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Peter Conrad

For Peter Conrad's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Six great thinkers' 'lessons'

Sep 21, 2013

Six great thinkers' 'lessons'

Life is a career that none of us chose. The rich and credulous hire life coaches to flatter them. Others who crave enlightenment can sign on to the School of Life set up by entrepreneurial egghead Alain de Botton. LIFE LESSONS FROM … Bergson, ...

American fiction's drunken masters

Aug 17, 2013

American fiction's drunken masters

Rivers run through Olivia Laing’s writing — sometimes the real thing, either narrow and innocuous like a backwoods creek or mile-wide like the Mississippi; occasionally streams of memory that flow backwards, and sometimes gushers of tears; always a steady current of liquidly eloquent words. ...

Allowing Nijinsky's ballet to tell his life

May 12, 2013

Allowing Nijinsky's ballet to tell his life

How can we separate the dancer from the dance? Vaslav Nijinsky’s art was a vanishing act, and his mystique depended on gestures that lasted only a second, like his leap through a window in “The Spectre of a Rose,” or the slight but scandalous ...

Painfully honest, artful homage to wife's death

Apr 21, 2013

Painfully honest, artful homage to wife's death

This little book has a purpose that is weightily monumental: It’s a Taj Mahal made of paper, not white marble. LEVELS OF LIFE, by Julian Barnes. Cape, 2013, 128 pp., £10.99 (hardcover) Shah Jahan built the minareted tomb for his third wife when she ...

The myth of human progress

Apr 7, 2013

The myth of human progress

"The more I see of men," said Madame de Stael, "the more I like dogs." Always excepting the pit bulls and Rottweilers that slather and snap at the heels of yobs, I agree with her.