always another word that just begs to be looked up, and then another, and so...
Honey Spas?

Honey Spas?

Google “Honey Spas” and you will get a lot of suggestions for spas and hot tubs.  Google “Honey Spas Russia” and you will get something very different. In Russia, August 14 is celebrated as The Savior of the Honey Feast. The holiday is also referred to as Honey...
Wormwood and Honey In Ancient Rome

Wormwood and Honey In Ancient Rome

In Chapter XXXI of The Estate of Wormwood and Honey, Sergey recalls his mother using wormwood as a medicinal remedy.  To overcome the child’s resistance to drinking the very bitter medicine, his mother smears some honey around the rim of the cup.  This...