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The

Icon ISSUE

PORTSMOUTH POINT


why are we devoted to

PORTSMOUTH POINT

The icon issue

Endless Kerouac Benjamin Schofield 36

What Exactly Were Icons? Benedict Lister

Paul Robeson Ben Charles

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The Iconography of Christmas Daniel Rollins 6

Icon or Psychopath? Charlotte Rowden 40

Icon of Evil Robert Bendell

“Learning is not compulsory... Neither is survival.” Josh Brown 42

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Translating Dante’s Inferno Fay Davies

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Anti-Icon: Caravaggio’s Adoration of the Shepherds Tom McCarthy

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The Iconic Ending Simon Lemieux 44 Iconoclash John Sadden 46

The Blessed Margaret Immortal Bird David Doyle 48 Laura Burden 18 Hug This Hoodie Crick and Watson Ben Goad 50 Andrew Hogg 20 Hispanicons Fay Davies, Kathryn Godfray, Owen Jones, Fraser Mackenzie, and Liliana Nogueira-Pache 24

Why Is The Higgs Boson So Important? Chloe Sellwood

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The Symbol of our Era Andrew Jones 55 The Mystery of Marilyn Stephanie Tindal 28 Fallen Icon? 56 The Audacity of Audrey Ruth Richmond Zoe Dukoff-Gordon 29 A Tale of Two Finals Charles Farmer 58 Elvis: Icon or Iconoclast? Emma Bell 30 My Iconography of Fiction Tim MacBain 62 When Guitar Gods Roamed the Earth Virgil’s First Eclogue Mark Richardson 34 Tom McCarthy 63 An Icon With Feet of Clay? Joanna Godfree 35

Editorial Team (Magazine and Blog) * Charlie Albuery * Robert Bendell * Tim Bustin * Isabelle Byrne * Jemima Carter * George Chapman * Nathaniel Charles * Neil Chhabda * Zach Choppen * Lucy Cole * Fay Davies * Billie Downer * Zoe Dukoff-Gordon * Nicholas Graham * Tom Harper * Fergus Houghton-Connell * Andrew Jones * Lottie Kent * George Kimber-Sweatman * George Laver * Tim MacBain * George Neame * Thomas Penlington * Emma Ralph * Benjamin Schofield * Sampad Sengupta * Melissa Smith * Oliver Price * Isabel Stark * Louisa Stark * Hugh Summers * Katherine Tobin * Oliver Velasco * William Wallace * Gregory Walton-Green * Ross Watkins * Ben Willcocks * Beatrice Wilkinson Blog Editor Daniel Rollins Editor James Burkinshaw Magazine Designer Clara Feltham, The Graphic Design House

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Why Are We Devoted to Icons? Charlie Albuery 3

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few minutes on You Tube may seem all it takes to acquire iconic status in the early twenty-first century. However, as Charlie Albuery and Mr Lister point out, in this iconthemed issue of Portsmouth Point, the need to idealize fellow human beings, to seek significance in their images, goes back many thousands of years. There is, of course, an equally deepseated suspicion of placing such faith in images, an iconoclastic tendency explored in articles ranging from Caravaggio to The Clash. Part of the power of an icon is its ability to transcend time. 2012 marks the 50th and 35th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis respectively, whose continuing iconic status is attested to by Stephanie Tindal and Mrs Bell. It is also the 260th anniversary of the birth of the prodigiously talented poet Thomas Chatterton, whose mysterious death at the age of 17 turned him not only into an icon, but, as Mr Hogg argues, the prototype for self-destructive twentieth-century artists such as writer Jack Kerouac and musician Jimi Hendrix (both celebrated in this issue). Events can be as iconic as people. It is 40 years since the Watergate break-in, which, as Mr Lemieux notes, has lent a simple suffix iconic status for four decades. Next year will be the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA, as Mr Goad reminds us, while Chloe Sellwood argues that the discovery of the Higgs boson this year may prove just as iconic. This issue of Portsmouth Point continues the magazine’s eclectic tradition, as PGS pupils and staff explore the iconic status of nightingales and X-boxes, Dante and the World Wide Web, Mrs Thatcher and ‘Che’ Guevara, Steve Jobs and W. Edwards Heming, Satan and Portsmouth FC. That same eclecticism is also the driving force of our blog, at www.portsmouthpoint.blogspot.com, updated daily by pupils and staff with new reviews, commentary, creative writing, audio and video, on every topic you can imagine. There is something to come back for every day.

The Editors December 2012

ICONS? Charlie Albuery

YEAR 11

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Icon (nou n) - One who is the ob j ect of great attention and devotion; an idol

hen most people hear the word “icon”, they think of a famous actor, singer or athlete. The question that comes to my mind, however, is ‘Why?’ What is it that makes us, as humans, gravitate towards icons? It’s almost as interesting a question as it is a depressing view into my mind. Humans are naturally hierarchical beings, we seek to create order and structure wherever we go, and structure requires leaders, people to look up to (i.e. icons). In the time of our earliest ancestors, when the world was a more savage place, every action revolved around merely surviving; the person at the top of the hierarchy would be the one who people felt could protect them --- the biggest, strongest or best hunter of a tribe. When we moved to a state of civilization that enabled us to go beyond a state of just surviving, we were forced to adapt and create new methods of scoring those who were to be chosen as our icons. The method you choose in the 21st century very much depends on who you are. Some people (typically sporty themselves) would consider an Olympian or a Premier League footballer to be the epitome of human success. Others, however (not to generalize, but they tend to be annoyingly good at Maths), would consider scientists and intellectuals such as Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking to be homo-superior. You may have noticed a pattern in the above paragraph, which brings me to my theory on icons: what we look for in an icon is a faster, stronger or more intelligent version of our self, a person who is the pinnacle of the field we consider ourselves to be most suited to. You may consider this obvious (‘Of course we desire to be like a better version of our self’), but, when you really think about the implications of this, it begins to seem a lot less harmless. Quick Quiz: Which icon do most people look up to? It’s not Thomas Edison or Wayne Rooney or any other person, alive or dead; it’s the notion of a god. The concept of a deity, an omnipotent being, is the thing that more people look up to than any other. Christians believe that we were moulded in God’s image, hence, paradoxically, God is essentially the template for being

human and, therefore, He (or She --- I’m not a sexist) is the icon that we look up to. At first this may sound ludicrous but, really, consider the definition of an icon: ‘One who is the object of great attention and devotion; an idol’. Does that not perfectly describe any deity? However, becoming a god is rather challenging for a human. Therefore, we often gravitate towards human icons; for example, in the medieval period, people often prayed to saints or to Mary, as they seemed more relatable than God. As a result, humans can end up being even more “iconic” than gods, perhaps because they make iconic status seem achievable. With few exceptions, most people COULD become a footballer; the only reason EVERYBODY isn’t a footballer is because it would involve a lot of hard work and training that most people would not put in. On the other hand, no matter how hard I try, there is no way I can become a god; it just isn’t feasible in the way that being really good at kicking a ball is. Our love of icons is born from our need for someone to look up to. The world can be a terrifying place sometimes; that is when religious people turn to a god and that is when the rest of us turn to human icons, which leads me to my point (we got there in the end!). In a primarily secular, modern society have icons achieved the level of adulation that people formerly devoted to religion? The devotion some people show to a favourite athlete or pop star can certainly be described as cult-like, and there are easy parallels to draw between the way we, as a society, treat religion and sport, for example. We are fiercely divided by our belief (our religion or favourite team); many attend a football match weekly with a similar level of adherence to tradition that some apply to church services and both new football teams and religions are only ever founded by eccentric billionaires with extravagant moustaches. The question is, do we really consider John Terry on Justin Bieber worthy of our devotion? This, readers, is why, despite understanding the psychological power of icons, I have an issue with iconography. John Terry should not be a religion. That is all.

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temples for special festivals or to ask for help from a particular god for a special reason. Most worship was private and at home. The rise of Christianity in the fourth century AD appeared to end all that. The temples were destroyed and the statues of the Olympian gods smashed or defaced, apart from a few kept in the private collections of the rich. Now that there was only one god to protect everyone equally whatever their rank and wealth, there was no place for household gods and the thousands of minor gods that watched over every region of the countryside. However, the abandonment of the gods seems to have left an emotional or spiritual void. The ancient images were tangible and needed to be replaced by something equally tangible. It is therefore most probable – and to tell the truth there is no concrete evidence for this – that images of Christ, Mary his mother, or the saints were a direct replacement for the household gods. In the same way, statues of the gods that were honoured by travellers at roadside shrines were replaced by Christian shrines. St. Christopher is, therefore, the Christian equivalent of the god Hermes, protector of travellers. A priest tells of a man who had commissioned a wooden icon of St. Michael the Archangel: ‘When he felt he was about to die, he took his wife’s hand and put it upon the hand of the archangel saying: ‘O Archangel Michael...behold, in thy hands, I place my wife Euphemia, as a deposit, so that thou mayst watch over her.’ And, after his death, Euphemia continued offering the icon incense, keeping a lamp lit before it at all times, and, venerating it three times a day, she begged the saint to help her and protect her from the devil.’ 1 The faces of these Christian images also seem to have been influenced by ancient models. The Egyptian goddess, Isis, widely worshipped throughout the Roman empire, provided a model for the Mother of Christ and those of Zeus and Serapis, one of the most popular gods worshipped in the East in the period just before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, provided the models for Christ himself. In its simplest form an icon, as it became known, was a religious image painted on a thin pieces of wood using a technique called ‘encaustic’ by which wax was heated, coloured and then applied to the wooden surface. This technique had been used throughout the ancient world for many centuries before Christianity, but most of the wood has since decayed or rotted. The best surviving pre-Christian examples are from Egypt, where the dry conditions have allowed for their preservation. Most noticeable in these portraits are the large eyes that appear to look directly at the viewer and the individuality of the portraiture. The parallels with icon images are striking. These wooden panels were copied in other materials such as metal, mosaics or enamel; they were framed and dressed in silver coves with gems; silk veils were hung in front of them to protect the painted surface. This art form is particularly associated with Byzantium, the Eastern capital of the Roman Empire, which flourished long after the fall of Rome and remained a powerful city right through the Middle Ages. The reason for this is simple. In the West, barbarian invasions brought a break in tradition and only a gradual assimilation of old and new cultures. In the East, there was continuity; the new celebration of Christ developed inevitably out of long-valued cultural traditions. An icon was more than just an image however. Some were believed to have

what exactly were

ICONS? Mr Benedict Lister

HEAD OF MODERN LANGUAGES AND CLASSICS

been miraculously created and to be able to protect cities from enemy attack. More humble images were supposed to act as an intermediary between the worshipper and the holy person depicted on them. Visions and conversations with the saints depicted might take place through these images and advice and reassurance might be given. Some Christians, however, were concerned that worshippers were crossing the boundary from worshipping a saint or the divine Christ to worshipping the icon itself. This was strictly forbidden according to the commandments given to Moses in the Old Testament. ‘Thou shalt make no graven images nor shalt thou worship them.’ With the rise of Islam in the seventh century AD and its rapid spread towards Byzantium, this infatuation with icons was thrown into greater relief. In Islamic tradition no images of God were allowed. Could the success of Islamic forces reflect God’s displeasure with this Christian form of worship? Matters came to a head in the eight century AD, when there was a mass destruction of icons throughout the Byzantine world. Those defending the right to venerate icons were exiled and some even killed. This new movement became known as ‘iconoclasm’ and its proponents as ‘iconoclasts’. However, a few years later, a change of leadership and a change in popular mood brought back the use of icons once again. For a century, the dispute swung one way and then the other with much loss of life until finally icons were fully re-established as part of Christian worship in the east, where they have remained a central part of what we now call Eastern Orthodox worship. It remains only to understand how the word ‘icon’ as it is used today relates to the Christian images. In the first place, icons were easily recognizable. Icons of particular saints are shown with particular physical features or carrying particular objects which make it evident who they are. In the same way, we use the term ‘iconic’ for an image that is readily identifiable and widely understood. Secondly, the icon has significant influence or symbolic value. The saints were worshipped through their images. They were thought to have the power to change lives. In the same way, an iconic image today has a central importance – it is often imitated or parodied in a thousand different ways – and it is generally seen to typify a particular moment in the cultural history of our species. The philosopher Plato in the 5th Century BC said that all physical impressions upon the mind are imperfect ‘icons’ or images of a more perfect and permanent reality than we can perceive. Paradoxically, two and a half thousand years later, the icon has become itself a symbolic reflection of the reality in which we live, more permanent and more grounded than the transitory moment. The icon seems to embody the wider truth of a social phenomenon in an almost transcendent way. It only goes to show that words are slippery creatures!

A cherished image can take on a transcendent, living quality.

Icon is a G reek word, ‘eikon’, meaning simply ‘image’ or ‘likeness’ – a portrait or depiction of something. By definition, therefore, an ‘icon’ cannot be abstract, a mere attractive pattern or design. It has to represent something from the material world in recognizable form.

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n the Classical world, images were always important. The gods were represented in human form in statues of wood, metal or stone. These statues were deeply revered in their own right. Legends of statues coming to life to issue warnings or dripping blood as a signal of impending disaster are testimony to their quasi-magical properties. To desecrate or deface a statue was a terrible crime. This may sound a little ludicrous but it should not be forgotten that, even in our relatively godless society, a cherished image can take on a transcendent, living quality. From the poster of the pop-idol on a bedroom wall to the portrait of Her Majesty on a tea-pot on the mantelpiece, the image seems to gain something of the aura of the person it is depicting. If the poster was torn down or the royal pot smashed to pieces, more would be lost to the devoted fan or the staunch loyalist than the paper or pottery value of the item. The quasi-religious power of the image was well understood by rulers of ancient empires from the Egyptians onwards, none more so than the first emperor of Rome, Augustus Caesar, who was a master of propaganda. As he attempted to establish his authority after fifty years of civil war, images of him were distributed throughout the empire not only on coins but by means of impressive statues set up in important public places. His successors created temples in his honour and soon imperial worship became a normal part of public life. Citizens of Rome were expected to worship images of the emperors by offering incense or lighting a lamp, as a sign of their acknowledgment of imperial authority. Apart from these grand public images, families would have tiny images of their own personal household gods (‘lares’), to which they would give offerings every day for the protection of their family and property. We know little about these private ceremonies because they were largely taken for granted and therefore no-one thought to write about them, but they were clearly the most important religious act of most ordinary peoples’ lives. It is often forgotten that Greeks and Romans only went to

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From a sermon of Eustathios of Thrace, probably seventh century

Recommended Further Reading Judith Herrin, Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire (Penguin 2007 -- ISBN 978-0-141-03102-6)

Byzantine image of the angel Gabriel 4

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the ICONOGRAPHY of

Christmas Daniel Rollins YEAR 12

As this is the Christmas I ss u e of Portsmouth Point, It wou ld be incomplete without some mention of the icon whose birthday the festival marks, Jes u s Christ.

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e has influenced both religious and secular culture since his birth over 2,000 years ago. Even in our increasingly secular society, many children still know and perform the story of his birth in school nativity plays. Little girls long to be chosen to play Mary and boys usually want to either be God-honouring Joseph or wicked King Herod. The other children end up as innkeepers, wise men, angels, shepherds or sheep. The iconography of the birth of Jesus is almost as wellknown as the icon of his death, the Cross. So let us examine a few of these icons. Location, Location, Location Luke’s gospel tells us that, while Mary was pregnant, there was a census requiring Mary and Joseph to go to his home town, Bethlehem, to be registered. While there, Mary gave birth to her first son, whom she called Jesus (Luke 2:1-7). So why did Joseph have to go to Bethlehem and why was Jesus born there? Biblically, there are two main reasons, first that Joseph was a descendant of the greatest King of Israel, David, who came from Bethlehem, which made Jesus a descendant of David; therefore, he could become King of Israel under Jewish law, essential to his role as Messiah within Jewish tradition. The other reason that Jesus was born in Bethlehem was to fulfil the Old Testament prophesy in Micah 5:2: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel...” Therefore by saying that Jesus was born in Bethlehem the gospel writers begin to create a picture of who Jesus is: the successor to David, the great King for whom the Jews had been waiting.

Filippo Lippi, Madonna and Child, XV Century

Away in a Manger One of the most iconic images of Jesus has to be the manger, the focal point of many carols, nativity sets and plays. The image of Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men and the shepherds all huddling around the Christ Child in the manger is very well known, but why did God send “his only Son” (John 3:16) to be born in an animal’s trough? This also has a biblical reason pointing to the nature and mission of Jesus; by being born into humble surroundings Jesus is presented as someone who came “not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28), living among ordinary people not living in a luxurious palace where you would expect to find a king.

Jesus being born into a dirty manger can also represent his step down from glory in heaven with his Father into the sinful, material world that he came to save, therefore showing us what he sacrificed in order to give mankind hope of salvation. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the story as it shows Jesus’ love for humanity in coming into a world where many people hated and eventually killed him. Shepherds and Wise Men No school nativity play would be complete without a crying shepherd or a wise man tripping over their robe, but why exactly did these two very different groups come to see Jesus? The first to come were the shepherds, who were traditionally seen as irreligious as their job kept them away from religious activity; however, they were the first to hear about Jesus’ birth: “the angel said to them, “…I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” Jesus’ birth wasn’t just for the righteous, “holy” people but for the poor, irreligious and outcast, something that many churches today seem to have forgotten or ignored. The second recorded visit to see Jesus was by the wise men, which may have been some months or years later. The wise men (they probably weren’t kings and there is no mention of there being just three) could not have been more different from the shepherds; they are rich and powerful, as evidenced by the gifts that they have brought --- gold, frankincense and myrrh. However, they thought that seeing a baby in a manger was important enough to merit travelling many miles over desert. Jesus’ birth was also for those who, in the eyes of the world, are powerful, wealthy or educated, but must still humble themselves before Jesus. So what does the story tell us about Jesus? The images in the story of the nativity, though they have become iconic themselves, point us towards a greater icon, the figure who Christians believe is the Son of God. Jesus, who was the promised descendant of David, the “King of the Jews”, who humbled himself, lived in poverty and came to be a servant for all, yet is still worthy of adoration by the rich and powerful. As you think about what Christmas means and why it is celebrated this month, remember the iconic images of the nativity that all point to the greatest icon --- someone who turned the world upside down, showed the world how to love selflessly and, around thirty years after his birth, died for it. Jesus.

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iconof

EVIL Robert Bendell YEAR 12

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Satan is the u ltimate villain. H e has, for thou sands of years, been u sed to represent all that is evil in the u niverse. However, in the process, he has changed beyond all recognition. Almost everything we think of with regard to ‘Satan’ has nothing to do with the B ible and everything to do with the history of Christianity.

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Satan as a Romantic figure (painting by Gustave Dore)

he first recorded appearance of Satan is in the ‘book of Job’, a section of the Bible in which Satan has a bet with God that he will be able to force Job to turn against Him. Satan tortures Job in many ways, but Job refuses to renounce God and so Satan loses the bet. This representation of Satan is almost entirely different from our modern image of him --- he is not a devil, or even a particularly bad angel. At this point, it is even possible that ‘Satan’ is merely a title passed to whichever angel was responsible for fulfilling the job of accusing mortals of committing sins --- rather like an angelic prosecutor. Furthermore, ‘Hell’ (or ‘Sheol’) bore little relation to our modern image of a fiery furnace reserved for the wicked. Sheol was the underworld destination for all people when they died, whether they had been good or bad; it was not pleasant, but nor was it torturous. The first sign of a Devil recognisable to us came from Zoroaster (a Persian priest some time before the sixth century BC), who describes Ahriman, the representative of all that is evil in Zoroastrian philosophy, which divides the world very simply into good and evil, light and dark. This was the first recorded use of such a basic premise in a religion. However, it was some time before this was adopted by Judaism. This process began when Darius the Great, the Persian Emperor, helped popularise Zoroastrianism within the empire (although he allowed other religious traditions to continue). As part of the Persian empire, Israel felt the influence; as a result the Jewish figure of Satan began to adopt many of the features of the Zoroastrian Ahriman. Powerful as the Persian Empire was, it was eventually superseded by one of the greatest forces ever to cross the Earth: the empire of Alexander the Great, who brought his Greek religion with him.

Although, like Darius, Alexander did not force those within his empire to submit to his religion, many people began to adopt the ideas of his religion regardless. Again, the figure of Satan was affected, gaining many characteristics associated with the Greek Hades --- a decider of punishment in the underworld, yet equipped with a fundamental sense of justice; once a deal is made, he will not break it. Satan also derived certain physical features from Hades --- carrying a two-pronged fork and sitting on a throne of judgement, while swathed in darkness. However, Hades was not the only product of Greek culture that passed on parts of himself to Satan. The greatest monster in Greek mythology, Typhon, was most famous for the battle in which he came close to defeating Zeus, king of the gods. However, ultimately, Zeus cast Typhon down to Tartarus, the lowest part of the underworld. This narrative was adapted by Jewish writers (and, later, Christians) who described Satan as an angel who, having led a rebellion against God in Heaven, is defeated and cast into Hell. Satan also gained an association with snakes and dragons from the figure of Typhon. However, the image of Hell itself as a place of fire and damnation was still to come. In Greek mythology, the Underworld could be a place of joy as well as punishment. The association of Hell with fire in late Jewish and early Christian tradition came from a valley outside Jerusalem named Gehenna, used for waste disposal (which often involved the burning of rubbish). It was also a place traditionally associated with child sacrifice (although no historical evidence of this has ever been discovered). In scripture, this nightmarish place became identified with the image of Hell with which we are so familiar today. In 313 AD, the Roman Emperor, Constantine, converted to Christianity, which meant that, for the first time, the most powerful man in the world was a Christian and, suddenly, the Christian Church had serious political power. The leaders of the church, the bishops, were competing to control those within the church who did not agree with them, and realised that the Devil could be a very useful figure. Accusing those who opposed the bishops of being in league with the Devil was a sure-fire way of making them seem not just misguided but evil. For this reason, the Devil became presented as a tempting, insidious figure who would whisper dark words in one’s ear to try and win a soul. 450 AD brought the first executions of people for being in league with the Devil. This brought in the idea of the Devil as an active tempter,

Mosaic of the Greek god Pan (c. 150 CE)

rather than just someone who makes life unpleasant for people. This image of the Devil became popular with ordinary people, not just bishops. It was a tempting theory; there were few better ways of explaining away sinful behaviour than by claiming that a cosmic power was trying to persuade one to do it. However, it was thought unlikely that the Devil himself would take an interest in every mortal; for this reason, succubi and incubi were invented --- tempting demons who did their best to serve their master by bringing mortals into sin. They gradually developed until they were Satan’s helpers in all areas, mirroring the hierarchy of God and his angels. However, still more dangerous than heretical Christians at this time were pagans, who continued to believe in many nature gods, of which the most powerful was Pan, god of liberation, music, nature, and joy. However, he caused problems for the Christian movement; his followers were unwilling to convert from a cult of joyful decadence to a religion of quiet piety. For this reason, Saint Augustine-one of the most important Christian theologians, decided to demonise Pan (so to speak). He claimed that Pan was the devil taking another form. For this reason the image of the Devil has became associated with the half-goat, half-human satyr, Pan, which is why the Devil is often shown with cloven hooves and horns. It was only in the eighteenth century that the more scientific Enlightenment era encouraged people to consider the image of the Devil critically. This greatly reduced his importance in theology and also in folk tradition. One particularly notable story dating from the late seventeenth/early eighteenth century is that of Dunston the blacksmith. The Devil enters the workshop of Dunston and demands that he makes him a new pair of shoes for his hooves. Dunston responds by taking his red-hot tongs and using them to grip the Devil by the nose, throwing him out of his workshop. This turning of the Devil into a figure of comedy easily dealt with shows the extent to which his hold on the popular imagination is reduced by this point in history. However, another interesting change in attitudes to Satan was developing in the eighteenth century. A revolution was coming. The overthrowing of the royal family in France, in 1789, had forced people to rethink the ‘divine right to rule’. What if God Himself could be seen as a tyrant? Would that not make the rebellious Devil a hero, like the Revolutionaries? This is most obvious in the reaction of the writer William Blake to John Milton’s epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’. Milton had written his epic poem, in 1667, to ‘justify the ways of God to man’; his intention was to present Satan as the villain of the piece. However, over 100 years later, Blake wrote that Milton was ‘of the devil’s party without knowing it’, in other words that he had unintentionally created Satan as a rebel hero against a tyrannical God. Blake himself drew Satan as a Romantic hero, handsome and noble in appearance in contrast to the goat-hooved fiend of tradition. Today, Satan remains retains all of these contradictory elements, in cultural tradition. He is handsome and ugly, foolish and devious, powerful and rebellious, terrifying and humorous. Possibly the most powerful thing about Satan is that very changeability. He can become any age’s villain (or, occasionally, hero). Above all, he can be blamed for our own fears and desires. He is every irrational fear we have, and the best way to deal with any irrational fear is to confront it. In the words of Sartre: ‘Fear? If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear.’

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translating dante's inferno

translating

DANTE's INFERNo Fay Davies

YEAR 13

One might think of lang uage as a system of signs u nderstood by h u mans to refer to certain concepts in the mind. Its pu rpose is comm u nication – rendering thoughts into spoken or written words so that they may be received by other people.

Virgil guides Dante through the Inferno (painting by Eugene Delacroix)

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his is only one definition of many, but however it may be viewed, one aspect of language is clear: it is far from precise. No word has an absolute, indisputable meaning, and every individual's interpretation is unique. There is more than one language in the world: more than one system of arbitrary signs which refer to our perception of reality. These can be learnt and understood, and of course translated. But the process of translation is not the same as the act of mere understanding. There is never a corresponding word in one language for every word in another, and languages have different structures: grammars. The process of translation inevitably becomes an act of rewriting, as translator must read and interpret a phrase, then render the thought in another language. Adding another stage into the imprecise process of communication, the translator creates a new piece, and it will always be a distortion of the original. If the subject of this translation is literature, it cannot hope to replace the author's

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work, but only perhaps provide us an insight into the original. Of the variety of literary forms, poetry is perhaps the most difficult to translate. To the existing problems of translation, poetry adds the constraints of rhythm, rhyme, tone and form. In his introduction to Ezra Pound, Translations, Hugh Kenner writes 'If he doesn't translate the words, the translator remains faithful to the original poet's sequences of images, to his rhythms, or the effect produced by his rhythms and to his tone' . The very mention of some kind of choice suggests a difficulty. The translator, it seems, can choose not to translate 'the words'. He must 'remain faithful' to either the images, or the rhymes, or the tone. He must sacrifice certain elements in favour of what he thinks is most important and most representative of the original work, and this is subject to individual interpretation. To help illustrate the subtle, elusive and sometimes ineffable difficulties that translation of poetry presents, I will be comparing two translations of Dante Alighieri's 'Inferno', Book One of The Divine Comedy: that of Dorothy Sayers, 1949, and Steve Ellis,

1994. The Divine Comedy has been translated into English by at least thirteen notable translators since 1805, and each translation is wildly different – demonstrating the unavoidable imprecision of the art. I will also be exploring evidence of their different intentions, facilitated by the introductions in which both translators state their intended style. Ellis, for example, starts by asserting that his translation is 'a colloquial version' , and that 'it tries to recapture some of the vigour and directness of Dante's original'. Importantly, 'vigour' and 'directness' are abstract qualities, and there is no absolute means of reproducing them. The kind of language that incited vigour in Dante's era and in Dante's culture is certainly not the same as today. Sayers, the second translator, claims that 'the vocabulary and the sentence-rhythms of verse are not, and never can be, exactly the same as those of contemporary prose'. Thus, although she writes that she has 'considered the whole range of intelligible English speech', she is of the opinion that her diction must be altered to match the demands of verse.

A noticeable difference between the two versions is Sayers's use of the ancient 'thee and thou', marking her work with the echoes of ancient speech. Finally, I will address the theoretical concerns at the heart of translation. The sacrificial notion, evident in Kenner's words, is a common one: we see translations in terms of what has been lost, what cannot be brought over to the new language. However, perhaps it may be possible to change such a perception: to see the art in a more positive light. Starting the analysis is an example that demonstrates the idea of sacrifice, as Kenner notes. In Canto XVIII, line 51, Dante uses a pun, 'ma che ti mena a si pungenti salse?' He is inquiring as to the reasons that his companion found himself in hell, and a fairly literal translation would be 'But what brings you into such a biting pickle?' Salse, the word for pickle or sauce, is also the name of a ravine near Bologna where they threw the bodies of criminals, and herein lies the pun. This line is problematic for two reasons: historical and linguistic. The first is that modern

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readers are unlikely to know of such a ravine: regardless of the need for translation, the detail may not be understood. This is something that may be a problem with any text, as they all tend to presuppose a certain amount of knowledge on the reader's part. Yet, the older the text and the further it is from the culture and society of the reader, the more likely it is to contain allusions that are not understood. The second reason that this line poses difficulties is more crucial to the nature of translation: the English translation of 'salse', whatever it may be, is not 'salse'. The pun no longer exists. Sayers and Ellis overcome this problem in two different ways. Sayers writes, as a translation of this line, 'What wormwood pickled such a rod?' Her translation retains the pun element. She could never use the same pun as Dante, but she creates one that her readers are more likely to understand. In a way she ignores Dante's words; she does not give a literal translation but seeks to create a similar device of her own. While 'pickled' may have been inspired by 'salse', it occupies a completely different role in this sentence as it has become a verb where it was originally a noun. No matter, her translation does have roughly the same meaning: the narrator asks this occupant of Hell how he came to be there. And, as she preserves the use of a pun, she in turn preserves the humour and playfulness of Dante's line. Ellis, on the other hand, does not preserve the pun, writing 'Why is your sauce here so spicey?' Ellis has provided a reasonably literal translation of Dante's line, allowing the pun to be sacrificed and not providing another. The relative simplicity of this line is typical of Ellis's colloquial style. Of course, it is not without its own merits: the playful alliteration of 'sauce' and 'spicey' has, like Dante's original line and Sayers's pun, a comical effect. Significantly, while one translator brings over the pun to their version and one doesn't, both bring over the humour of the line. Perhaps this is most important: for the translators to attempt to reproduce the same feeling in the reader that they think a reader of the original would have felt. Incidentally, what they believe a reader may have felt is most likely what they themselves felt upon reading. Thus, subjective interpretation plays a large part in the process of translation. Humour is something that both translators are careful to preserve, but it is a complex topic. Sayers notes this, writing in her introduction that '[humour], of all qualities, has been the most hopelessly obscured by his translators and critics'. Humour is problematic because it is produced by a network of words, cultural expectations and the subversion of these. Often, the causes behind it are elusive and a result of multiple strands. Sayers sums this up, describing Dante's particular humour as 'something more like a faintly ironic inflection in the voice than anything humorous in the words themselves'. An example of this 'ironic inflection' and the way it has been preserved by the translators is Canto XI, lines 76-78, where Dante's guide Virgil reprimands him for the stupidity of his questions. Sayers translates it as: “What error has seduced thy reason, pray?” Said he, “thou art not wont to be so dull; Or are thy wits woolgathering miles away?”

The humour lies in the fact that the narrator represents Dante himself, therefore passages such as this are ironic and selfdeprecating. In her translation, Sayers increases the sense of insult with her use of metaphor and words that are particularly offensive. What translates fairly literally as 'it looks elsewhere' becomes 'woolgathering miles away'. 'Why does the mind wander so' is replaced with the accusation 'so dull'. Sayers's Virgil is, in this instance, more emphatically insulting and disrespectful than Dante's. As a result, she amplifies the sense of self-deprecation and, arguably, the humour of the section. Ellis, however, does not supplement Dante's words with metaphor: He says, 'Why do your wits wander out of their normal way so much? or what's your mind got hold of?' Arguably, to say 'what's your mind got hold of' excuses the matter as absent-mindedness or anxiety; there is nothing of the ridicule of 'dull' or 'woolgathering'. The humour is not completely lost, as it is inherent in the very notion of Dante putting himself down; yet it would seem less explicitly comical than Sayers's version. Despite her observations that humour tends not to be a result of the 'words themselves', it appears that Sayers intends to accentuate the humour by these means, particularly by the use of 'woolgathering'. Interestingly, Ellis's unembellished version is closer to the kind of subtle irony that she describes. Occasionally, word order alone can mean that different shades of humour are produced. In Canto XVII, lines 91-93 there is another instance of self-deprecation, this time more subtle; as he boards the shoulders of a demon, Dante acknowledges his fear and futility. As Sayers translates: So I climbed to those dread shoulders obediently; “Only do” (I meant to say, but my voice somehow Wouldn't come out right) “please catch hold of me.” In these lines, there is a revelation: that Dante was unable to say what he intended. Sayers conveys this revelation in parentheses; the syntax is broken, stuttering, anxious. In this translation, the character Dante makes no attempt to hide disorder; it is immediate, honest, and not at all dignified. The confused uncertainty of 'somehow' adds to the pitiful humour; he has no control and no answers. The phrase in parenthesis uses more colloquial diction than is normal in this translation; the abbreviation 'wouldn't' and the simplistic 'come out right' seem curiously modern. Sayers in fact writes in her introduction that she favours a modern phrase 'if the passage was humorous or conversational', revealing her intention to produce changes of tone when she deems it appropriate. Ellis phrases these lines differently: I perched on those vast shoulders: I wanted to say, 'Hold me tight,' but found my voice wouldn't come. The revelation comes last, and the irony comes from writing what he intended to say and later revealing his inability to say it. Crucially, Ellis's syntax is less cluttered, and unbroken by

There is more than one language in the world: more than one system of arbitrary signs which refer to our perception of reality.

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parenthesis. This gives his version a greater sense of control than that of Sayers. Yet, he still portrays disarray with the verb 'found', as that he 'found' his voice wouldn't come is similar to Sayers's use of 'somehow'. It implies a confusion, a lack of control over his faculties. The way Dante writes this section, the syntax is also unbroken but the speech comes last: I' m'assettai in su quelle spallacce: si volli dir, ma la voce non venne com' io credetti: 'Fa che tu m'abbracce.' The revelation of his failure to speak is the first thing Dante notes. Arguably, it comes as less of a surprise than in Ellis's or Sayers's versions, as no intended speech has been recorded before we learn of his failure to say it. The phrase 'ma la voce non venne / com' io credetti' ('but did not come as I thought') is parenthesised; writing it as the less dominant clause of the sentence Dante unveils a shame over his fright. The mere position of the revelation, whether it is first, last or central, subtly affects the humour that is created. It is impossible to judge exactly why each version is comic, and which is more comical than the others, because it depends on individual interpretation. It is also difficult to know exactly why Ellis and Sayers chose the order that they did: perhaps it was to convey the exact feeling they interpreted from Dante; perhaps it was because it best accommodated their chosen rhythm. In any case, the translators have not produced a faithful representation of Dante's lines. They have changed his structure for reasons external to the direct demands of translation, something that may seem unexpected when the purpose of translation is to provide as best an insight as possible into the author's original work. Each of the examples so far demonstrate Dante's tendency to mix styles, particularly that of epic and comic. This mixture of styles is no more apparent than in Dante's occasional scatological humour: his crudity. Of the two translators it is Ellis who most exaggerates this, and indeed his colloquial style can more aptly accommodate it. Sayers tends to soften this aspect. Her relative hesitancy to use vulgar terms could be due to a desire to echo a sense of the medieval, meaning that she chose to write in tune with contemporary perceptions of the era or of epic poetry. This would include use of high diction, archaisms and a sense of prudery as opposed to crudity. One instance of this crudity can be found in the final line of Canto XXI, as the leader of a group of devils replies in an obscene fashion to the salutes of his minions. 'Ed elli avea del cul fatto trombetta', Dante writes, translating fairly literally as 'and he made his rear into a trumpet'. Ellis takes no pains to be polite, writing: but first, each blew a raspberry at their leader, for a salute, and he trumpets back with his arse. While his translation may be intentionally colloquial, this last line is incongruously vulgar. Next to the harmless and childlike act of blowing a raspberry, the word 'arse' comes as somewhat of a shock. The final line is noticeably more playfully rhythmic than what came before it, as if proudly announcing its inelegance. It is the incongruity, then, which creates the humour of this section, rather than the act or the language in isolation. Sayers, in contrast, masks the vulgarity of this last line: 'He promptly made a bugle of his breech'. She does not make the line stand out, linking it to the rest of the section with rhyme, using the dated terms 'bugle'

and 'breech', and adding grace with the alliteration. Interestingly, Dante's version places 'trombetta' at the end of the line. This word, which is the key to the metaphor and the humour, fall last, ending Canto XXI. As shown by the reasonably literal translation above, English would also allow this to be the case, yet Ellis and Sayers choose to change the line. It may seem that the change has occurred for no plausible reason, bringing us back to the previous example in which both Ellis and Sayers inexplicably change the word order. This change, too, is unexplained; but it is vital to keep in mind that the process of translation involves not only the constraints of language, but also the constraints of the new poem which is in creation. It is a separate entity from the original text, and needs to cohere and work as a whole. Thus, lines may be written in ways that differ from the original simply because they fit in better with what has come before them. In this case, both translators at least allow the line to retain some kind of comic impact, whether through pure vulgarity or playful alliterative frivolity. Another instance where Sayers and Ellis diverge in their level of vulgarity is lines 58-60 of Canto XI. Listing the occupants of a particular circle of Hell, Ellis writes: of hypocrisy, flattery, enchantment, counterfeiting, thieving, simonists, pimps, swindlers, crap like this. The last small phrase is, again, incongruous. The modern, colloquial term is common to the English language of today but at odds with more archaic religious words such as 'simonists'. Perhaps this is Ellis's attempt at mixing the epic and the comic. Unsurprisingly, Sayers puts it more gently: Hypocrites, flatterers, dealers in sorcery, Panders and cheats, and all such filthy stuff, With theft, and simony and barratry. 'All such filthy stuff', if only because of its higher syllabic count, is decidedly less dismissive than 'crap like this'. This impression is reinforced by the way that the list subsequently continues, seeming longer, and the more complex, mixed and broken syntax contributes to a more dignified tone. The tone and the words are more similar to Dante's original, although, like Ellis, he writes 'e simile lordura', translated possibly as 'and the like filth', at the end. Turning 'and the like filth' into 'crap like this', Ellis takes the dismissive remark to an extreme, undermining all that went before it. Alliteration forms a particular problem when translating poetry; not only does the translator have to preserve the sense and tone of the line, but they are also restricted by a necessity to repeat first letters. In the 'Last Judgement' sections, Sayers shows her command of such techniques as, to use her own phrase, she 'reproduces Dante's complete alliterative scheme'. One such section is in Canto VI line 95 onwards: “Till the last loud angelic trumpet's sounding For when the Enemy Power shall come arrayed Each soul shall seek its own grave's mournful mounding, Put on once more its earthly flesh and feature And hear the Doom eternally redounding.” Here, Virgil is telling Dante what the condition of the spirits will be after the Last Judgement, and Dante widens out from his personal tale to take on a biblical, authoritative tone. Sayers manages to retain the alliteration, and, while she arguably sacrifices the meaning of certain words, their proximity to the originals

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DANTE's INFERNo is sufficient. For example, 'mounding' was originally 'tomba', more accurately translated as 'tomb' but still an adequate representation. 'Doom eternally redounding' is perhaps more accurately translated as 'that which echoes in eternity'. Yet any sacrifice she has made is worthwhile because the epic subject is suited to the alliteration and its rhetorical poetic effect. It keeps a pulse through this section, creating a mounting movement spurred on too by the rhyme. However, Ellis does not attempt to reproduce Dante's alliteration except where literal translation facilitates it: “till the angels sound their horns and the enemy chief comes here: each will repossess his flesh and figure, hear what booms through eternity.” It is possible that his decision not to reproduce the alliterative scheme stemmed from the difficulty of the task, but the choice may indeed have been deliberate. The solemnly lyrical effect of the alliteration in Sayers's version, the sense of gravity and tension that it produces, is arguably unsuited to the poem that Ellis writes. In his translation of this section, it appears that he has preferred to consume the exalted subject matter with a more matter-of-fact tone. The casualness with which he writes 'comes here' contrasts with Sayers's 'shall come arrayed'; he trivialises the act and makes it seem like an accident, a mere happening. The omission of alliteration prevents too much embellishment, and he achieves more understated description of this momentous biblical occasion. This seems to better reflect Ellis's style and the self-consciously modern nature of his translation. Another instance where his style seems emphatically modern is 'just as I've heard of that lance that Achilles and his father had, /harmful at first and then benign'. To say 'I've heard of that lance' is noticeably hesitant; the narrator distances himself from the legend with the word 'that', as if he professes not to be intimately acquainted with classic mythology. Ellis notes that

he uses primarily the 'language of the 90s', and it would appear that he reproduces not simply the language of the current era, but also the mindset. Throughout the comparison, the problems of translation have manifested themselves in the issue of the pun, in the challenge of reproducing humour and a mix of the epic and comic, in the necessity to write a piece that is good in its own right, staying faithful to one's own style as well as to the original. The last point is perhaps the most interesting one, and, although cited as a 'problem', perhaps it is something that should be celebrated. The style established by each translator may be developed unconsciously, but as noted, they seem to start with some kind of agenda. Ellis claims that he wishes to 'recapture some of the vigour'; Sayers writes of her decision to use archaic forms of English. So, while the task of translation is of course imprecise, it also gives freedom. It implies not just sacrifice, but also potential: potential for reinvention, which Sayers and Ellis both take advantage of. Translations are overshadowed by the presence of the original, a kind of holy grail that we wish to access but can only do so imperfectly. This is perhaps even more emphatic in the case of Dante, who has such legendary status as a writer. Sayers writes of her translation 'it is not, of course, Dante; no translation could ever be Dante'. Yet, to say 'it is not Dante' is not the same as saying 'it is not good'. The purpose of translation is to make a work accessible to those who do not understand the language of the original, to provide a 'door to Dante', as the Literary Review writes in praise for Ellis's translation. Sayers and Ellis demonstrate the true freedom of translation by making subtle changes that stem not out of necessity, but out of choice. The vast differences in their versions are a result of the way that interpretation is subjective and unique. So, a translation should not be judged solely on its ability to mimic the original. It is also vital that a translation can stand in its own right, enjoyed by readers for what it really is: a new creation, a testimony to the plurality of meaning.

Bibliography Dante – The Divine Comedy – 1: Inferno; Italian text with translation and comment by John D Sinclair (Oxford University Press 1961) Dante – Inferno; Translated, introduced and annotated by Steve Ellis (Vintage Classics Random House 2007) Dante – The Divine Comedy 1: Hell; Translated by Dorothy L. Sayers (Penguin Books 1949) Hugh Kenner's introduction to Ezra Pound, Translations (New Directions, 1963)

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anti-icon:

Caravaggio Adoration of the Shepherds Tom McCarthy

M

The Italian Renaissance has given u s its familiar icon of the Nativity. Mary and Joseph kneel in radiant light before the Christ Child. S hepherds approach bearing gifts, a lamb, a dove, a basket of eggs. Above the stable, in a blaze of s u pernatu ral light, angels dance and sing. From H ugo van der Goes, whose Adoration cau sed a sensation when it arrived in Florence in 1485, to G hirlandaio (1487), to Botticelli (1500), to Correggio (1530), we see this familiar iconography.

oreover, each of these great artists has a theological intent. With van der Goes, Mary and Joseph and eighteen other figures, angelic and human, clad in courtly elegance, seem to contemplate the sadness of the future – the death of Christ. Ghirlandaio, who saw van der Goes as an inspiration, has the Infant lying in front of a Roman sarcophagus with a Latin motto: “...the urn that conceals me will bring forth a god” – the resurrection of Christ. Botticelli’s Mystic Nativity has twelve colourful angels dancing in the sky and a trinity of angels on the roof of the stable. Another angel is leading three kings to adore, another leads three shepherds; at the picture plane, three angels embrace three human beings, as devils disappear into crevices in the earth – the theology of salvation. In Correggio’s Adoration, sometimes called Holy Night, the light source is the Infant Christ, whose light irradiates his smiling mother and dazzles an attendant nurse – “lumen Christi”.

In the centre of each of these masterpieces there is the Infant Jesus, with Mary and Joseph devoutly kneeling. Angels attend – a handful in Correggio, fourteen in Ghirlandaio, a legion in Botticelli. Each painting underlines an article of belief and appeals to the intellect, to reason. With Caravaggio’s Adoration of the Shepherds, however, the traditional joyful topic of Christ’s Nativity takes on a sombre, sorrowful air. Giovanni Bellori, a contemporary and later biographer wrote of him: “The old painters, brought up in the tradition, were appalled... (There is) no decorum, no artistic sense. He painted all the figures in one and the same light and plane without any perspective”. It was painted in Messina between 1608 and 1609 for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. The first sign of its breaking with tradition is that, in this Church of the Angels, there are no angels, there is no heavenly light. Then, mother and child are not the centre of the composition. Instead, in a wooden barn a donkey and ox stand patiently in the background. Off-centre, Mary, small

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and frail, lies on the earth, slumped, exhausted. The baby tugs at her face; she looks down and beyond him to stray straws glinting on the floor. A twentieth-century champion of Caravaggio says of Adoration: “He succeeded in completing for the Capuchins in Messina the exquisitely humble Manger Scene with Shepherds. ... The Madonna looks lost, holding the tiny child before the apprehensive gaze of the shepherds, as stolid as if cast in bronze. She is lying on a litter of prickly straw, hemmed in by animals as immobile as objects, while the merest glimmer of light seems to enter in, together with the surge of a distant sea. Set down in front of us, a sort of ‘peasant still life’ – napkin, loaf and carpenter’s plane in three tones, white, brown and black – is reduced to a forlorn quintessence”. (Roberto Longhi). The Capuchins were and are Franciscan Friars whose faith is that Christ was born for the poor – the bare feet of Mary, Joseph and a shepherd attest to this. This painting exemplifies a faith that God became man as one of the poor, an ideal utterly different to that of van der Goes, or Ghirlandaio, or Botticelli or even Correggio. Mother and child exemplify humility as they lie on the earth, “humus”. Some years before Caravaggio came to Messina, himself a fugitive from the authorities in Rome and in Malta, a Capuchin preacher, imagining in a meditation Christ speaking, said: “...for see in how great a need of human help I was born, with no shelter, no bed, no fire and no nurse to aid my mother”. The composition of the painting emphasises the artist’s purpose. There is a simplicity about the geometry: a diagonal drawn down by the descending heads divides the painting into two triangles. The superior one, all dark in brown and black, seems to press down on the triangle of the figures, in red and brown and grey, a limited and unostentatious palette, the dark making the colours bright. The superior triangle finds an echo in the dark rectangle at the bottom of the picture and, just as the light picks out the donkey’s nose at the top, it sets alight the glittering straws, the only riches in the composition, scattered on the floor below. An astonishing detail, so utterly alien to the Renaissance painters, isolates the mother. She is lying on a rough, black blanket, the colour field so densely black it reminds me of Rothko, as does her dress, red without any tonal variations. Caravaggio’s latest biographer, Andrew Graham- Dixon, says of this painting:

“She is a refugee mother, utterly alone in the dark with her defenceless child”. The black blanket does this. You might read somewhere that in the image of the mother lying on the ground Caravaggio was reaching back to earlier masters – for example, to Giotto in his Nativity in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Giotto’s Madonna, however, is richly clad in precious ultramarine and gold and reaches eagerly across for the Infant handed to her by a nurse. A joyous image. In the earlier Renaissance paintings, the light source is either heavenly (as in Botticelli and Ghirlandaio) or supernatural from the Infant Christ (as in van der Goes and Correggio). No such supernatural intervention intrudes in Caravaggio’s Adoration. What little light there is comes from the left and the bottom left, from the earth, and its effect is surprising. Just as the diagonal of the descending heads emphasises the mother’s and the child’s head, so the light travelling up along that line, picks out first the basket of carpenter’s tools, saw, adze and set square: Joseph, the journeyman carpenter, had not left his craft behind. In the basket, too, there is food, a roughly baked loaf – just that, a loaf of bread. The light picks out the white napkin in the basket; notice how the folds of napkin find a reflection in the folds of the infant’s swaddling clothes. “Refugee mother”, as Graham-Dixon says, but refugee father, too, refugee child. Caravaggio’s Adoration shatters the Renaissance icon and presents itself to us as anti-icon. It has no theology, either, no appeal to the mind, but to the heart, to the emotions. There is desolate humanity here, though, and doubt and faith: “The picture is almost unbearable”. (Graham-Dixon)

Bibliography: Caravaggio Helen Langdon Caravaggio Andrew Graham-Dixon The Final Years Nicola Spinosa et al

The Adoration of the Shepherds by Caravaggio (1608-1609)

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immortal

bird Nightingale singing

Ms Laura Burden

HEAD OF ENGLISH

Darkling, we listened. Nothing yet. Sticks cracked u nderfoot. Some of the pu pils giggled and we sshhed them. We carried on through the woodland path. One of my colleag u es peered at his i-phone: “My wife has j u st tweeted that I’ve gone to the woods in search of fu llthroated ease.” We blu ndered on.

T

he nightingale’s song is arresting and distinctive; Wordsworth claimed that the notes “pierce and pierce.” The call ranges rapidly and at a volume that is surprising for such a small, plain, brown bird. It is the scope and seeming creativity of its song that has resulted in its iconic place in Western Literature. You will rarely see a nightingale. The 6,700 or so males still passing through the UK require dense thicket – what Coleridge referred to as “tangling underwood”- to sing for a mate and to breed. On this particular night, on a twilight trip to woodland near my previous school in Northamptonshire, our group of three teachers and about ten sixth formers beat our way to a little clearing and listened to the song that, Keats surmised, “was heard/In ancient days by emperor and clown” before one boy read “Ode to a Nightingale” in the shadow of a white hawthorn. The change in mood from when we first stumbled into the wood to one of stillness and preoccupation was remarkable. Keats was right: the warbles and whistles of the nightingale have long resonated with those who listen. In Ancient Greece the myth of Philomela, the raped and mutilated princess transformed

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into a nightingale, forever linked the bird with lament and tragedy but also with liberty. As a wronged woman, Philomela’s tongue had been cut out by her attacker Tereus but, when the gods transformed her into a nightingale, she regained her voice through the power of song. Homer, Sophocles, Virgil, Ovid and Aristophanes (who described it in The Birds as a “liquid trill” in a “vibrato voice”) all wrote of the nightingale’s song through their inclusion of the myth of Philomela. Latterly, English writers from Chaucer, Shakespeare and Sidney to T.S. Eliot and Margaret Atwood have taken inspiration from the legend. Yet the nightingale’s iconic status does not depend solely on the Philomela myth. Aristophanes was probably the earliest author to explicitly identify the nightingale with poetry and authors through to Hans Christian Anderson and Oscar Wilde in the nineteenth century have evoked the beauty of the song. It is the Romantic writers, in their desire to celebrate mankind’s union with Nature, and “the viewless wings of Poesy” whose identification with the small bird is perhaps the strongest. Shelley, in his A Defense of Poetry argued that, “A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an

unseen musician, who feel that they are moved or softened, yet know not whence or why.” In many ways, this is a perfect definition of the mysterious power possessed by poetry. Keats’ plaintive Ode, written in the shadow of the death of his brother Tom from tuberculosis, acknowledges that his theme of lamenting in the darkness to the nightingale’s song is not a new one but tells of his heartache with a rawness that is both deeply personal and universal. Wordsworth in “O Nightingale” and Coleridge in “The Nightingale” both recall the status the nightingale’s song has in literature but choose to break away from it. Wordsworth mentions the Nightingale’s “fiery heart” but ultimately the poem’s tone is light and he rejects the “tumultuous” love suggested by the nightingale’s song for the more “homely tale” sung by a dove. In “The Nightingale” Coleridge similarly recalls the age-old reputation of the nightingale’s song having a “melancholy strain” and acknowledges that “many a poet echoes the conceit” but instead chooses to see the birdsong as an overwhelmingly positive celebration of Nature. The nightingale, then, is a longstanding symbol of strong emotion, whether of love or of loss or of both. Yet we must take care that this will remain the case: the destruction of the nightingale’s ground habitat both in England and overseas has jeopardised the bird’s existence. The annual journey of the nightingale is astonishing: tracking has suggested that the birds fly up to 3,000 miles between breeding in the southern part of England (nightingales are found predominantly in the southeast of the UK and rarely north of The Wash) and wintering in Africa. In 2009, one nightingale was tracked with a geolocator from Norfolk, through France and Spain, across Morocco and the Sahara and finally to Guinea-Bissau on the west coast of Africa. In “Sonnet One”, Milton juxtaposed two iconic British migrant birds, the nightingale and the cuckoo, as did Wordsworth in his narrative translation of Chaucer’s “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale”. Milton preferred the “liquid notes” of the nightingale, which he associated with faithful love, to the “shallow” and “rude” cuckoo, associating that bird with jealousy. The cuckoo, which like the nightingale has long been seen as a herald of the English spring, is now on the RSPB’s “red” list and is endangered, partly because of deforestation in the Congo, where many birds winter. The nightingale is currently on the “amber” list, threatened but not yet endangered. We are beginning to value our woodland more, as a nation, but in many ways our conservation measures are too little, too late. John Keats heard his nightingale in Hampstead, near the heath, but a nightingale has not been heard in London since the turn of the twentieth century and its numbers have declined with its habitat. During the horrors of the Blitz, the singer Vera Lynn entertained the public with Maschwitz and Sherwin’s song “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” but it is likely that the nightingale, an entirely rural bird, was never seen in Mayfair: the song became popular because of its wishfulfilment and because of the nightingale’s enduring symbolism in regard to love. Whether the nightingale continues to be an inspiration to writers as we enter the digital age or whether it will eventually only be known through myth and association, like a more euphonic dodo, remains to be seen.

BYRON and B U L LY I N G Lord Byron

George Gordon, Lord Byron was, by his own admission, wonderful and terrible. Brilliant poet, beautiful, radical; also, vain, insecure, sexually incontinent and cruel. These complexities resulted, in part, from his “club foot”, a malformation that made it difficult to walk. He endured a childhood of painful ‘remedies’ and a metal calliper that added to both his physical and mental torment. Worse, the device and his limp attracted insults and taunting. Byron entered Harrow School at thirteen. Bullying was endemic, an approved strategy for control. So hellish was his first year that he begged his mother to be allowed to return home. When she refused, he took up boxing. A succession of bloody noses and black eyes resolved the problem so effectively that younger boys began to seek his protection from the more vicious prefects. Byron tamed the worst culprits and left for Cambridge a legend. The teenage Byron outlawed bullying nearly thirty years before Dickens wrote about it in Nicholas Nickleby and Thomas Arnold reformed Rugby School. His own experiences of being bullied as a child drove his insecurities and helped shape his moral philosophy, creating a flawed hero whose hatred of persecution would ultimately lead to his death while supporting the Greek War of Independence, in which a small country was being bullied by the huge Ottoman empire. He also created some of the finest poetry since Shakespeare. Mr Josh Brown BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT

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hug

this hoodie A plea on behalf of Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770)

Mr Andrew Hogg

MODERN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT

The prototype of the tortured soul for whom life becomes unbearable.

Above: Sculpture of Thomas Chatterton in his home town of Bristol. Left: The Death of Chatterton (painting by Henry Wallis, 1856). The model who posed as Chatterton was Portsmouth-born poet and novelist George Meredith.

HOw many singers, actors and celebrities can you think of who died you ng and became more popu lar after death than before? Amy Winehou se, Ku rt Cobain, Jimi H endrix, B rian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, James Dean, perhaps?

F

or how many of these was a mixture of drugs and or drink to blame, with either suicide or accidental overdose the cause of death? You could consider adding Thomas Chatterton to the list, as possibly the first, the prototype of the tortured soul, alone in a room, for whom life becomes unbearable. “Thomas who?” I hear you say. Although rejected by publishers and public alike during his lifetime, his poetry was later picked up, admired and imitated by such great names as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Keats, Shelley, Dante Rossetti and Oscar Wilde. Not bad for a young man who died at the age of seventeen. Thomas Chatterton was born two hundred and sixty years ago on 20 November 1752, a year firmly fixed in the Age of Reason --- where classical allusions to Greece and Rome, harmony, balance and order predominated in art, architecture and in poetry. The most popular poet of the time was Alexander Pope, whose verse, carefully balanced, polished, harmonious and allusive was concerned principally with deflating pompous members of society. Chatterton’s verse, written between the

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ages of ten and seventeen, showed an imaginative freedom, encompassing Anglo-Saxon and mediaeval themes and inspiration from as far afield as Africa, and expressed in a direct, lyrical way quite different from that of the first half of the eighteenth century but which would become typical of the first half of the nineteenth. Thomas’s father, who died two months before he was born, was a retired teacher and antiquarian, with a minor talent for writing music and poetry and an interest in the occult and old manuscripts. He was also sexton of St Mary’s Church, Redcliffe, Bristol. Thomas’s mother, only twenty when he was born, despaired of her difficult child, who was often moody, sullen and uncommunicative. Thomas’s first school considered him so dull as to be unteachable, but, at the age of six, using the ornate capital letters in an old music book, Thomas was taught to read by his elder sister. From then on, with the help of an old Bible in mediaeval print, Thomas became a keen reader, devouring everything from heraldry to music, metaphysics and astronomy, and, most importantly, the mediaeval manuscripts kept in chests in the store room attached to the Church, which stood next to their house.

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At the age of eight, Thomas gained a place at Colston’s School, a charity school for boys destined to become apprentices, where the uniform consisted of long blue coats and yellow stockings as it still does for the pupils of Christ’s Hospital today. In those days the boys of Colston’s also wore a tonsure, that is, their heads were shaved like monks. At the age of only ten, Thomas’s first poem was published in the local paper: Almighty framer of the skies O let our pure devotion rise Like incense in thy sight. Wrapt in impenetrable shade The texture of our souls were made Till thy command gave light… Not a bad effort at only ten years of age. When he turned fourteen, Thomas left Colston’s to begin work at a Bristol law firm as an apprentice for seven years. This was a much soughtafter position, in which he was expected to copy legal documents for only a few hours a day; however, he was uninterested in the boring work and insulted at having to eat with the servants. And so Thomas began to write to entertain himself, sending letters to local newspapers and to the young ladies of Bristol, of whom he was exceedingly fond. In 1768, on the opening of a new bridge in Bristol, a local newspaper published an account of the Mayor of Bristol passing over the old bridge in mediaeval times, “taken from an old manuscript”. The owner of the manuscript, sixteen year old Thomas, eventually admitted that his father had taken it from the store room of the Church and that he, Thomas, had “found” it. It appeared to have been written by a monk called Thomas Rowley in the fourteenth century, but the real author was of course Thomas himself. Later Thomas “found” a treasure trove of other documents, all apparently written in the fourteenth or fifteenth century. The enthusiasm of his friends and the keenness of the local newspapers to print more of these apparently ancient manuscripts spurred Thomas on to produce several more, all conveniently relating to the ancestors of people he knew, who were naturally delighted to receive them. As pieces of mediaeval English in the style of Chaucer, Chatterton’s efforts were so good as to cause controversy for the next one hundred and fifty years. Not a bad effort for a teenager armed with only a few genuine parchments, a book of old poetry and an Anglo-Saxon dictionary. But his forgeries brought him no money and, just as importantly, no recognition. In March 1770, Thomas decided that his best option was to leave Bristol for London, having obtained his release from his apprenticeship by threatening suicide and leaving a witty and ironic will for his employer to find. So, with five pounds collected from family and friends in his pocket, Chatterton arrived in London and began to look for work with one of the many

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newspapers and magazines - he was keen to become a political writer and journalist. In June he earned his first payment of £3 for composing an elegy on the death of the Mayor of London, and began writing a variety of short stories and sketches. Soon he was to receive the sum of five guineas (£5.25) for a little opera called The Revenge, which he promptly spent on presents for his mother and sister, possibly to show how well he was doing. But it was all a front - there was little work to be had and very little payment. Thomas was literally starving. Sometime in June 1770 Thomas moved to a cheaper room at the top of a house in Brook Street, where he continued to write. He also became well acquainted with Mr Cross, the local chemist, probably because he had caught “the foul disease“ - syphilis, the popular treatment for which was laudanum, (opium dissolved in alcohol) or arsenic and water. On the morning of 24 August, he was found dead in his room, his body contorted from the pain of death by arsenic poisoning, surrounded by minutely shredded pieces of manuscript. He had clearly not eaten for several days. He was just seventeen years and nine months old. Following his death, controversy continued over the authorship of the poems; to the emerging Romantic view, forgery was of no importance - it was just an exercise of the imagination. Amongst the first to recognise Chatterton’s qualities was William Blake, just five years younger, whose work shows a similar interest in ancient British themes and simple verse forms. Walter Scott was also drawn to and imitated Chatterton’s use of the ballad form, as well as praising his poetic achievements. Wordsworth, born in the year of Chatterton’s death, immortalised him in these famous lines: I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy, The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride… We Poets in our youth begin in gladness; But thereof come in the end despondency and madness. Coleridge wrote his first important poem while still a pupil at Christ’s Hospital: “Monody (mournful poem) on the Death of Chatterton”. He identified closely with him in background and outlook and was to adapt and extend this poem over the next forty-four years, as if he were accompanied his entire poetic life by the dead teenager. Other poems of Coleridge’s also show his influence: “Kubla Khan” and “The Rime of The Ancient Mariner” (first printed as “Ancyent Marinere” in Chattertonian mediaeval style) both have several echoes of Chatteron’s “African Eclogues”. The poet whose style was most influenced by Chatterton, however, was, Keats, who openly acknowledged his devotion and debt to him; one of his earliest sonnets begins: O Chatterton! How very sad thy fate! Dear child of sorrow - son of misery! and goes on to celebrate his “Genius”. Later he dedicates his most ambitious poem, “Endymion”, to “the memory of the

most English of poets except Shakespeare, Thomas Chatterton”. In a letter written shortly before his death in1821, after holding up Chatterton’s language as “the purest English”, Keats continues: “I always somehow associate Chatterton with Autumn”. Keats had been reading Chatterton’s “mediaeval” poem “Aella”; the third “Minstrel’s Song” from this poem runs thus (in a modernised spelling):

JJ E S ’ M OU S TA C H E Throughout the ages, well groomed facial hair has been the mark of a true gentleman. You can always trust a man who looks after his upper lip, whether by keeping it stiff or hidden from view entirely behind the bristling glory of a well-kempt moustache. As is well known, Smith is not only the Founder’s House it is the Moustache House. Since the dawn of Mr. Elphick-Smith’s leadership, we have been proudly led by a figure adorned with facial hair that has become itself iconic within the school and so entwined with the identity of the House that, were he to attempt to shave it, there would be a public outcry so furious and instantaneous that the follicles themselves would likely leap back from the dastardly razor to their rightful place upon the upper lip. Benjamin Schofield YEAR 12

When Autumn black and sun-burnt do appear, With his gold hand gilding the falling leaf, Bringing up Winter to fulfil the year Bearing upon his back the ripened sheaf; … When the fair apple, red as evening sky Do bend the trees down to the fruitful ground; When juicy pears and berries of black dye, Do dance in air … Compare this with Keats’ “Ode to Autumn”, especially the first draft of the first line: 'While a gold cloud gilds the dying day,' Keats borrows other images, such as the personification of autumn as a reaper, “Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store/ …sitting careless on a granary floor” and the image of the appletree bending down to the ground: “To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees” . In “Adonais”, Shelley’s elegy on the death of Keats, Chatterton’s name is linked to his for the last time, as: The inheritors of unfulfilled renown… Chatterton rose pale; his solemn agony Had not yet faded from him… As no suicide note was found at the time of his death, it could be inferred that it was not suicide but an accidental overdose of the arsenic-based treatment for venereal disease. Chatterton was buried in an unmarked grave in Shoe Lane workhouse, a site which was later built over. Apart from a statue, which is to be found in Bristol city centre, he is also commemorated by a plaque in St Mary Redcliffe, belated recognition in a town which he despised, it’s true, but recognition which he would surely have appreciated. What would or could he have become if he’d lived? It’s impossible to be sure but there is no doubt that his work was continually improving in range and vividness of language when he died; he was politically aware and would undoubtedly have been excited, or perhaps appalled, by the French Revolution in 1789. Would he not have become the elder statesman of English Romantic movement, in a way that Blake, only five years younger, never achieved? What is clear is that he was a hero and an inspiration to the great names of Romanticism, not just because of the manner of his life and death but even more because of his poetry. I hope you will come to embrace him too!

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hispanicons

hispanicons From the worlds of medicine, art, politics, literature and sport

Juan De La Vega Kathryn Godfray

Year 13

La malaria es una de las enfermedades tropicales más comunes, que mata a 665.000 personas cada año. Aunque, hoy en día, suele afectar los países de África, Suramérica y Asia, originalmente la malaria era un gran problema en Europa también, lo que puede parecer bastante extraño. El mejor tratamiento para curarse es la quinina, que viene de la corteza del arból cinchona. No fue descubierta muy recientemente ya que hacía muchos siglos que los indígenas la utilizaban. Esta droga es imprescindible en los países en vías de desarrollo que a menudo son víctimas de esta condición grave. Sin su uso, las cifras de los muertos serían mucho más altas a causa de la enfermedad, y como resultado, para mí una persona icónica en el mundo hispanohablante en el campo de la medicina es la primera persona que utilizó la quinina: Juan de la Vega. Hace cuatrocientos años en Perú, la condesa de Chinchón, una persona cuyo marido tenía mucho respeto y poder en el país, se enfermó con una enfermedad desconocida. Su condición empeoró, y la gente de Perú se preocupaba mucho por su salud y por si alguien pudiera encontrar una cura. Su médico, Juan de la Vega, intentó muchos remedios, que incluyó la práctica de sacar sangre, pero empezó a agotarse de ideas. Otra vez observó los síntomas – fiebre, escalofrío, frío, vómito. Estaba consciente de algo utilizado por el Quechua, un tribu local para curar los periodos de escalofrío, la “quina quina” y cómo milagro, se recuperó. La droga tiene el nombre quinina hoy para rendir homenaje a la condesa. Cuando la condesa de Chinchón volvió a Europa con la quinina, y con las mejoras en la sanitación, la malaria fue erradicada en Europa, gracias a Juan de la Vega, un médico que no tuvo miedo de tomar riesgos para curar a su paciente.

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Malaria is one of the most common tropical diseases, which kills 665,000 people per year. Although the countries of Africa, South America and Asia are the most affected by this condition, malaria was once a disease that posed huge problems for the population of Europe, which may surprise some people. The best treatment against the disease is quinine, which comes from the “chinchona tree”. It is not a recent discovery; in fact, indigenous peoples of South America have been using this product for centuries. This drug is so vital for people in developing countries, who are particularly acutely affected by malaria. The mortality figures would be so much higher were it not for this drug. For this reason, Juan de la Vega should be lauded as a Hispanic icon for being the first person to use this drug. 400 years ago, in Peru, the Countess of Chinchón, whose husband had great power and influence in the country, fell sick with an unknown illness. Her condition worsened and everyone worried about her state of health and whether a cure would be found. Her doctor, Juan de la Vega, tried a number of remedies, including the drawing of blood, but he soon ran out of ideas. He observed other symptoms of the disease – fever, chills and vomiting. He was aware of something known as “quina quina” that the Quechua people used to cure chills and, as if through a miracle, this substance cured the Countess. The drug is known today as quinine – malaria was later eradicated from Europe following the introduction of quinine into medical practice. Juan de la Vega is a Hispanic icon through his pioneering use of this wonder drug.

Left page: Malaria mosquito , Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. Above: Guernica by Pablo Picasso, 1937 and Pablo Picasso below right

cargos que se reunirían en las oficinas del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, donde se encuentra instalado, no les remordiera la conciencia por el futuro que estaban planeando para la primavera de 2003, entonces no puedo pensar en otro icono que represente mejor la brutalidad y crueldad de que somos capaces. La España fratricida de ese tiempo, que Picasso inmortalizó, es hoy sesenta y cinco años más tarde Siria, México o Afganistán. Y los gritos desgarrados de las madres seguirán sobrecogiéndonos desde ese lienzo testigo y símbolo de nuestra falta de humanidad. Y no habrá censura que consiga ahogarlos.

GUERNICA DE PICASSO Liliana Nogueira-Pache

MODERN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT Si todavía hay que cubrirlo para que los que van a invadir otro país, Irak esta vez, no se sientan avergonzados por la atrocidad que van a cometer; si todavía, el tapiz, reproducción de la obra que recuerda, precisamente, el bombardeo que durante la guerra civil española, la Luftwaffe perpetró contra la población civil de Guernica en 1937, tiene que taparse para que a los altos

It still has to be covered over so that those who are going to invade another country (Iraq this time) aren’t shamed by the atrocity they are about to commit. If the tapestry hanging in the offices of the Security Council of the United Nations (a reproduction of the painting that reminds us of the bombing carried out by the Luftwaffe against the civilian population of Guernica in 1937) had to be covered up so that the VIPs meeting there wouldn’t feel culpable about the future they were planning in the spring of 2003, then I can think of no other icon that represents more clearly the brutality and cruelty of which we are capable. The fratricidal conflict that was tearing Spain apart at that time, immortalised by Picasso, is reproduced today, sixty five years later, in Syria, Mexico or Afghanistan. And the desperate cries of mothers, represented in this symbol and testament to our inhumanity, will continue to haunt us, and no censorship or cover-up will drown them out.

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GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

RAFAEL NADAL

Fay Davies

Owen Jones

YEAR 13

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abriel García Márquez, escritor colombiano y ganador del Premio Nobel para la Literatura, tiene muchos papeles. Es escritor, novelista, guionista y periodista: en breve, un cuentista. Quizás su obra más famosa sea Cien años de soledad por la que recibió el Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1982. Otras novelas incluyen Crónica de Una Muerte Anunciada, El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba, El amor En Los Tiempos de Cólera y Del Amor y Otros Demonios. Es un escritor fantástico pero también es un icono. Es un icono porque popularizó el estilo de literatura que se llama 'el realismo mágico', y porque ha contribuido a la globalización de la literatura hispánica. Traducciones de sus obras están disponibles a tráves del mundo en casi todas las lenguas. Formó parte del 'boom latinoamericano', un movimiento de los años sesenta y setenta cuando un grupo de novelistas latinoamericanos comenzó a circularse en Europa y el resto del mundo. Es un icono porque no tiene miedo a la controversia. Utiliza sus habilidades literarias para difundir sus creencias políticas. Fue criticado por su amistad con el líder cubano Fidel Castro, y se describió como 'subversivo' debido a sus opiniones sobre el imperialismo de los EE.UU. Es un icono porque ha combatido el cáncer linfático y continuó escribiendo mientras recibía tratamiento. En 2002, tres años después de su remision, publicó la primera parte sus memorias, Vivir para contarla.

Gabriel Garcíá Márquez, Colombian writer and Nobel Prize winner, has multiple roles. As a novelist, short-story writer, journalist and screenwriter, he is, put simply, a storyteller. His most famous work is perhaps One Hundred Years of Solitude, for which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Other novels include Chronicle Of A Death Foretold, No-one Writes To The Colonel, Love in the Time of Cholera and Of Love and Other Demons. Yet, García Márquez (or 'Gabo' as he is known throughout Latin America) is not just a fantastic writer. He is also an icon. He is an icon because he popularised the style called 'magical realism', and because he has contributed to the globalisation of Hispanic literature. Translations of his work can be found throughout the world in almost every language. He was part of the 'Latin American Boom', a movement in the 1960s and 1970s in which a group of novelists from South America began to circulate in Europe and the rest of the world. He is an icon because he combines his talent for writing with his strong opinions in order to share his political ideologies. Unafraid of controversy, he was criticised for his friendship with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and has been labelled as 'subversive' for his views on US imperialism. He is an icon because he has beaten lymphatic cancer fighting his illness whilst continuing to write. In 2002, three years into remission, he published the first part of his memoirs, Living to Tell the Tale.

ERNESTO ‘CHE’ GUEVARA

Guevara viajó por Bolivia, Perú, Ecuador, Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela y El Salvador antes de volver a Argentina. Observó las condiciones horrorosas de los trabajadores latinoamericanos y dijo que estaba “muy cerca de la pobreza, el hambre y la enfermedad”. Dedujo que estas injusticias fueron el resultado del imperialismo y colonialismo grave de los Estados Unidos. Después de cumplir su carrera de la medicina en 1953, el dedicó su vida a lo que quería resultar en “una revolución mundial”, para poner fin a la explotación de su pueblo. Este fue su motivación. “Che” contribuyó mucho a la revolución de Cuba, con Fidel Castro, y le ayudó a destruir el gobierno del dictador anterior, Batista. “Che” se ha mantenido como una figura muy importante en la cultura cubana y latinoamericana ya que es considerado un “libertador” del continente. Según Che Guevara, “para ser un verdadero revolucionario, hay que entender bien las injusticias del mundo, vivirlas y sentirlas.” Con estas palabras, sigue motivando a los jóvenes latinoamericanos a que participen en la erradicación de las desigualdades en el continente latinoamericano.

Fraser Mackenzie

YEAR 13

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rnesto “Che” Guevara fue un revolucionario marxista de Argentina, médico y líder de la guerilla nacido el 14 de mayo 1928 en Rosario, Santa Fe. Fue una figura grande de la revolución cubana y, por eso, la imagen de su cara se ha convertido en un imagen global de la rebelión y la revolución. Guevara asistió a la universidad de Buenos Aires en 1948 donde estudió la medicina. Después de terminar su año segundo, Guevara paró sus estudios para que pudiera cumplir lo que el describió como “su hambre de explorar el mundo”. Guevara dejó Argentina y empezó el primer de dos viajes de motocicleta por Latinoamérica. Sus experiencias cambiarían su manera de ver al mundo drásticamente.

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afael Nadal lleva 11 años como jugador de tenis profesional (desde 2001). Nació en Mallorca el 3 de junio de 1986. Su mejor ránking era número 1 en el mundo – es decir, era el mejor jugador del mundo, según su ránking. Se puede decir que su ‘enemigo famoso’ siempre ha sido Roger Federer, el jugador fenomenal suizo que ha sido también el número 1 del mundo – los dos han luchado con mucho esfuerzo y mucha pasión durante toda su carrera para ganar ese título increíble. Las estadísticas son muy interesantes y bastante extrañas para Nadal. Ha ganado cada Grand Slam del Open de Francia desde 2005 (con la excepción de 2009, cuando Soderling ganó el partido en la cuarta ronda). Además, en cada partido de Nadal, si ha ganado el primer set, ha ganado el partido. También, puso fin a la intención de Federer de ganar más de cinco títulos de Wimbledon consecutivos ya que en su sexto final Nadal ganó en vez de Federer. Nadal solamente tiene 26 años y ya ha ganado 50 títulos de tenis en su carrera, además de ganar 583 partidos mientras que solamente ha perdido 122 así que ha ganado el 83% de sus partidos profesionales, una estadística impresionante. Quizás su éxito sea debido a su fuerza, su velocidad, su aptitud, o puede ser el hecho que es zurdo; su capacidad es todavía misteriosa. Sin embargo, sabemos que sigue siendo un tenista fenomenal, pero¿Qué más podría demostrar en el futuro? Está por ver………..

Rafael Nadal has been a professional tennis player for 11 years (since 2001). He was born in Majorca, 3rd June 1986. His highest ranking in professional tennis has been Number One – in other words, arguably the best player in the world according to his ranking. You could say his ‘arch nemesis’ is Roger Federer, another tennis player from Switzerland, who has also been World Number One. Both of them have fought their way to the top to earn such a rewarding position. Nadal’s statistics are certainly unusual and interesting of the sort. He has won every French Open Grand Slam title since 2005, (except for 2009 where he lost to Söderling in the 4th Round). As well as that, statistically if Nadal wins the first set, he goes on to win the match – that has been the result for all of those matches. Also, Federer was hoping to beat the record and get more than five consecutive Wimbledon titles (the record of Björn Borg), but in Federer’s sixth Wimbledon final, Nadal beat him, preventing him from breaking the record. Nadal is only 26 years old and has already won 50 tennis tournament titles, as well as having a ratio of 583 wins to only 122 losses (therefore winning 82.7% of his professional tennis matches). Maybe his success is a result of his strength, his speed, his fitness, or even the fact he plays lefthanded. Either way, we know he continues to blow our minds with such phenomenal tennis, but who knows what else he’ll bring to the court in the future? That remains to be seen…..

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician and guerrilla leader born on 14th May 1928 in Rosario, Santa Fe. A major figure of the Cuban revolution and Marxism, his stylised visage has become a global symbol of rebellion and revolution. Guevara attended the University of Buenos Aires in 1948, where he studied medicine. After finishing his second year of medical school, Guevara temporarily suspended his studies in order to fulfil what he described as “his hunger to explore the world”. Guevara left Argentina and began the first of two extensive motorcycle journeys across Latin-America. His experiences of these trips would drastically alter the way he viewed the world. Guevara travelled through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Columbia, Venezuela and El Salvador before returning home to Argentina. He observed the shocking conditions which Latin-American people were forced to live and work in and stated that he came close to “poverty, hunger and disease”.

He deduced that these massive injustices were the result of imperialism and gross colonialism on the part of the United States. After completing his medical degree in 1953, he dedicated his life to what he hoped would result in “world revolution”, his motive being putting an end to the exploitation of his own people. Che contributed greatly to the Cuban Revolution, alongside Fidel Castro, and helped to topple the government of the previous vicious dictator, Batista. He remains an important figure in both Cuban and Latin-American culture and is viewed as a great liberator. For Che, the following words resonate most strongly: “to be a true revolutionary you have to understand the injustices in this world, feel them and live them.” With these words, Che continues to motivate and engage the youth of Latin America in the fight against the inequalities in Latin American society.

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N Marilyn the mystery of

Stephanie Tindal

year 12

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orma Jean Mortenson is a name you may never have heard before. It is an ordinary name; nothing exciting comes to mind when you see it. But Marilyn Monroe is a name demanding attention; it has a beautiful tone to it and makes you think of success, of Old Hollywood glamour, dozens of major movies, outrageous affairs with numerous men in power, scandalous secrets and, last of all, one of the most tragic deaths of the twentieth century. This gorgeous actress did not start off so pretty. Her early years were harsh, brought up in foster care because her mother and grandmother suffered with schizophrenia, growing up not knowing who her real father was. This caused her to have a troubled childhood and maybe helps explain her multiple marriages, the first when she was just 16 years old. Nowadays, the way she climbed her way up to the top would be seen as outrageous (although it still happens today, behind the scenes); she had a long list of affairs with directors of small agencies and film companies and, eventually, one of these men offered her a job. To their surprise, she actually had talent; there was more to her than just good looks. There is always an assumption made about Marilyn which is that she was just a dumb blonde. Indeed, to her dismay, she was constantly cast in roles that fit this stereotype; she either played the vacuous blonde bombshell or the ‘other woman’ who seduced the husband (for example in The Seven Year Itch, which contained the iconic scene with the white dress and the subway grate). Monroe had not been well educated but she tried to make up for this by surrounding herself with many of the great minds of the time – it is rumoured that she was friends with Albert Einstein – and read philosophical works by writers such as Aristotle. But what she most longed for were roles with depth and meaning; however, no such parts were made available to her, although she provided many wonderful performances over the years, including my personal favourite, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which she costarred with Jane Russell and sang the famous ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’. As the years went by, she was worried about her mental heath and began taking all sports of pills prescribed by her private doctor, which may have contributed to her death (although the situation surrounding her death remains unclear to this day, further adding to her myth). Maybe her early struggle as an actress, model and singer is part of what we admire about her – the fact that she wasn’t born perfect, that she had surgery on her nose and chin and even had to learn how to smile differently so that she could be seen as perfect, as iconic. In the tough, often brutal world of show business, she pursued her dreams and, for a while, managed to make them come true and seem to live a 1950s fairy tale. Fifty years after her death, secrets still surround this woman. Was she married three times or four? Was her death an accident, suicide or murder? Are the conspiracy theories true? Although the actress was only 36 years old when she died, she left behind a great legacy and still inspires people as varied as Christina Aguilera, Scarlett Johansson and Marilyn Manson. There are currently more films than ever being produced about Marilyn, including Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn, and over the past four years she has been on the cover of Vanity Fair three times! Clearly, she still has the power to fascinate us, even half a century after her death. She remains an important cultural influence and yet we will never know the whole truth about her. Perhaps that is part of her iconic appeal.

the AUDACITYof

AUDREY Zoe Dukoff-Gordon

year 11

A

udrey Hepburn started her life on May 4th 1929, in Belgium, and, like many others, she was left fighting to deal with the cruel consequences of World War Two. She was sent to boarding school at the age of 5, but was forced to leave and live in Holland in 1939, when the war started. Once the invasion spread to Holland itself, she left and went to live in England. She didn’t see her father, Joseph, for another 25 years. Her two brothers, Alexander and Ian, fought in the war, which left Audrey and her mother Ella not knowing whether they were dead or alive until years later. During her childhood, Audrey’s mother organised ballet lessons for her, which started her passion for dance and her dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. However, her ambitions seemed shattered by the ‘Hunger Winter’ imposed on Holland, which led Audrey to suffer from anaemia, asthma and malnutrition, so that she became too weak and ill ever to dance again. However, she channelled her passion into other areas of the arts, becoming a model and performing in a few shows which led to her working in small roles in films such as The Lavender Hill Mob. Her career break-through came when she was spotted in the French film Monte Carlo Baby, which led to a starring role in Gigi and a series of successful Hollywood films, including Roman Holiday, for which she won an Oscar for Best Actress. As her career expanded and blossomed, she married actor Mel Ferrer and had children; her husband managed to track down Audrey’s father, whom she hadn’t seen for 25 years, in Ireland. In 1961, she starred in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, an experience which hit home hard for Audrey. She could identify with the struggles of her character, Holly, to survive the poverty in which she lives and to rise above her surprising origins, enjoying life where she can. She meets and befriends a writer, Paul (George Peppard), who lives down the hall from her and is suffering writer’s block. They are both left trying to enjoy

"My career is a complete mystery to me. It's been a total surprise since the first day. I never thought I was going to be an actress; I never thought I was going to be in movies. I never thought it would all happen the way it did." A udr e y H e pbur n

their lives the best they can and move onto new beginnings, if possible, despite the setbacks they face. What interested Audrey, in her role as Holly, was the relation between her character and herself, in how she managed to come out of the destruction of her early life a successful and giving person (she was not only a great actress but a tireless worker for charity). I believe this is why she is an icon, not only due to her brilliant talents of acting, but the way in which she managed to come out of such a disruptive start to life and become as successful as she did, while never forgetting those (especially children) who suffered.

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Icon or ICONoclast?

icon

or

iconoclast? Mrs Emma Bell

DEPUTY HEAD OF ENGLISH

What to make of E lvis Presley, 77 years after his birth, 49 after his first hit, 35 after his death? S hou ld we make anything of this? After all, rock and roll as m u sical form is s u rely no longer a m u sic that is fresh, vital and relevant. Maybe so. B ut its most famou s ambassador is, I wou ld arg u e, still relevant and important in the widest cu ltu ral sense.

S

ociety has always looked up to the icon: whether god, monarch, mystic or (in the 20th century) singer. One might argue that the need for celebrity mirrors the need to find a prism through which we may define ourselves. It didn’t start like that. Not with post-modern musing. It starts more like a Southern Gothic tale: boy born to dirt-poor parents; twin dies at birth and is buried in an unmarked grave. Father gets sent to jail for attempting to buy a pig with a forged cheque. Mother and son create an unbreakable bond, which debilitates the boy when she dies aged only 46. Family moves to a big city “because there just had to be something better”. Boy hears an extraordinary combination of music and sounds, records some songs… Let us pause there. Reason number one to still recognise the iconic status of Elvis Presley: When Elvis moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948, the South was still gripped by the ghastly tensions of segregation and poverty. Within this swelter of injustice and deprivation, Elvis listened to and absorbed the sounds of the South. To the East, Nashville; the home of country. To the northeast, bluegrass music (much mocked as ‘hillbilly’); to the South, New Orleans and jazz. Gospel and spiritual music poured out of every church and travelling show. And, all around Memphis, the boy walked, listening to the blues. It was almost fated that rock and roll should find its voice at this crossroads and find it in the shape

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of a cripplingly shy young man who walked into 706 Union Avenue one rainy Saturday afternoon to pay to make a record for his mother’s birthday. In doing that, in 1954, Elvis Presley began a journey that would see him become the most famous man on the planet. Did he know that at the age of 19? Of course not. After all, there were others ahead of him who must have looked like they’d run the game before this kid: There was Bill Haley, but he was old and rotund and had a silly spit curl. There was Carl Perkins, who had a big hit with his own song, “Blue Suede Shoes”, but he was out of action for a long time after a car wreck; Boyd Bennet and Lonnie Donnegan were feeling their way around the charts with rock and roll and skiffle, but nothing really worked until… July 5th 1954. Elvis, who has recorded some numbers with Sam Phillips, owner of Sun records, is disconsolate and aware that his first forays into music have been unsuccessful. “Go back to driving a truck, son,” one kindly musician offers. “You’ll never make it as a singer”. However, Sam puts him together with experienced musicians Bill Black on standup bass and Scotty Moore on guitar in the hope that a jam session will calm the boy’s nerves. Nothing gels. Just as everyone starts to pack up Elvis bangs his guitar in frustration and starts singing Arthur Crudup’s 1946 blues hit “That’s All Right”. There is it. That’s the moment popular music begins. The cultural importance of Elvis was recognized almost immediately. As soon as the record, “That’s All Right”,

Above: Elvis, a star at 21 (1956) Left: Elvis with his parents (c. 1937)

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Icon or ICONoclast?

Above: Sculpture of Thomas Chatterton in his home town of Bristol Left: The Death of Chatterton (painting by Henry Wallis, 1856)

The comeback (1968) A supernatural force (1970)

was played on local stations, it became a hit; soon Elvis was recording, at Sun Studio, a series of invigorating and electrifying performances: “Good Rockin’ Tonight”, “Milkcow Blues Boogie”, “Baby Let’s Play House”, “Trying to Get to You”, “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone” and “Mystery Train”. Mystery Train. It still sounds like a clarion call from another world. A high, wailing, ethereal rock and roll epiphany that reached out from the sweltering South of the 1950s to all those who dreamed of a different world: Scotty on his Gibson and the bass beat relentlessly evoking the Memphian railroads the boy was to travel; on the train that would take us all with him… 19-year-old Roy Orbison saw Presley for the first time on one of these first tours and recollected: “His energy was incredible, his instinct was just amazing. ... I just didn’t know what to make of it. There was just no reference point in the culture to compare it.” Bob Dylan later recalled that, on first listening to Elvis, he and his friends felt ‘like (they) were bustin’ outta jail’. So. That reason would be enough were it not also augmented by one important point. These songs were, by and large, black songs. In recording them, in singing them live on national television, in getting banned for lascivious movements, Elvis was showing racist white America what it feared most: an interracial future. This was a world in which public toilets, swimming pools and schools were still fiercely segregated. Elvis on National Television singing about Long Tall Sally who ‘likes to ball’? White America froze in horror (for they guessed to what he alluded) and condemned a white boy as ‘trash’ for singing ‘nigger music’. Ministers denounced Elvis from pulpits. Even seeing Elvis singing his beloved gospel music on the Ed Sullivan Show in front of 52 million viewers didn’t allay the suspicions that he was the very embodiment of the moral breakdown of American youth.

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Did Elvis guess, in 1956, that breaking down those barriers would be an incalculable legacy? Probably not. In 1956, Elvis was on a breakneck schedule of tours, TV appearances and interviews that would, in the end, constrain and choke him. But how could he know that at this point? This point is great! There are girls and cars and money for the first time and a house for mom and dad, and motorcycles and amusement parks that would open all night just for him! There is a gold Cadillac! And there is Graceland! Graceland. His sanctuary and his prison. A gilded prince trapped in his golden tower; for when the collective imagination creates a mass fantasy about the magnetic force of the icon, what happens to the person behind the icon? Elvis Presley found himself in the rigid grip of what ‘Elvis Presley’ was supposed to be. How could anyone rise above being the most famous man in the world? And what do you do when you know you can’t? Roll forward to 1968. Reason number two to recognise the iconic status of Elvis Presley: Between 1956 and 1968, Elvis Presley completed his two years Army Service, lost his adored mother, made over 30 films of diminishing worth, made hastily assembled albums of varying quality, got married and had a child. His output was not as woeful as some critics would claim: his two-and-a-thirdoctave-range voice had matured and he made some terrific records during this time, but they were overshadowed by a Hollywood career that no-one really cared about. He was still famous, but in a new era of guitar groups, singer-songwriters and nude musicals, Elvis was considered rather a quaint relic of the 1950s.

His manager, the Colonel decided a TV Christmas special would be just the ticket, with strict instructions that Elvis was to sing Christmas songs around a fire, with choirs of sweet children and Christmas trees and baubles and sweaters with reindeer on them. However, producer Steve Binder was having none of that. He recognised what others had by this time forgotten. Elvis’s iconic image was not an anachronism; it simply needed to be re-invigorated, re-presented. Witness the start of the TV show: Elvis, collar of black jacket only just visible, stares directly into the camera and growls “If you’re lookin’ for trouble, you came to the right place…” Absolutely in control of the material, he sings and swaggers and grinds and howls through ‘Guitar Man’ as the camera moves out to an image of dozens of ‘Elvises’ with guitars dancing behind him on rostra before ending the number, on his own, standing in front of giant red electric lettering spelling out his name. ELVIS. One word. No more is needed. It was a triumph. He parlayed and distilled his extraordinary musical influences into this show: singing ‘unplugged’ with his original band; singing production numbers with go-go dancers, creating a gospel segment that recalled the revivalist fairground shows of his youth, acknowledging the passing of the years and staring at the camera as if to say “Yeah, and did you think I didn’t matter anymore?” Only Elvis could have the audacity to prowl around a stage in black leather, transfixing an audience with a sleek sexual danger that had only recently seemed so castrated by Hollywood. It was almost as if he knew this was his last chance to re-establish his iconic status. He closed with a specially written number (The Colonel was still holding out for a carol). Martin Luther King had died in Memphis in April of that year. Bobby Kennedy had died in June. There were race riots and Vietnam and unrest. Elvis, avowedly apolitical, decided to close with ‘If I Can Dream’, a paean to brotherly love and peace. Unabashedly emotional but not sentimental, the song drew a powerhouse performance from Elvis who showed beyond measure of a doubt that the skinny, shy kid with a high, wailing voice had matured, grown and become a man. F. Scott Fitzgerald was wrong in his assertion that there are no second acts in American lives. There were high profile engagements in Vegas and nationwide tours followed (not via railroads and Cadillacs, but this time in his own jet, the Lisa Marie) And yet. This was the beginning of his end. This was the point when the myth took its final shape: the icon in a white jumpsuit, studded with rhinestones, a cape spread behind him. A supernatural force. A god. The rings and the medallions. The huge sunglasses which hid increasingly bloodshot and puffy eyes. The increasingly lurid tales of girls and cars and motorcycles and amusement parks that would open all night just for him and Graceland and more million selling records.

But he was alone. He didn’t even have a band to share the crazy stuff with, just a bunch of friends who couldn’t possibly know what it meant to be Elvis Presley. And so there was more medication and more food and more medication and more food to cope with the relentless touring schedule and Vegas schedule and a marriage dissolved and a child he barely saw… For, despite his huge earning power, Elvis did not have the private economic or professional power to break free. His manager, ‘Colonel’ Tom Parker, a former fairground hustler, strangled Elvis’s musical potential: taking a 50% cut, keeping him on the road for 300 days out of 356 (in order to earn the money for the Colonel to pay his gambling debts); only accepting concert tours in the USA because ‘Parker’ was, in fact, an illegal immigrant from Holland and would, if he left America, probably be refused re-entry; refusing interesting and challenging movie roles for Elvis because the money wasn’t enough... Did Elvis guess that this was the beginning of his end? Probably. Roll forward to 1977. Reason number three to still recognise the iconic status of Elvis Presley: In June of that year, Elvis was preparing for what would be his last tour. Tired. Overweight. A recluse, trapped in his superstar status. His voice, worn out from years of touring in increasingly poor venues, was losing its purity and power. He would have minded a lot about that. Locked in a dreadful cycle of addiction. Pills to sleep, pills to wake up, pills to use the bathroom, pills for his glaucoma, pills for his head… A recently auctioned Bible belonging to Elvis, given to him by his aunt on his 21st birthday, has an inscription in the back in Elvis’s own hand: “To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave”. Did he ever hear ‘My Baby Left Me’ and ache to sing again with that verve and excitement? Did he long to convey that mystery, that hope? Yes, he probably did. His finale had more than a touch of the Southern Gothic about it. This ‘elegant young roughneck’ who began life in a two-roomed shack, born in the darkest moments of The Great Depression, and, by virtue of a talent which still defies understanding, transformed his life and became the most famous man on the planet, died alone in a big house, aged 42. Zelda Fitzgerald: “Oh, the secret life of man and woman—dreaming how much better we would be than we are if we were somebody else or even ourselves…” We felt that, when we saw Elvis, we became better, dreamed further and longed for more…. And it is, in the end, only his voice that counts. That instantly recognisable, iconic Southern drawl transformed into music and beauty that would forever, in the words of Peter Guralnick, “proclaim the dawning of a new day”.

‘Mystery Train’ reached out to all those who dreamed of a different world.

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when

gODS

GUITAR

Jimi Hendrix

roamed the earth

Mr Mark Richardson

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

“Icon see clearly now (the rain has gone)." So sang Johnny Nash in 1972. Well, almost.

O

bviously he wasn't talking about icons at all, and I am, and it's a poor link, but there you go. I was thinking about this when the brilliant idea of having an icon-themed edition of Portsmouth Point came up, well, not thinking about Mr Nash but about who might be worth highlighting as iconic in the music world. As I haven't yet talked about the Beatles, and I have been relistening to Revolver (which is amazing, by the way), I thought of writing about them and that record. But, to be honest, the Beatles aren't iconic. For me, an icon represents something else: that poster of Che Guevara, for instance, is an icon of the radical chic aspect of the 60s, a nod towards revolution while also filling up a space on the wall of a student bedsit. The Beatles, though, WERE an event, not an icon of an event. They made an age

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come into being; they didn't represent it. If they are an icon, they are an icon of themselves. But there is someone who I think is an icon, who represents a free-spirited, modern age, who was a one-off but was also very much part of his time. Once upon a time, guitar gods roamed the Earth. They had names such as Eric, Jeff, Jimmy, Davey. They learnt from one another, audiences sat at their feet, and they played --- oh how they played. Such was their legend that one, famously, was likened to God, much to his embarrassment. But I speak not of them but of the one who was to come after them, the one who ruled them all, the one who bound them...OK, enough of that. I'm getting carried away here. But that is what it seemed like, almost, and why perhaps a man first named Johnny, then re-christened James, before becoming Jimmy and, having found his way from New York to London, finally Jimi, and, ultimately, an icon.

Jimi Hendrix arrived in London in 1966 and took the music scene there by storm. And in 1966 the world of music was pretty much centred on London. He entered a scene that was vibrant: a lively mixture of pop, folk, blues, jazz and the avant garde, and there were so many talented players in the town that it was almost embarrassing how musically rich an environment it was. But when Hendrix joined in with others on stage, everyone present realised that everything had changed. Here was a man both men and women adored, whose fluency on the guitar was awesome, who could play solos --- really, solos! --- with his teeth, who was tall (he had been in the US Army's 101st Airborne Division) and who looked like something beamed down from another planet. He showed a new vision of the future, one in which anyone could make an impact, make a fresh start. From his point of view, London was extraordinary: it was full of young people devoted to the blues, a place where he could roam freely, the colour of his skin being exotic rather than, as in the States, a mark of second-class citizenry (at best). His music was exciting, free, and he could develop it as he wished. He dressed in King's Road military finery, groomed his hair into an Afro, as did the two white English musicians that formed, with him, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Their blend of power blues took to stages across the world, with songs such as 'All Along The Watchtower', 'Hey Joe' and 'Voodoo Child'. This was the era of huge festivals, and, at Monterey, Woodstock and, a few weeks before his death, the Isle of Wight, Hendrix became THE name. Previously ignored in the States, his new-found fame also made him a figure who could be central to the world of emergent Black Power, and he increasingly played with other black musicians. The group, The Band of Gypsies, allowed him to explore harder edged material, while more and more musicians from beyond the narrow world of blues wanted to play with him: funk, fusion and jazz. The world of music in the Sixties was also intertwined with the world of drugs, and Hendrix was an enthusiastic link between the two. His death, at the age of 27, which also set the tone for a series of early and untimely deaths by famous musicians, was likely the result of his persistent drug use. So, he represented the excitement, liberation and sexuality of the Flower Power age, the emergence of a new sense of black identity, new politics, strange new clothes and hair styles, pop, blues and hard rock, festivals, living fast and dying young. Iconic indeed. Apart from those tracks mentioned earlier, the standout performance for me is with the aforementioned Band of Gypsies, in a song that acknowledges those killed in the raging Vietnam War and also deaths in American universities during anti-war protests. 'Machine Gun' is a tour-de-force event, full of his trademark feedback, lyrical power and sweetness. What he could do with a guitar still baffles guitarists even today. Listen to it. It's an Experience.

‘He Was The One Who Left’: AN ICON WITH FE ET O F C L AY ? ‘I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, And just for that one moment I could be you... Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes – You’d know what a drag it is to see you...’ Bob Dylan, Positively 4th Street, 1965

Although, at the time, my teen friends and I believed that this wonderfully scorching diatribe was directed at Joan Baez, his ex-lover, Wikipedia suggests that the song was intended to ridicule Greenwich Village (New York) residents who criticized Dylan for his departure from traditional folk styles towards the electric guitar and rock music. Many of the Greenwich Village folk crowd, who had been good friends of Dylan's, took offence and assumed that the song carried personal references. Izzy Young, who ran the Village Folklore Center, had this to say of the accusation: "At least five hundred came into my place [the Folklore Center].. and asked if it was about me. I don't know if it was, but it was unfair.… Dylan comes in and takes from us, uses my resources, then he leaves and he gets bitter. He writes a bitter song. He was the one who left." I recall the song sending electric shocks through me – the very opposite of a love song, but with a gutful of emotion. I loved it yet hated it. It wasn’t what I thought Dylan did. It’s hard to describe how much the pop stars of the ‘60s meant to me then – objects of passionate awe and romantic obsession. Dylan was just one of my heroes who, over the years to come, followed their own twisting path through places that seemed to me puzzling, outrageous and at times heart-breaking. As we reached the end of the colourful ‘60s and entered the ‘70s, Dylan wasn’t the other-worldly popster of peace; Simon and Garfunkel rowed and broke up; even the Beatles broke up – how could that be? George Harrison wrote some banal songs and let the sumptuous Patti Boyd go – to Eric Clapton; Davy Jones of the Monkees didn’t even play an instrument! I went through a stage of cynicism about all these idols who had, in my teenage eyes, fallen from grace – from a pedestal that I myself had constructed for them. Meanwhile, they went on living their lives, going to places we might not like or understand; music went on doing what it does. Looking at the survivors now (and those who died too young) I am awestruck again, this time by the often inelegant but somehow heroic shape of their lives. Looking back, it seems I was the one who left ... Ms Joanna Godfree LIBRARIAN

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the intellectuals of New York like an exciting dream, a hint of to what was to come. During this period, he met the other men who would form the ‘beat generation’. It was Allen Ginsberg who once said, during the obscenity trial for “Howl”, “There is no beat generation, it’s just a bunch of guys trying to get published”. The origin of the term ‘beat generation’ lies with Kerouac himself, but it was John Clellon Holmes, who published the first beat novel Go in 1952, that propagated the term by writing an article for The New York Times titled “This is the Beat Generation”. As well as Holmes, Kerouac met and mixed with such famous characters as: William Burroughs, "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century";8 the aforementioned, wondrous, mad poet Allen Ginsberg; and the infamous, barely-veiled star of On the Road, Neal Cassady. It was from 1947 to 1949 that Kerouac wrote The Town and the City, still influenced Wolfe’s sentimentally styled prose, opening with a florid description of the town and avid interlinking of characters; even the title was reminiscent of Wolfe’s The Web and the Rock. With the coming of Neal Cassady, Kerouac found the liberation to move on to his own devised style of writing: Spontaneous Prose, inspired by Cassady’s energy, vibrancy and determination to do, to be, to live, bouncing from coast to coast with no space for punctuation or paragraphs in his notebooks already bursting with writing. And so the book that inspired a generation was born.

endless

KEROUAC Benjamin Schofield

year 12 Above: Kerouac (centre) with Allen Ginsberg (left). Right: In the navy

B e f o r e t h e Road “Can any praise be worthy of the Lord’s majesty? How magnificent his strength! How inscrutable his wisdom! Man is one of your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise you. He bears about him the mark of death, the sign of his own sin, to remind him that you thwart the proud.” Book 1 – St Augustine, Confessions of a Sinner. To know where Kerouac came from is to understand him. Kerouac’s life began in a small industrial Franco-Canuck town nestled on the top of America – Lowell, Massachusetts. He learned to fear God from a young age, taught by Jesuit priests at the local Catholic school. When he had his first confession, a vision of God came to tell him that he had a good soul, that he would suffer in his life and die in pain and horror, but would, in the end, have salvation1. He and his family were all traumatised greatly by the death of his older brother, Gerard, aged just 9, when Jack, was merely 4. He would later detail this early affecting period in his “most serious sad and true book”.2 He was raised under Catholic guilt by an eternally grieving family, after Gerard’s death, his mother turning more fervently to God and his father to the bottle, leaving poor ‘Ti Jean’ (Little Jack, as his family called him) stuck in the middle. He grew into writing early, first pretending to write articles in his father’s printing store as papa Kerouac worked, prolific throughout adolescence, as he himself attested, writing his first novel at 11 and innumerable mystery tales.3 In high school, Jack flourished, becoming a football star, performing well enough to gain scholarships to three universities, including fateful Columbia, as well as reading much from an early age, in particular Hemingway and Saroyan. Reaching maturity and developing as a writer, Kerouac surrounded himself with other young writers and correspondents, in particular one young poet, Sebastian Sampas, under whose influence Kerouac

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said he ‘decided to become a writer at age seventeen’.4 When he reached Columbia, Jack soon grew tired of university life. After he broke his collarbone in a football injury, he began to read Thomas Wolfe, the sadly forgotten, short-lived writer of You Can’t Go Home Again; Kerouac’s reading of both Wolfe’s dense, highly descriptive prose and the work of Jack London awakened wanderlust. Soon afterwards, he quit the football team because of disagreements with the coach and walked out of the university itself. Too many hours spent in the old bars of New York with the young bards of New York had disrupted his work, not to mention his avid reading of Joyce, Dostoevsky and Céline in preference to the writers he was supposed to be studying. While in the immortal opening lines of Road, Kerouac states how his life on the road began with Dean Moriarty, it was in 1942 that his life began to lose the strict rigour of school, Catechism and college. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour he signed up for a brief stint in the Merchant Marine, taking one trip to Greenland. This trip is most likely that which is described in The Sea is My Brother, posthumously published in 2011 under the same title along with a collection of other early writings, and correspondence with Sebastian Sampas. Kerouac described this early work as being about "man’s simple revolt from society as it is, with the inequalities, frustration, and self-inflicted agonies." However, Kerouac reportedly viewed the work as a failure, calling it a "crock [of shit] as literature".5 After his spell on the waves, he returned to New York and, at the request of his football coach, re-joined Columbia. As was destined to happen, he dropped out once more and, since he was officially out of full time education, was drafted into the Navy in 1943. But, feeling the pull of the library more than that of the drill sergeant, his time under orders was short-lived. He served only 10 days in boot camp before he was bounced to the

sick bay, and then on to psychiatric observation for over two months. Bounced around, knocked from side to side, city to sea to town to city, Kerouac must have felt disturbed – a genuinely sensitive, poetic soul that couldn’t stand the jack-boot of the military. His psychological profile was nearly 150 pages long, the doctors finding that a "neuropsychiatric examination disclosed auditory hallucinations, ideas of suicide, and a rambling, grandiose, philosophical manner." Diagnosed with dementia praecox (schizophrenia) before being transferred to the psyche ward, his discharge was inevitable. This was a very curious period in his life, foreshadowing the restlessness to come and really showing the disturbed nature of his soul. We know all this now only thanks to the disclosure of information by the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2005.6 One quotation from his psychiatrists struck me: ‘his medical history from the Bethesda Naval Hospital notes that he became bored easily and lacked focus. He "impulsively left school because he had nothing further to learn"’.7 Yet when he left the military and returned to New York, he began to learn more than College ever could have taught him. For a period, he drifted in and out of the merchant marine, making voyages and staying with his gang of friends when ashore; here, Kerouac began to solidify his relationship with Allen Ginsberg, dancing amongst

Amburn, Ellis, Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac, p. 13-14, MacMillan 1999 Visions of Gerard (Jack Kerouac, Visions of Gerard, Penguin, 1991 3 The Sea is my Brother, Jack Kerouac, Penguin 2011 4 Foreword to The Town and the City, Penguin Classics 2000 5 Bates, Stephen, ‘Kerouac’s Lost Debut Novel Published’ The Guardian, London, 25/11/2011: Retrieved at www.guardian.co.uk, 12/6/2012) 6 www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2011/fall/kerouac.html 7 www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2011/fall/kerouac.html 8 2003 Penguin Modern Classics edition of Junky 1

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Neal Cassady, 1955

M e e ti n g J a c k Kerouac was a prolific writer. In his brief 47 years crawling through the dust, he penned at least 33 books, recorded three albums of his poetry, and filled countless notebooks with magical scribbling. But it was in one book that he inspired generation after generation with the documentation of his own. The Kerouac I know first met me when I was at a very susceptible age: fresh-faced 14. Just reaching maturity, full of books already read, and held firm by the (mostly imagined) claustrophobia that limits all teenagers. I was the typical case, introduced by my older sister, who had no knowledge that good literature is more polluting than good music; dreams of America, climbing out of my window and stripping myself of responsibilities began, fantasies of fantastical immortal Dean and grinning Sal. I was enticed, trapped by this mythical vision, a false reading. In reality, Road couldn’t be further from the vision "generation after generation" fixated upon. It is a novel about the purity of the road and its sorrow; about the true pathos behind rushing back and forth across 3,000 miles of spiritual wasteland with no stops in between – just hurry and rush and speed as if chased, possessed by inner demons and a wish to go onwards.

Big Sur, Jack Kerouac, Penguin Classics 2000

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After On the Road, I read all the Kerouac I could, from (my sister’s personal favourite) The Dharma Bums to the melancholic Big Sur, dancing back through the timeline of his life to Visions of Cody. But there is one thing that pervades all of Kerouac’s novels: a possessive, haunting Catholic guilt; even when he is filled by Buddhist satori, modern revelation, you can tell that deep down he longs to “go back to Childhood, just eat apples and read your Catechism – sit on a curbstone, the hell with the hot lights of Hollywood”,9 a revolutionary writer, a poetic soul, but a conservative conscience. There was conflict in that personality, which eventually tore him apart. Nearly all of his books were semi-autobiographical; he wrote them with the intention of one day compounding each individual novel into one great saga, The Legend of Duluoz. It was his dream to settle down from the life of going out getting drunk, beaten up, broken, every night, to collate his marvellous work and re-insert the correct names to each book, making a consistent timeline of his life. Unfortunately, he died too soon. At the age of just forty seven, he sat down to his longest novel yet, about his father’s printing shop in Lowell; he had been working on it for years already. A glass of whiskey in his hand, his third wife Stella just round the corner, he began to write. The illness came on quickly; feeling sick was a common occurrence, considering how much he drank; just making it to the bathroom, he began to vomit blood. He yelled, “Stella, I’m bleeding.” After being convinced to go to the hospital, he continued to bleed profusely. An operation with the aim to tie the burst blood vessels failed, as the liver damage prevented the blood from clotting. He died at 5:15 the next morning. As is so often the case with our idols, it has a tragic ending. The Legend... was never finished; now every few years the owners of his estate try to publish some new material with a curious agenda and we see more of Kerouac’s worse writing, preceded by endless introductions from dull academics that only serve to obscure the truth behind his words. He was the man that inspired generation after generation, but hated every second in the spotlight; teenagers would burst in on him, desperate to meet the Sal Paradise of Road and only find a tragic 37 year old trying to write in peace. His death marked a change in the world; Cassady, the immortal Dean Moriarty, had passed away only the year before. By the time of Kerouac’s death, Ginsberg had written his best poetry; he continued on resolutely reading “Howl” in every state, as he had said he would. William Burroughs dodged death many a time, surviving 15 years as a junky, killing his own wife in a William Tell incident, and multitudinous other small insanities; he later became Godfather to the punk movement. Endless ‘beats’ emerged from the woodwork, the second generation ‘cool beats’, who had known Kerouac in passing, whom he had hated, and therefore gave themselves free rein to write a book about the magical man. The world turned on its axis and Kerouac slumbered under a gravestone labelled “Ti Jean”, the name his family called him – not King of the Beats, not Sal Paradise, just “Ti Jean”.

PAUL ROBESON Mr Ben Charles DEPUTY HEADMASTER "The artist must elect to fight for Freedom or for Slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative." Paul Robeson

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aul Robeson was an African-American athlete, singer, actor, and advocate for the civil rights of people around the world. He rose to prominence at a time when segregation between black and white people was legal in the United States and African-Americans were still vulnerable to being lynched by racist mobs, especially (but not exclusively) in the Deep South. Robeson came from a poor but aspirant family. His father was a runaway slave who went on to graduate from Lincoln University, and his mother came from an abolitionist Quaker family. Robeson's family knew both hardship and the determination to rise above it. His own life was no less challenging. In 1915, he won a four-year academic scholarship to Rutgers University. Despite suffering racism and violence from teammates, he was twice named to the All-American Football Team. At Columbia Law School, Robeson met and married Eslanda Cordoza Goode, who was to become the first black woman to head a pathology laboratory. He took his first job with a law firm, but left when a white secretary refused to take dictation from him. His career was set to follow his artistic talents in theatre and music to promote African and African-American history and culture in particular. Perhaps best known for his performance in 1928 of the song, “Ol’ Man River” from the musical Showboat, Robeson used his deep baritone voice to promote Black spirituals, including my personal favourite “Deep River”, and to benefit the labour and social movements of his time. He sang for peace and justice throughout the U.S.A., Europe, the U.S.S.R. and Africa and became known as a citizen of the world, equally comfortable with the people of Moscow, Nairobi, and Harlem. In London, in 1930, Robeson earned international acclaim for his lead role in Othello, opposite Dame Peggy Ashcroft’s Desdemona. He received 20 curtain calls on the opening night and later went on to reprise the role all over the world, never losing his pleasure in it. For Robeson, Othello was more than just a part: it was, as he once said, "killing two birds with one stone. I'm acting and I'm talking for the negroes in the way only Shakespeare can." During the 1940s, Robeson continued to perform and to speak out against racism and for peace. He was a champion of working people and spoke at strike rallies and labour festivals worldwide. As a passionate believer in international cooperation, Robeson protested against the growing Cold War

and worked tirelessly for friendship and respect between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. In 1945, he headed an organisation that challenged President Truman to support an anti-lynching law. In the late 1940s, when black dissent was still scarcely tolerated in the U.S.A., Robeson openly questioned why African Americans should fight in the army of a government that tolerated racism. Because of his outspoken words, he was accused by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) of being a Communist. Robeson saw this as an attack on the democratic rights of everyone who worked for international friendship and for equality. The accusation nearly ended his career. Eighty of his concerts were cancelled, and, in 1949, two interracial outdoor concerts in Peekskill, New York were attacked by racist mobs. Robeson responded, "I'm going to sing wherever the people want me to sing... and I won't be frightened by crosses burning in Peekskill or anywhere else." In 1950, the U.S. revoked Robeson's passport, leading to an eight-year battle to re-secure it and to travel again. During those years, Robeson studied Chinese, met with Albert Einstein to discuss the prospects for world peace, published his autobiography, Here I Stand, and sang at Carnegie Hall. In 1957, he made a transatlantic radiophone broadcast from New York to show solidarity with coal miners in Wales. In 1960, Robeson made his last concert tour to New Zealand and Australia. In ill health, he retired from public life in 1963. He died on January 23, 1976, aged 77.

References Paul Robeson, Martin Duberman, 1988 Paul Robeson: The Years of Promise and Achievement, Sheila Tully Boyle and Andrew Bunie, 2001 Paul Robeson Speaks, Philip S. Foner, 1982

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icon or

PSYcHOPATH? Charlotte Rowden

year 13

A PSYCHOPATH I S DE FI N E D AS B E I NG 'A PE RSON WITH AN ANTI SOCIAL PE RSONALITY DI SORDE R, MAN I FE STE D I N AGG RE SS IVE, PE RVE RTE D, CRI M I NAL, OR AMORAL B E HAVIOU R WITHOUT E M PATHY OR RE MORS E'.

change. He offers the patients a kind of therapy that they had probably never experienced before: empowerment. He instructs one patient to drive the boat, saying ‘You’re not a goddamn loony now, you’re a fisherman’. At first this does seem like another selfish act, as he retires to the cabin with Candy, yet is there more to this scene than meets the eye? By empowering the patients, he has got them to question their sense of identity. He describes them all as doctors, singling out Cheswick as a ‘famous doctor’, which leads to the latter cleaning his glasses, the first time he has completed this action for the duration of the film. Although McMurphy’s statement is a means to an end (their getting the boat) he, perhaps unknowingly, helps Cheswick in a way no one else has done, giving him a sense of identity and pride. This leads to a dilemma: is McMurphy as callous and unemotional as one might think? I would argue that he, in fact, is. I believe McMurphy is smart, but his lack of remorse towards his actions, particularly towards the fifteenyear-old girl, overshadows this and I think that he is as selfish and psychopathic as first meets the eye. The Social Approach is key in understanding some scenes in the film. Group membership could be used to explain the apparent divide between the patients and the nurses. The patients could see themselves as belonging to one group, the in-group, and the nurses belonging to another group, the outgroup. This sense of divide is likely to mean the patients will see themselves as being similar to McMurphy and so follow his lead as he is a natural, charismatic leader. By seeing McMurphy as an authority figure, the patients may defer responsibility to him for their actions, as described in Milgram’s Agency Theory. Milgram would argue that the patients are making the agentic shift and beginning to act as ‘agents’ of McMurphy and are therefore not thinking for themselves, blindly following McMurphy although they probably know and understand that this could lead to trouble. This can also be seen in the group therapy session in which McMurphy riles the patients up, not fully understanding what the consequences of his actions will be, leading to a fight between the patients and the nurses over the cigarettes. During the argument, Cheswick is seen to completely ignore Nurse Ratchet’s order for him to sit down, but, when McMurphy tells him to sit, he sits immediately, highlighting the change in authority. This scene climaxes to the point where one patient is dragged off, whilst McMurphy breaks a window to try to get Cheswick some cigarettes to calm the situation. Some theories of the Learning Approach are also tackled in the film. Bandura’s Social Learning Theory could be used to explain the change in behaviours of the patients. According to this theory, the patients would see McMurphy as a role model, thus imitating his behaviour. This is seen particularly when they begin to challenge the nurses over certain issues, such as being locked out of their rooms during the day and not allowed to

smoke when they want. McMurphy would be seen as an ideal role model to them as he is of the same gender and he appears to be more in control of his actions. Token economy is another Learning Approach idea that is employed in the film, a way of rewarding desirable behaviour and punishing undesirable behaviour by giving or taking away treats. In the film, the nurses reward good behaviour by giving the patients a cigarette; to punish bad behaviour they refuse to give the patients a cigarette. However, following McMurphy’s arrival, Cheswick suffers an extreme outburst, in which he calls Nurse Ratchet out on the reward system. He shouts ‘What gives you the right to keep our cigarettes piled up on your desk and only give them out when you feel like it… I ain’t no little kid, you can’t reward me with cigarettes like cookies’. Before, Cheswick’s character could be described as timid, especially towards Nurse Ratchet, but as a result of McMurphy’s lead, the token economy system has backfired, as Cheswick begins to feel that a grown man such as himself should not be treated like an infant. Freud’s psychodynamic theories could also be applied, particularly during McMurphy’s first treatment session, during which he is seen to chain smoke and chew gum. Freud would argue that these manifestations are a clear indication that McMurphy is fixated on the oral stage of development, spanning from birth to the age of two years old; he would note that the child will experience problems later in life if they are neglected (insufficiently fed) or over-protected (over fed) during this time. McMurphy’s personality traits, sarcasm and verbal hostility, for example, might indicate that he was neglected during this stage. His aggression and sexual drive (libido) would indicate that the id part of his personality is more in control. His previous convictions (five arrests for assault and statutory rape (after having sex with a fifteen year old)) also support this. If his personality were correctly balanced, the superego (morality) and the ego (reality) would prevent the id from taking control in these situations. His lack of remorse also indicates that the id is more in control as he is fulfilling his selfish desires and does not care about the consequences, thus indicating that he is a psychopathic character. In conclusion, multiple approaches from psychology can be used to analyse McMurphy’s apparent personality traits. However, what is more difficult to determine is whether McMurphy can be deemed iconic. True, for the patients of the mental ward, his overt rebellion against Nurse Ratchet may be perceived as iconic, but I find it impossible to ignore his lack of remorse for what he has done. I believe he remains a psychopath rather than an icon.

The patients see McMurphy as a role model, imitating his behaviour.

Jack Nicholson as McMurphy

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here is no question that Randle “Mac” McMurphy, the protagonist of Milos Forman’s film, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (based on Ken Kesey’s novel), fits the second part of this definition. However, the underlying question behind the film is whether McMurphy does have some sort of antisocial personality disorder or if he is indeed just evil. He pleads insanity in order to escape labour duties in prison but is there more to it? Some would argue that McMurphy attains the status of icon; for example, during

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the fishing boat scene, he empowers each of the patients, leading them to idolise him. This scene, in particular, is key in outlining psychological themes. In this scene, McMurphy takes the patients out to sea. Milgram would describe his actions as putting a ‘foot in the door’; McMurphy feels the need to up the ante each time. At first, this seems like an extreme psychopathic act, as he is clearly exploiting and endangering others for his own amusement, but, as this scene unfolds, the audience’s perception of McMurphy might

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LEARNING

is not compulsory... neither is

S U RV I VA L Mr Josh Brown

BUSINESS STUDIES AND ECONOMICS

Deming went on to advise some of the most successful companies. His approach challenged senior management. He turned down powerful companies if the top echelons were not prepared to accept advice or participate with lower level staff. Despite heavy demand on his time, he worked on his own from an office in an unpretentious suburban home. The measure of his ideas can be seen in his success at Ford, the first US Company to seek his help. Deming’s guidance turned around a company in difficulty overshadowing archrival General Motors. Ironically, Deming pioneered a holistic, human-centred approach to work and production that played down numerical concepts of success and eschewed short-term profit gains. “Total Quality Management”, as this became known, favours workforce participation, a culture rather than a set of procedures and what the Japanese call “Kaizen”, continuous human-led improvement rather than dramatic management-designed programmes. “A manager of people” he wrote, “needs to understand that the performance of anyone is governed largely by the system that he works in, (and is) the responsibility of management.” Faith in numerical appraisal and league tables, which runs through education, health and policing, would have alarmed Deming, for whom statistical processes were a tool not dogma. Amongst his famous “14 Key Points” are: “Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality”; “Drive out fear, so everyone may work effectively”; “Eliminate management by numbers and numerical goals and substitute with leadership”; and “Remove barriers that rob people of pride in their work, including the annual rating or merit system.” They remain challenging and revolutionary ideas. Watching the TV series, it is clear that the elderly Deming (he continued to work into his 90s) was frail and unwell; his cancer needed morphine to enable him to continue. When his assistants urged him stop, he explained, “The purpose of life is to make the world a better place!” He died in his sleep, aged 93. Shortly before, his nurse sought his advice; “Life is precious” he told her “never be afraid to say I love you”.

I n A series of programmes still shown on cable TV entitled "from the deming library", an elderly strategist g u ides american middle managers through training designed to make them efficiently and creative. This is w E dwards deming (1900-1993), pioneer and leading personality of the "quality revolution" in b u siness.

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statistician, Deming was enlisted by the Japanese government to design the post-war census. This led to requests to help companies like Sony devise means to measure and improve efficiency. He taught business leaders statistical process control methods, leading to unprecedented economic growth. Manufacturers achieved unheard-of levels of quality and productivity which, combined with lowered costs, created international demand for their products. A modest, generous man, Deming refused royalties for this work, leading the Japanese government to establish the prestigious Deming Prize in his honour. He was devout, a family man, wrote poetry, studied music, composed and played several instruments W Edwards Deming

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THE ICONIC

Mr Simon Lemieux

HEAD OF HISTORY and politics

The Americans have done many things to the E nglish lang uage, few of them positive. Different spellings (u s ually shorter, so easier for them to remember correctly?), slang words like “ace” and “loser” and different words where no replacement was needed – what’s wrong with a nappy rather than a diaper?

B

ut, still, there are exceptions, those rare linguistic gifts where US English has made a welcome positive contribution to our mother tongue. The rest of this piece is about just such an example. We have to go back 40 years, to the US Presidential election of 1972. In June that year, 5 men broke into the headquarters of the Democratic Party in Washington DC, an office complex known as Watergate. The rest, as they say, is History. As a result of the ensuing scandal, in part uncovered by the investigative journalism of two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, President Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace as the USA endured its worst political scandal for decades. The whole episode revealed a murky world of wiretapping, cover-ups and blatant lying by those who should have known better but clearly thought they could get away with it. What has this got to do with language, though? In short, an obvious, but perhaps under-recognised, outcome, was the frequent use of the “–gate” suffix to all kinds of scandals, not just political ones. So what follows is my selection of some of the best. Particularly appropriate, given the fact that Nixon’s successor as US President, Gerald Ford, gave Nixon a full pardon in 1976, is “Pardongate”, the controversy surrounding Bill Clinton's pardons of 140 people on his last day in office as President of the

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United States, in 2000. More recently, American politicians have given us “Weinergate”, when Congressman Anthony Weiner was accused of sending lewd photographs via Twitter, his own name possessing a euphemistic quality that made “Weinergate” a doubly appropriate term. But the –gate suffix has not just stayed on the other side of the pond. British politics has also experienced its own examples. There was “Betsygate”, back in 2004, to do with allegations that former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith had put his wife Betsy on his payroll, without her actually doing any work. It has also extended beyond direct political scandal to more general notations of unpopular policies, witness for example “Pastygate” in March/April 2012 focused around the planned taxation of hot snacks, such as pasties, by the Coalition Government, where ministers were said to be out of touch with the eating habits of ordinary people, and of course, harming the profit margins of the baking industry exemplified by Greggs! The suffix has also been applied to unwise words muttered in private and that are distinctly ‘off-message’. Who remembers “Bigotgate”, sometimes known as “Biddygate”, of fleeting notoriety during the 2010 General Election campaign? ThenPrime Minister Gordon Brown privately described a 65-year-old, lifelong Labour voter in Rochdale, Gillian Duffy, as a bigoted woman when she had politely raised the issue of immigration. Unfortunately for GB, the microphone was switched on and his

President Nixon resigns, as a result of the Watergate scandal

comments quickly seized on by the media. He then had to go on to describe himself as a ‘penitent sinner’, not something that Nixon ever entirely got round to doing. Still, at least that had something of political substance, unlike “Biscuitgate”, the 2009 media controversy over Gordon Brown's reluctance to declare his "favourite biscuit" when answering questions on Mumsnet. 24 hours later, he owned up to having a preference for chocolate ones. A rather vague response, I thought, and, surely, as a Scottish MP he should have answered “shortbread”. But use of the term is not just restricted to politicians. The Royal Family have also had the suffix associated with them. Back in the cold, dark days of the Charles (Prince of Wales) and Diana marital problems, there was “Squidgygate” (or “Dianagate”), which referred to the telephone conversations between Diana and a close friend, James Gilbey, and to the controversy surrounding how those conversations were recorded. During the calls, Gilbey affectionately called Diana by the names "Squidgy" and "Squidge". Not so much political cover-up and scandal, more just celeb tittle-tattle. The suffix has however travelled far beyond the English speaking world, as the 2012 “Porngate” scandal in India proves; three members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in India had to resign from their offices after accusations that they watched pornography during government proceedings. The world of sport has been affected, too, my personal favourite being “Toiletgate”, which concerned the allegations made by the Bulgarian chess player Veselin Topalov, during The World Chess Championship 2006, that his Russian opponent, Vladimir Kramnik, was visiting the toilet suspiciously frequently during games. The allegations were never proven, and were widely viewed within the international chess playing community as an act of gamesmanship on the part of Topalov to distract Kramnik at a time when he was ahead in the match. In the true Olympic

spirit, during the 2012 Paralympics we had “Bladegate”, when Oscar Pistorius questioned the size of the running blade of fellow- amputee sprinter Alan Oliveira on live television when the former unexpectedly caught up and narrowly overtook him before the finishing line at the Men's 200 metres T44 final. Finally, perhaps the greatest accolade of any cultural or linguistic export from the USA is when it comes to be accepted in the Middle East and Arab world. That happened back in 2006 when Algerian football fans were up in arms about not being able to watch the World Cup unless they subscribed to ART - a Saudi company which bought up the rights to World Cup footage for the region and thereby put the coverage outside the reach of most ordinary Algerians. It became known (you’ve guessed it) as ART-gate or, in Arabic, ‫ةحيضف باوبأ ىلع رئازجلا‬ "‫يترآ‬-‫!"تياغ‬ So where does that leave us? One political scandal and coverup 40 years ago left as its legacy one of the most widely used and recognisable suffixes in the media today (almost inevitably, we have even had “Gategate” in the last few weeks, following (former) Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell’s altercation with a police officer at the Downing Street security gate). Anything dodgy, underhand or unfair is thus re-packaged with its very own “— gate” whether or not it is uncovered by serious and sustained investigative journalism. The final thing to consider is a parlour game: what would we call it in the unlikely event that scandal hit PGS? My musings are below, if you can think of something better (but not slanderous or grossly offensive) why not put it on the Portsmouth Point blog? Cambridgegate – too vague and general, more East Anglia than Portsmouth. HighStreetgate – sounds like, well, a real gate Highgate – too much like a North London cemetery Priorygate – a bit too personal Burkinshawgate or Lemieuxgate – too personal (and also too cumbersome) Portmuthiangate – too cumbersome Smithgate – sounds like a cross between two London wholesale food markets Lattergate – trips off the tongue but a bit too obscure Best not to tempt fate, then, and just enjoy the ‘gates’ that political scandal has left to us, that have lovingly been manipulated and re-worded by journalists ever since. But, if you do have suggestions, you know where to post them and thus perhaps pre-empt the headline writers of tomorrow.

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ICONOclash

Mr John Sadden

ARCHIVIST

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"Right now... ha ha ha ha ha... I am an antichrist, I am an anarchist...” Sex Pistols, Anarchy in the UK, 1976 “I don't want to know about what the rich are doing, I don't want to go to where the rich are going, They think they're so clever, they think they're so right, B ut the truth is only known by g utter snipes” The Clash, Garageband, 1977

e had first heard of the Clash in 1976 from a friend who had betrayed his working class, gutter-snipe roots and gone to uni in London. We forgave him his treachery and he brought back news of this exciting new punk band in the summer holiday. The following year, the band’s debut album was released and it was confirmed that the Clash were something special. There could be more to punk than volume, two chords, repetition, dressing up in dustbin liners, safety pins and being obnoxious. The Clash shunned the professed nihilism and anarchy of other bands like the Pistols. They were intelligent and politically aware. Joe Strummer, lyricist, rhythm

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guitarist and lead vocalist, was the only punk in the first wave who called his stuff “protest songs”. Sunday, 30th April 1978. Went up to London for the Rock against Racism march and free gig in Hackney. The Anti-Nazi League put on a coach, and the Clash performed the band’s first ever open-air gig. The punk philosophy of the Clash was summed up in a 1976 edition of Sniffin’ Glue, a kitchen-table-top-produced rag that cost 25 pence in the days when the only font in existence was Times New Roman, pummelled from a tired manual typewriter-ribbon revived with punk spit. The interview was entitled “The Very Angry Clash”, and the conflict suggested by the new band’s name was a large part of its philosophy. The inspiration was a hatred of popular culture of the 1970s (in particular, disco), a rejection of consumerism, a desire for “authenticity” and a

healthily virulent contempt for racism and for politicians (of all parties), big business and corporations. Their lyrics spoke of tower-block, rat-trap living, dead-end jobs, being stone-broke and utterly insignificant. “We’re hoping to change quite a lot”, said 22-year-old bass guitarist Paul Simonon, who grew up in Brixton. “We’re anti-fascist, we’re anti-violence, we’re anti-racist and we’re pro-creative”, explained Strummer. If this explanation did little to explain, Strummer’s musical and lyrical creativity spoke angrily and bitterly for itself. The Rock Against Racism campaign had been prompted by Eric Clapton’s comments at a gig in Birmingham when he professed his support for the racist Conservative politician Enoch Powell’s policy of the repatriation of ethnic minorities. It was also a reaction to the rising popularity of the white supremacist National Front (precursors of the current British National Party and English Defence League). The Clash were effective leaders of the fight-back and an estimated 100,000 people came to see the bands and show solidarity in the fight against racism. To declare oneself as anti-racist in the 1970s was an invitation to ridicule and worse. 17 December 1978. Saw the Clash perform at the Locarno, Arundel Street, Portsmouth. The Clash covered a Junior Murvin reggae song, “Police and Thieves”, which commented on police brutality. The true nature of the law had been brought home to us when we joined a mass picket at a sweatshop in Brixton where immigrant women workers were paid a pittance for working round the clock. They had tried to form a union to improve their pay and conditions but the sweatshop owner sacked them all. Their case was taken up by the trade union movement, and workers from all over the country came to support them. Thousands of white, largely male, workers supporting black female workers stood out as a beacon of hope in the racist, sexist seventies. So the police extinguished it with brutality. We knew Dixon of Dock Green was a cosy fantasy, but this violence on peaceful pickets, largely executed by the paramilitary Special Patrol Group, was genuinely shocking. The nature and exercise of power was explained succinctly in “White Riot”, written after Strummer and Simenon were caught up in a race riot at the Notting Hill Carnival. “All the power is in the hands, Of people rich enough to buy it”. 4 May 1979. Thatcher is elected Prime Minister following her “swamping” comments about Asian and black immigration. Many National Front supporters switched their support to the Conservatives. 14 December 1979. The Clash release the double album London Calling

Left page: The Clash perform at the Rock Against Racism Rally, Hackney, 1978. Above (centre): Thatcher was the first British politician to fully recognise the power of personal image in gaining votes. She had her teeth capped, her voice trained and developed a reputation for very visibly visiting disaster victims. Above (right): The Clash: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon.

The lyrics refer to swinging truncheons, the Spanish Republican poet Lorca, the dangers of untrammelled capitalism, William Blake, globalisation, fascism, nuclear apocalypse, revolution, rebellion and resistance. The musical influences include reggae, ska, rock and roll, blues-rock and rockabilly. After London Calling it went downhill, with a few notable highlights along the way, like “Know Your Rights”, “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, “Straight to Hell” and “This is England”. The last, released in 1985, described “Thatcher’s decrepit and unwelcoming Britain (where) icy winds blow and violence is dished out on the street”. The miners had been defeated with the same violence tested outside that Brixton sweatshop, and the working class had lost their voice with the crushing of the unions, aided by the media and one or two incompetent and unpleasant union leaders. The Clash expired in 1986 and Thatcher’s government continued its divisive and destructive policies, arguably sowing the seeds of today’s recession by replacing real industry with service industries and a deregulated City, privatising industries that belonged to us all (policies that “New Labour” embraced with equal zeal in the 1990s). Thatcher spurned one-nation conservatism, supported anti-gay legislation, sucked up to Rupert Murdoch, called Nelson Mandela a “terrorist”, supported some of the worst offenders against human rights on the planet and generally behaved in a way that was less than endearing. Joe Strummer died in 2001 (may he rant in peace). The dystopian anthem, “London’s Calling”, was co-opted to sell Jaguar Cars, promote British Airways, and featured in the last James Bond film. Johnny Rotten sells Countrylife butter, rants like your mad old uncle on Question Time and remains “an antichrist”, albeit in a parodic and cuddly way. And I am… an archivist.

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Mr David Doyle

HEAD OF LATTER

Blessed the

MARGARET

One of my earliest memories of childhood is sitting at ou r home in Stockport, on the outskirts of Manchester, in the dark! This, sadly, was not some recreation of the dismal, distant Victorian era; rather, socialist B ritain in the 1970s.

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lackouts were a regular feature of the failed policies of the Labour government (shored up by the Lib-Lab pact) which had taken our country to the point of despair in a few short years. Prime Minister James Callaghan had proved that the unions were in charge of the country as firmly as they had been in 1974 when former Prime Minister Ted Heath had asked the famous question, “Who governs Britain?” when seeking a dissolution of Parliament for a general election which he lost comprehensively. As the 70s drew to a close, the 3-day week was crippling the economy and the stranglehold of unionism and the inability of the government to act proved both

restore both economic and political stability as well as national pride and respect to Great Britain. Margaret Thatcher was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and became an MP in 1959, having spent many years fighting for the opportunity to stand as a Conservative candidate. Despite many rejections on account of her gender, she never gave up; forced to stand in a safe Labour seat, Dartford, she even managed to reduce the Labour majority sharply. Her tenacity (which was a sign of what she would later bring to her Premiership) finally paid off when she became Conservative MP for Finchley, which she represented for 33 years. MT served in Ted Heath’s government as the ‘token’ woman, in the position of Minister for Education, in which role she showed her loyalty to what was right and to her party: a policy to remove free school milk to school children aged seven to eleven saw her labelled in the tabloids as “Thatcher, milk snatcher”. However, it was a government policy, forced through by the Treasury, for which she alone bore the wrath of the country. As she herself stated in government papers released in 2001, she thought that the complete withdrawal of free milk for school children of all ages would be too drastic a step and would arouse more widespread public antagonism than the saving justified. However, Heath’s ineptitude as PM and a second general election loss in October 1974 led, ultimately, to his downfall and MT decided she could not allow the country to continue on a downward spiral. Despite reactions ranging from irritation to downright contempt from some of the more traditional Tory MPs of the day (echoing her experiences when first seeking to stand as an MP), she won the leadership election and, in February 1975, Britain had its first female leader of a mainstream political party. Many were surprised how comprehensive her victory was and any thought of her being a stop-gap leader soon dissolved. She was elected Prime Minister in 1979. She began cautiously, not wanting to alienate those still loyal to Heath1 and knowing there were still many in and outside of the party who did not believe she had the capability of making a difference. Over the next eleven years, she cut the government deficit and repaid debt; she sharply cut income tax for all tax payers and reduced public spending as a share of national income; job creation increased overall and more than one million small firms were set up in the UK. By the end of her three great terms in office, sixteen of the twenty-five most profitable companies in Europe were British. Her greatest victory, of course, had to be against the trade unions, which had become corrupt, out-dated and selfserving organisations, dominated by a left-wing leadership

which had as its goal the crippling of all British governments and capitalism itself. Left unchecked and unchallenged, they would have cemented the idea of Britain being “the sick man of Europe”, as we were being called by our neighbours. Successive governments had been weak in challenging their power and, as was subsequently seen with the Blair and Brown governments, recent Labour administrations have done their utmost to restore the unions’ power. MT brought in legislation to outlaw secondary picketing (in which anyone could walk out on strike for a cause that had nothing to do with them), enforce secret ballots, remove state aid given to both unions and their representatives and give back the right of self-determination to businesses and to their workers. The greatest opposition to these attempts was the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85. I remember very clearly the elation and relief of the vast majority in Manchester on hearing the news that the miners’ leader, Arthur Scargill, had been defeated. He had tried to use the hard-working miners for his own political purposes and lost. However, he had been incompetent enough to take on a government whose popularity was at a height after the Falklands conflict, during one of the mildest winters on record with stockpiles of coal at a 10-year peak. Naturally, every great leader has her detractors, MT more than most. I am often confronted with inaccurate statements about her time in office or about what she achieved. One great misconception is that the poor became poorer and the idea of there being such a thing as “society” died. Utter nonsense! MT gave the majority of the country a way out of the national poverty of the 1970s; she renewed this country’s pride in itself and the respect nations around the world had for us. How many of the European countries would have gone to war for one of its dependencies, as Britain did for The Falklands? No leader is perfect but the reason that I have enormous respect for Margaret Thatcher is that she believed in Britain and in making it a better place. Unlike subsequent PMs, she was not in office for herself (or her spouse), for fame or fortune; she was a true servant of the nation. She summed up her achievements in a speech during the Nicholas Ridley Memorial Lecture in 1996: It was a strategy. It was not a set of policies cobbled together from minute to minute, begged, borrowed, or stolen from other people. It was successful because it was based on clear, firmly-held principles which were themselves on a right understanding of politics, economics and, above all, human nature. (Margaret Thatcher – The Collected Speeches. Ed R Harris. Harper Collins 1997) If only we could say that about anyone since.

She Believed in Britain and in making it a better place.

dangerous for the country and embarrassing for its international reputation. The Labour Government of 1974- 1979 had proven one of the most crisis-prone in British history, leading the country to a state of virtual bankruptcy in 1976 when a collapse in the value of the currency on the foreign exchanges forced the government to negotiate credit from the International Monetary Fund. Before the days of 24/7 cable news, the internet and twitter, the daily newspapers and twice-daily television news were our only information source, showing us images of rubbish piling high in the streets and bodies not being buried, all due to the strikes. Labour, as the famous Maurice Saatchi billboard campaign for the Conservatives stated, was not working. Then came 4th May, 1979, and the victory of the woman who was to take on the worst of the unions and socialism and

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Heath loyalists included Norman St John Stevas, who coined the nickname "The Blessed Margaret".

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CRICK and

B r u ce S P RI NG STE E N

WATSON Mr Ben Goad

HEAD OF SCIENCE

If you have heard the songs ‘Born to Run’ or ‘Thunder Road’ you will have some idea of why Born to Run will always be the album I treasure the MOST. I bought the LP because I had seen a clip of Bruce performing another song, ‘Rosalita’, on The Old Grey Whistle Test. His performance was a revelation, so full of energy and life. I had to listen to this guy’s music and see him in concert. My first was at Wembley on the ‘Born in the USA’ tour in 1985, which blew me away. He had the audience in the palm of his hand. Over the years, I have needed to see more shows each tour and do what I can to get as near the front as possible, sometimes queuing for over 30 hours. Why go to several shows in one tour? Because each show is different. There will be elements that are that same but each show will have a different set list, partly made up on the spot by Bruce depending on how the crowd are responding. All the musicians in the band have to know the back catalogue really well as Bruce might call for something they haven’t played for years. The core members of the E street Band have been playing with Bruce since the Born to Run album. Over recent years, two members have died, most recently Clarence Clemons, each honoured on the next tour by stories told and songs sung. Bruce comes from a difficult background and doesn’t forget it; he keeps a connection with his audience, writing songs about their lives. He encourages stalls for community groups at concerts in the States and, in this country, made donations to the striking miners and other causes. As he put it himself, "There's a part of the singer going way back in American history that is of course the canary in the coal mine. When it gets dark, you're supposed to be singing. It's dark right now... I believe that salvation is not an individual thing, but a collective one, and that each of us is responsible for all others." His songs tell of the heroism of ordinary people who get up each day and get on with life even though it is hard. Each time an album comes out, it seems to be speaking to a different part of my life. He’s helped me through some hard times and long may he continue to do so.

one sleepy s u mmer afternoon, as I was working late at school, I was distu rbed en route to the photocopier by an amiable gentleman carrying a roll of paper.

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must admit to being rather wary; he seemed a little vague and I wasn’t in the mood for having to be “polite but firm”. With a warm smile, he asked me whether I’d like to accept a copy of his poster, as he would very much like to donate it to the school. With a little difficulty, we unrolled it to reveal the image you see here, with Francis Crick striking a pose next to a decidedly jimcranky structure made out of clamps, bosses and bits of wire. Despite being a poor physicist, I recognised the image immediately as the famous double helix model of DNA that won Crick and James Watson a Nobel Prize less than ten years after the image was taken. The discovery signalled a steep change in our understanding of molecular biology and the revolution in genetics that followed is still underway. I thanked the kind benefactor, still a little unsure about why he was dishing out old posters, when he remarked with a wry smile “I found it difficult to persuade them to stop fooling around, but I’m glad that I did. I’m still living off the royalties”. Antony Barrington-Brown, who I met in Oxford on that sleepy afternoon and who had taken that

iconic image in 1953, had no idea at the time of the significance of what he had captured. He had been sent to the scientists’ room at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge by a friend who fancied himself as a journalist. He had a hunch that Time magazine might pay him for an article. Time never published and the negative was returned with half a guinea as payment. The photograph all but disappeared until Watson’s The Double Helix was published in 1968. Since then, the casual pose, next to a contraption that seems to have been cobbled together from the contents of a chemistry laboratory, has encapsulated the serendipity of scientific discovery. In 1970, the original print was used to help reconstruct the original model. In 1990, an attempt was made to recreate the image with an older Crick and Watson posing next to a newer model (see above). This attempt to recreate the original only cements its iconic value. It will never be captured again and certainly never by Mr Barrington-Brown, who, I’m sad to say, died earlier this year. This piece has been written in his memory and in memory of all those who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, with a camera.

Mrs. Anne Stephenson Biology Department Anthony Barrington-Brown’s iconic image of James Watson (left) and Francis Crick

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why

IS THE HIGGS BOson SO IMPORTANT

Chloe Sellwood

YEAR 13

When the annou ncement was made on the evening of the 4th of J u ly 2012 that the H iggs boson ‘probably exists’, the science world went into frenzy; the elu sive "God particle" had become the most sought-after particle in modernCaption here science. B ut what does this mean for the rest of u s?

Peter Higgs

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hose physicists or mathematicians among you may have some vague understanding of the particle itself (which I will attempt to delve briefly into later). You may well feel the excitement felt by such scientists as Professor Anthony Thomas of Adelaide’s University: ‘Now that it has been found, there is not only a palpable sense of relief but a great deal of excitement as we begin to pore over the details of the various experimental results to see what hints they may have for completely new physics which goes beyond the Standard Model’. However, although we appreciate it may be a momentous discovery for particle physics, the rest of us can’t seem to muster up quite that level of excitement; some find it hard even to begin to care in the slightest. In fact, the top-trending article on Yahoo on the day of the Higgs boson announcement (amusingly or depressingly, depending on your perspective) concerned the adolescent pop-star Justin Bieber storming out of an interview rather than the most important physics discovery of the century. Clearly, a large number of people appear to be in the category of those who don’t seem to be affected by the discovery, prompting the inevitable question whether, during a time of global recession, it is morally irresponsible to spend vast amounts of money (something in the vicinity of £2.6 billion) on a purely theoretical experiment which is not designed to tackle any significant social problem or health concern. Nevertheless, I’m here to convince those of you that feel this way otherwise, and to argue that, in fact, you will be affected in some way by

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the discovery of the Higgs boson particle, whether you are personally interested in scientific experiments or not. I’m sure you would first like to know how my explanation is going to be any different from those you have already heard, for example, ‘The Higgs completes the standard model’ ‘It resolves the mystery of the origin of mass’, which may mean nothing whatsoever to you. Well, of course, I will have to go into these scientific benefits because, no matter what other advantages can be put forward, first and foremost its significance lies in its enhancement of scientific knowledge. As C.H. Llewellyn Smith, former Director-General of CERN notes, ‘When justifying particle physics, it is tempting to invoke spin-offs, such as the World Wide Web, which was invented at CERN, but, in my opinion, they provide a secondary argument and the contribution to knowledge should be put first. In my experience, the general public generally finds the cultural argument at least as convincing as spin-offs, if not more so.’ I’m going to try to convince everyone (non-scientists as well as scientists) that we, as funders, are equal customers and benefactors of this research. Scientific knowledge translates to the advancement of mankind throughout history, whether directly or indirectly; although practical advantages are not necessarily the goal of the experiment, without these experiments taking place we would be living in back in the Dark Ages. Do you really appreciate the impact scientific knowledge has on your everyday life? Let’s go through an average day: you get up and turn on the light above your bed, which requires electricity; documented knowledge dates back to 2750 BCE,

when Ancient Egyptians received electric shocks from fish, leading to the understanding we have now thanks to various scientists such as Talus, Volt and Faraday. But there would be nothing for the electricity to light if it weren’t for an idea from Humphrey Davy in 1802, followed by years of research and numerous inputs from scientists leading to a lamp consisting of carbon rods patented by Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans in 1874, followed later by Thomas Edison’s research into developing a practical incandescent bulb, patented in 1879. And that’s not even the end of it, seeing as you now probably have the latest high-tech energy-saving lights to turn on in the morning as a result of further scientific research. Next, you may tune in for a bit of Chris Moyles in the morning, thanks to your shiny new radio, and now I’m sure you're dying to know where that came from too! Well, you’re in luck: the first predictions of radio waves came from mathematical work in 1867 by James Clerk Maxwell, who proposed equations describing light and radio waves as waves of electromagnetism, but obviously your radio device didn’t suddenly exist after that. In 1887, Heinrich Hertz generated radio waves in his lab; later, after several more scientists’ contributions, an Italian sent and received his first radio signal in 1895 and, by 1899, that signal stretched the length of the Channel; however, it was not until 1915 that true broadcasting began and speech was transmitted across the continent from New York City to San Francisco and across the Atlantic Ocean from naval radio station NAA at Arlington, Virginia, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. OK, now let’s pretend you’re having a very lazy day and you decide not to bother

changing or showering on this particular occasion (honestly, the science of synthetic fibres and water heating systems is more of the same). So, breakfast time: the milk with your cereal is pasteurised thanks to Louis Pasteur, the kitchen you’re eating in is full of microwaves, hobs and fridges based on scientific knowledge of heat and preservation. Now you choose to watch a bit of light TV; that’s liquid crystal displays right there…. you get the idea. Life is full of innovative products commercialised after years of scientific discovery.

CERN’s reconstructed particle collision

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why

symbol of our era

IS THE HIGGS BOson SO IMPORTANT

So, how is this all relevant to the discovery of the Higgs boson? I understand that particle physics seems a little more obscure, but, like all these other sciences, it has been a sequence of discovery and innovation. However, in the case of particle physics it is sometimes harder to see the direct link between the discoveries and their real-life application. A good example would be the discovery of the electron, which has led to technologies such as electron beam welding, the electron microscope and radiation therapy; lasers and electron guns used in TV and computer displays would not exist without the knowledge of the particle’s existence. It would not have been possible to exploit such laws of physics had they remained undiscovered; if we stop funding scientific research, we will lose the practical benefits that we receive from it. If you asked a physicist how the world works, you are unlikely to get the scary complicated answer you may expect: firstly, these particle physicists, like you, don’t really know yet; secondly, they want the explanation to be as simple as humanly possible. The perfect description would not consist of multiple, long-winded theories but one unified simple model that would ultimately explain how everything in the universe works: from the Big Bang and black holes to how humans are built. Unfortunately, much as this sounds like a nice idea, we have not yet got to the unified theory; the latest theory is the Standard Model, which still seems very far from simple, but I am going to try to summarise it for the purpose of explaining the Higgs boson. The Standard Model attempts to describe all the basic particles in the universe and how they interact, which allows us to build up how atoms, molecules, crystals and cells work (therefore, when chemists argue chemistry is more important than physics you can challenge them, in a way that makes you sound intelligent, with your knowledge of the Standard Model and how it underpins all of chemistry and chemical reactions so you really wouldn’t have one without the other). The Standard Model was created through a cycle of prediction, experiment and discovery, and all of the particles that the Standard Model originally predicted have since been discovered with the exception (until now, we believe) of the Higgs boson. Although scientists are not necessarily known for being modest, they do know that the Standard Model is incomplete and that there is still a long way to go. But a big step was made when Peter Higgs predicted the new boson particle back in the 60s. I bet you’re wondering what took them so long, but back then there was nothing that created enough energy to produce the Higgs boson, so the Large Hadron Collider was built for exactly this purpose (and there’s something extra that we can benefit from, the building of new technologies resulting from scientific discoveries, which I will talk about later). What most people have heard about with regard to the Higgs particle is that it has something to do with the origin of mass; this is exactly right. The Higgs boson is associated with a field (the Higgs field) that supposedly pervades the universe. It is thought that, as other particles travel though this field, they acquire

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mass, much as swimmers moving through a pool get wet. Therefore, this particle is a small part of a step-by-step discovery cycle slowly but surely confirming the Standard Model, which explains why scientists are so incredibly excited. That is not all. The existence of the Higgs also helps to explain how two of the fundamental forces of the universe - the electromagnetic force that governs interactions between charged particles and the weak force that's responsible for radioactive decay - can be unified. Like all others, these forces are associated with a particle. The particle tied to electromagnetism is the photon; however, we don’t need to know that --- what we do need to know is that the particles associated with the weak force are called the W and Z bosons, which are massive. The Higgs mechanism is thought to be responsible for this; when these particles are introduced to the Higgs field, they acquire mass and (in simple terms) this helps confirm our understanding that the electromagnetic and the weak force can be unified into the electroweak force. ‘Supersymmetry’ is another theory affected by the discovery of the Higgs, speculating that every known particle has a "superpartner" particle with slightly different characteristics; all we need to know is that if the Higgs Boson is found at a low mass range, it would make this theory more viable, which is positive in scientific terms. Although a scientist would argue the spin-offs from particle physics experiments are purely a bonus and should not be considered an important reason for the research, I have a feeling these spin-offs may help get you on-side: Accelerators: semiconductor industry; sterilisation – food, medical, sewage; radiation processing; non-destructive testing; cancer therapy; incineration of nuclear waste; power generation (energy amplifier); source of synchrotron radiation (biology, condensed matter physics...); source of neutrons (biology, condensed matter physics...) Particle detectors: crystal detectors; medical imaging; security; nondestructive testing; research; multiwire proportional chambers; container inspection; research; semi-conductor detectors; many applications at the development stage; Informatics: World Wide Web; simulation programmes; fault diagnosis; control systems; stimulation of parallel computing Superconductivity: particle physics; multifilamentary wires/cables; nuclear magnetic resonance imaging; many others (cryogenics, vacuum, electrical engineering, geodesy...) In other words, one result of developing techniques and equipment to confirm the existence of these particles is the invention of new technology that will benefit society in multiple and often unexpected ways, to give the World Wide Web as just one extraordinary example. To conclude, the study of particle physics is leading us to a better understanding of the world, and, over a long period, this has been responsible for bringing us the advancements and products that we take for granted today. The extended timeframes often make the links complex and difficult to appreciate; however, I hope that I have persuaded you that they do exist.

I n the modern era, ou r icons seem to emerge from a narrowing area of h u man activity. One obviou s example is sport, with an array of accomplished fig u res described as “iconic”, inclu ding B radley Wiggins, Jessica E nnis and David B eckham. However, will they still be icons in ten years, or fifty, or a h u ndred? Who deserve to be the lasting icons of ou r era?

Andrew Jones

year 13

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he contemporary figure that I believe most worthy of iconic status has, until recently, been overlooked but has also shied away from such a position himself. Despite his personal modesty, the work of Sir Tim Berners-Lee has transformed the modern world in ways which we will only slowly come to appreciate. Tim Berners-Lee’s early enthusiasm for tinkering with model trains, as he grew up in south-west London, proved an excellent grounding for studying Physics at Oxford University, graduating with First-Class Honours. It was while working at CERN as a contract software engineer in 1989, that BernersLee proposed the concept of a global hypertext project which later became known as the World Wide Web. The project was partially inspired by a previous project, Enquire, which he had worked on (but had not published). The principal aim of the Web venture was to offer intellectuals a way of correlating ideas from around the globe. After writing the first server (httpd), followed by the first client (WorldWideWeb) he made it available to the world in 1991. Since then, Berners-Lee has devoted himself to working for the internet’s improvement, founding the World Wide Web Consortium in order to do this. Most recently, he became a director for the World Wide Web Foundation in 2008, which aims to research the ways in which the Web could help further humanity. From the outset, he insisted that the Web should be free for everyone to use which certainly is a mark of his personal generosity in contrast to others who have tried to benefit financially from the project. This work led him to be knighted in 2004 and to receive a host of international awards. The honour he was accorded at the London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony illustrates the anomalousness of his achievement. Berners-Lee has come to define an entire period of human history through one invention alone. In Britain, it is estimated that the average individual spends 22 hours on the internet every month, the trend accelerating all the time, with

people spending 65% more time online than three years ago. In China, there are 513,000,000 users (although only a third of them use it regularly). Extensive as Berners-Lee's achievements have been to date, the influence of his invention will only grow further as technology becomes available to a wider spectrum of humanity. In fact, it is difficult not to be concerned, as well as amazed, by the world's increasing reliance on Berners-Lee’s invention. The global financial system, which is becoming ever-more internationalised, relies increasingly heavily on the internet, which offers great opportunities but also terrible risks in the event of a system malfunction or even collapse. Our social lives, also, are becoming ever more entwined with the internet, which is affecting the ways in which we interact with one another and could lead us in directions, as a species and culture, that none of us can anticipate. Is it healthy to be so reliant upon one thing, whatever its power? Berners-Lee’s achievement is the pre-eminent symbol of our era, in the same way that the telephone and the car symbolised earlier periods of the twentieth century. However, have the internet and the World Wide Web become too integral a part of the modern world?

Tim Berners-Lee’s message to the world (2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony)

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Dr Ruth Richmond

HEAD OF PHILOSOPHY and RELIGIOUS STUDIES

Steve Job s di e d i n Cali forn ia i n Octob e r 2011, at th e com parative ly you ng ag e of 56, with many accolade s to h i s nam e:

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reator of desktop publishing with the use of a mouse-driven graphical user interface; executive producer of Toy Story (1995), which his company Pixar created, and ultimately the ‘visionary’ and ‘innovative’ iPhone and iPod, not to mention the range of Apple Macintosh computers. Not only was Jobs an innovator in computing and digital animation, but he was a spiritual man too. In 1974, Jobs undertook a pilgrimage to India to meet an Eastern Mystic spiritual leader, which began his obsession with a strict vegan diet, such was his commitment to seeking enlightenment. Jobs wished to improve the world in a spiritual and material sense. He wanted people to create what they wanted to become, “follow their heart and intuition” and not be trapped by dogma. He also famously said, at the tender age of 17, “If you live each day as if it was your last”, then you would make the changes (in his case technological) today in order to make life better for you and everyone. The Apple Mac and the iPhone were to be the culmination of Job’s obsession with change and innovation. Is he, therefore, an icon for our modern age? Someone for young people to look up to as they aspire to achieve what appears to be the impossible? I have to admit that Jobs does inspire me and others, at the very least, to achieve our best. Jobs did not give up in his quest to create a ‘perfect’ Mac and an iPhone and I admire this attention to detail which we can all bring to our place of work. However, ultimately, I have come to believe that Steve Jobs ought not to be considered an icon. I will explain why. Others have always paid a price for Jobs’ success. In the early 1970s, when he was in his late teens, he had plans, along with his computer geek friend Andy Wozniak, to create a new style of computer with fewer chips. It was computer genius Wozniak who probably created the circuit board for the Atari video game in 1974 as Jobs had little specialized knowledge of circuit board design. With only 50 chips, it was an innovative and groundbreaking design. When Apple was formed in 1976 by Wozniak and Jobs, however, Wozniak was seen to be side-lined by Jobs and took very little money in relation to the huge profits being made. There have been suggestions that Jobs instrumented the resignation of Wozniak in 1976 in order that Apple be under his sole financial and directional control. Jobs’ bullying tactics of his employees at both Apple and Pixar are legendary. Workers were told they were “worthless” in front of their colleagues and staff turnover was huge. Workers were

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criticised and targeted if they attempted to strike a work/life balance, such as spending time with their partners and children, and were told that their ‘lack of dedication and concentration’ endangered the future innovations of the companies. Workers were often sacked on the spot, humiliated in front of their colleagues by cutting words expressed in a fit of uncontrolled anger. Those who had the stomach to stay in the company were often made to stay in meetings which ran past midnight and then were called to reconvene the meeting before 7am the next day. Lengthy faxes were sent out to workers between 4am and 6am; Jobs expected them to be read before the 7am meeting. Furthermore, in 2012, Chinese factory workers were told they must put together the iPhone 5 in no less than 30 seconds in order to meet the demand of customers by a certain deadline; in return they were paid just £230 wages per month. For each worker, that means assembling 1,000 iPhones a day during a 14 hour shift in which talking to your colleagues while visiting the toilet is banned in case it interferes with your ‘iPhone concentration’! This is simply the exploitation of workers desperate for permanent and regular employment without access to a trade union. The impressive result was the sale of 5 million iPhones worldwide during the first weekend after release; a money-maker’s dream at £599 per device! This brutal focus on profit at the expense of humanity calls into question the nature of Steve Jobs’ avowed spirituality, which has been cited by supporters as another reason for his status as a modern icon. As a self-proclaimed Zen Buddhist, Jobs said he was disturbed at the destruction of the natural world and the eating of animals. But hang on a minute! Anyone with a cursory knowledge of Buddhism knows that, in order to seek spiritual enlightenment, one seeks to practise non-attachment to money and to live out a commitment to act ethically towards all humanity. One of the Noble Eightfold Paths (a list of 8 ethical guidelines), ‘Right Livelihood’, would probably prohibit a multibillionaire from making his money from creating luxury products that cost more than its rivals and involve the exploitation of powerless workers. Just a thought! Since Jobs’ death in October 2011, Apple has only got richer! Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple $1.1 billion for using some its design in the award-winning Samsung Galaxy range of smartphones. Apple is now considering going after HTC and Motorola in court for possible patent issues. Apple knows it dominates the market and wishes to crush its rivals in any way it can. Jobs lives on in the Apple executives who want to dominate the market with over-priced products that users ‘just have to have!’, while bullying other companies in the courtroom who dare to challenge them and ruthlessly exploiting those who have no choice but to work for them. Jobs an icon? Think again!

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a tale of TWO FINALS

a tale of

two

finals Charlie Farmer

old portmuthian

M

This is the tale of how one clu b reached two FA Cu p finals in very different circu mstances.

Top left page; Promotional poster, 1939. Left: Portsmouth FC, FA Cup winners, 2008. Left below: Portsmouth’s Cup Final team, 1939. Below: The Cup Final, 1939.

any great cities all over the world associate themselves with their local football clubs. In the UK it is difficult to go out for the day without seeing at least one Chelsea or Manchester United shirt; however, in Portsmouth, you are still more likely to see a Pompey shirt. Everyone in the city has heard of Portsmouth Football Club and its recent financial downfall. Perhaps fewer people know of the club’s rich history. There have been many iconic moments since the club was established in 1898 at Number 12 Portsmouth High Street. Two of these moments were the FA Cup finals of 1939 and 2008. Portsmouth Heroes When Portsmouth first won the competition in 1939, it was still known as the Association Cup. All of the players in the team were British but Herbert (Bert) Barlow was the only Portsmouth-born player on the cup-winning side. He was also the first player to score for Pompey in the 1939 final. The team was built by Jack Tinn, who had previously taken the club to two cup finals but had ultimately been unsuccessful in both (with Portsmouth losing 2-1 to Manchester City in 1934 and 2-0 to Bolton Wonderers in 1929). In just thirteen years, he would take the club to three cup finals; however, despite the team’s numerous cup runs it was struggling to stay in the top Division of English football and it looked as if the team would face relegation to Division 2. In 2008, Portsmouth’s FA Cup Final squad had only five British players out of a team of 16; the squad was made up of players from all over the world, with many only brought into the team a couple of years previously by manager Harry

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Redknapp. Because of these new players, the club went from a relegation struggle in 2006 to pushing for fifth place and a spot in the Europa League. Football had changed since 1939; Portsmouth players were now on thousands of pounds a week, whereas seventy years before the players had received prize money of around £40 each. While the average salary of a footballer in the early 1900s was just £1, today the average weekly earnings of Premier League player are £21,000. The Opposition In 1939, Portsmouth faced Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were considered a very strong side. Not only had they come above Portsmouth in the league for the previous three years, but they had also been runners up to Arsenal. Portsmouth, on the other hand, had finished nineteenth, only a couple of spots from relegation. Like Portsmouth, Wolves had a completely British team; they had already

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a tale of TWO FINALS

won the cup twice before, in 1893 (before Portsmouth had even been founded) and 1908. Therefore, they were no strangers to success. Unlike Wolves, Portsmouth had never before won a major trophy. In 2008, Portsmouth’s opponents were Division Two side Cardiff City, half of whose team was British. Dave Jones had been Cardiff manager for three years and had previously managed Portsmouth’s local rivals Southampton Football club. Like Portsmouth, Cardiff had only won the cup once, back in 1927. The Road to Wembley Every football supporter dreams of watching their club in the FA Cup Final and so there was a huge demand for tickets; however, in 1939, there was no easy way of distributing them. Fifty Fans had been waiting outside the ticket booth since 10:30 the previous night in order to secure their seat for the final. In the morning, the queue had extended from Frogmore Road to Goldsmith Avenue, growing to an estimated 5,000 people. Eventually, the queue broke up as people became impatient; the crowd surged into Frogmore Road to demand their tickets, which meant the police had to come to restore order. Unfortunately for the fans, the club stopped distributing tickets as a result. On the day of the Final, many fans travelled to and across London to see the game on public transport, including trains and trams; very few people owned cars in the 1930s. In 2008, the tickets were distributed more fairly and efficiently, tickets being allocated primarily to season ticket holders and then to people who had been to games the previous October. Then the tickets went on general sale and were also distributed to those who’d been lucky enough to win competitions using the tickets as prizes. Many fans travelled to the recently renovated Wembley stadium by Luckett’s coach, by car or by train. Lucky Charms and Superstitions Both Harry Redknapp (Portsmouth manager in 2008) and Jack Tinn (Portsmouth manager 1939) had certain lucky charms when it came to games of such importance. Harry Redknapp had worn the same shirt, tie, pants and jacket when he had a 20-match unbeaten role with AFC Bournemouth. He wore this in the cup final against Cardiff. Before every game in each round of the FA cup in 1939, Pompey player Fred Worrall attached spats (which are a type of shoe accessory) to Jack Tinn’s shoes. He won each game during which he was wearing spats. It was not just the managers who had superstitions; after beating West Bromwich Albion in the FA cup semi final in 2008 in all blue, Portsmouth decided to play in all blue for the final and used the same changing rooms and the same stand for the Portsmouth fans. The Final In 1939, there were signs of who would be the better side before the game had even begun. Portsmouth first discovered how nervous the Wolves team were about the game when they found that the writing on an autograph book signed by the players was

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shaky. Unlike Wolves, Pompey were calm; they were reported to have been singing songs and telling jokes in the changing room. In 1939, the teams walked out of the tunnel to a record crowd of roughly 99,000. Portsmouth would play in a 2:3:5 formation with two defenders, three midfielder, a left and right winger to cross in balls to the inside left and rights and the centre forwards --basically a W formation. Pompey looked like a strong team and Portsmouth-born Bert Barlow scored in the top corner of the goal in the 29th minute, with Portsmouth continuing to press Wolves until, in the 43rd minute, just before half time, John Anderson volleyed the ball past the Wolves keeper. After half time, Portsmouth’s dominance of the game continued and, despite the Wolves goalkeeper getting a hand to the ball, Cliff Parker bundled it to the back of the net to make it 3-0 to Pompey. At this point it seemed like it was over for Wolves, but they managed to get one back as Dicky Dorsett scored after the ball was crossed to him. However, it was indeed all over by the 71st minute, when Portsmouth’s Cliff Parker scored for the second and last time. Although Portsmouth were the favourites in 2008, they had recently struggled to score goals in the league. Therefore, instead of using his normal formation, manager Harry Redknapp decided to experiment with 4 defenders and one central defender starting further up the field, 4 midfielders and one upfront. The fans were nervous about this strategy. However, Redknapp’s idea was that the two outside midfielders would push up and help the one attacker. The crowd came to just under 90,000, which was full capacity at the new Wembley stadium; whereas in the 1930s fans could watch the game standing on terraces, now it was compulsory for everyone to be seated, which took up more space, reducing crowd capacity. Early in the game, Cardiff had only the Portsmouth goalkeeper, David James, to beat to score the first goal but James (who would later play for England) stopped their efforts. Later on in the game, Portsmouth forward Nwankwo Kanu received the ball and beat the Cardiff goalkeeper, but missed an open goal from a tight angle, hitting the side netting of the goal. Kanu eventually fumbled the first goal over the line in the 37th minute after the Cardiff keeper stopped a shot but, unable to hold on, dropped the ball. Cardiff almost equalised but the goal was disallowed after a handball in the area from one of their players. Portsmouth had a few more chances but they were unsuccessful. Nonetheless, one goal was all they needed to triumph; they won the cup after 90 minutes plus extra time.

Above (left): Kanu scores, 2008. Above: Portsmouth celebrates, 2008. Left: Portsmouth FC: Association Cup winners, 1939.

The Aftermath After both victories the fans celebrated and welcomed the team back to Portsmouth in large crowds. In 1939, fans lined the city’s streets and waited until after 11pm for a bus carrying the players and the FA Cup. The cup was presented to the fans by the players and manager, during which ceremony Bert Barlow dropped the trophy (it took £70 to mend the damage). The players were each given £42 as prize money. The cup was often presented before subsequent football matches. Portsmouth to this day hold the record for keeping the cup because the Second World War broke out the same year that the club won it. For the next six years, the FA Cup competition and the other leagues were suspended. Portsmouth’s team managed to avoid relegation and a decade later they won the league title twice in a row. The club would stay in the top tier of British football for another 20 years. In 2008, fans rejoiced, just as they had in 1939; the team again presented the trophy to the city on an open-top bus, greeted by an estimated 200,000 fans who came out onto the streets

of Portsmouth to see them. The tournament prize money was £1 million, a substantial amount more than the prize money in 1939. Though pleased that they had won the FA Cup, some of the players were disappointed with the way the season had ended as they had hoped to reach fifth place and a spot in the Europa League but had, instead, only reached eighth. Although the club still qualified for Europe by winning the FA Cup, they had still aimed to finish higher in the league. They believed that their success in the FA Cup had prevented them from meeting their league objective. Later that year, the financial troubles began and, despite claiming he would not, Harry Redknapp left the cup-winning side to join London-based club Tottenham Hotspur. He was later awarded the key to the city and a bell in the Guildhall was named after him for his success in the FA Cup. Most of the team would have gone by the end of 2008. Despite going into administration, Portsmouth reached the FA Cup Final again in 2010, but this time lost to Chelsea. In 114 years, the fans and staff of Portsmouth Football Club have experienced many iconic moments and, while the club, in recent years, has suffered financial difficulties which have crippled it into two relegations and resulted in the loss of many staff, it remains a local treasure and should be admired for all that it has achieved. Sources The Pompey Book by Graham Smith Portsmouth Football Club: The Official Centenary Pictorial History by Peter Jeffs, Colin Farmery and Richard Owen Portsmouth Miscellany by Roger Holmes Pompey: The History of Portsmouth Football Club by Mike Neasom, Mick Copper and Doug Robinson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1939_FA_Cup_Final http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portsmouth_fc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElEPGMNtjgc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktz2pruwjdQ Information from Portsmouth Central Library Newspaper Archives

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my Iconography of

FICTION Tim MacBain

year 13

J RR Tolkien, G eorge Lucas, Christopher Paolini, B u ngie, B ioware / EA. Five names, five u niverses, five lots of exqu isite hou rs spent reading, watching, playing, researching, copying.

I

am, of course, talking about five of my favourite pieces of fiction. I have tried to put them in recognisable order, and brownie points to anyone who has managed to work out what the last two are; you have to (a) know me particularly well or (b) have a VERY good knowledge/memory of the Xbox gaming circuit (a comment, I’m sure, that has just lost me what was left of my audience). Alright, I’ll get on with it. I was implying, in order, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Inheritance Cycle, Halo, Mass Effect. Again, brownie points if you recognise all of those names. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Well, the very foundation of my love of fiction is demonstrated in each of these titles. Let me explain. Lord of the Rings is a perfect way of showing the beautiful development of characters and some totally AWESOME set pieces (that is a film quote – a prize for anyone who gets it!) With regard to the characters, one has the obvious development of Frodo, Sam, Gollum (who, interestingly, seems to turn a full circle). But then we have that of the friendship between Legolas and Gimli, Gandalf’s death and rebirth, Denethor’s revival of his senses, and the oh-so-soppy but oh-so-lovely blossoming of the seemingly doomed love of Aragorn and Arwen. This development lets you know the characters on an almost personal level. Set pieces, for me, can often make or break a story, be it a film, book or game. To qualify, by set piece I mean an event that has the potential to stick in the memory, the potential to become so famous it could very nearly be a metonym for the entire story (I hope you’re proud of me Mr Elphick-Smith!) For example, who doesn’t know the line “You…Shall . . . Not…PAAAAASSSS!!!” from Gandalf’s tragi-heroic last stand in the Mines of Moria? These, when done well, always inspire a sense of awe. If you speak to any one of my close friends, they will all tell you how long I can talk about Star Wars for. Yes, EVEN after the crippling disappointments that were the second and third films; not even Yoda and Count Dooku’s lightsabre duel could resurrect number two --- an appropriately euphemistic name if ever there was one, incidentally. Back on topic, the main pull of Star Wars is the Star Wars extended universe. To many unfortunate souls, this whole idea is alien; for example, who has heard of the Yuuzhan Vong

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War? Admittedly, until last night’s Wookieepedia session, me, but, in a way, that demonstrates my point most potently; despite my spending between the hours 8 and 9 pm on Wookieepedia for six months of life there is still knowledge I haven’t discovered. For a full run-down of the Seven Forms of Lightsabre Combat, and Jedi/Sith who were Masters of each respective form, come and see me at your earliest convenience. If there was ever a protracted releasing of a series that frustrated and baffled its fans, it was that of The Inheritance Cycle. The first book was released in 2002, the fourth in 2011 (one does begin to wonder what Christopher Paolini was doing during most of those nine years; however, I haven’t brought it up to discuss that). The concept it brings to my pantheon of fiction what I call ‘responsible magic’. This is, in my opinion, what sets The Inheritance Cycle apart from Harry Potter – your ability with magic is limited not just by your knowledge and (by extension) your vocabulary, but also by your physical stamina. Using magic uses energy, which does somewhat limit what you can do. Personally, I find this a more interesting concept, and that is why I love The Inheritance Cycle. My inclusion of Halo is, to some extent, misleading. There are five Halo games for Xbox; I have played one of them. Does that qualify me to talk about them? Aside from the fact that the one I’ve played is widely attributed to have been the best of them, not really. What I do find fascinating and (when taken in small doses) exhilarating, is the use of a single character to influence the entire storyline. This is not strictly true of two of the titles, but the overall idea of one man against the bad guys is an iconic image with a timeless appeal. Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 are all games. However, they are the best games you will ever encounter, and it’s not the combat simulation that earns it that title. For me, it is the pulling together of all the concepts I have detailed above. The extended universe is large and diverse; there are at least 15 different types of alien, and the Milky Way galaxy is your playground. This being science fiction, magic isn’t really ‘magic’; it’s called ‘biotics’. Set pieces are aided by graphics to die for. You play as one character, who is rather melodramatically seen as ‘the Only Thing Between the Universe and Destruction’ (Note the Use of Capitals There), who is developed not just combatively but personally across the entire trilogy. A friend lent me the second almost two years ago, telling me “This game will take over your life.” And it did. I was afraid to finish it. If you’re still reading, you’re probably a member of my family. If you’re not, we are eternally grateful (another quote) for sticking with a rather rambling article on a subject that really doesn’t interest a lot of people. Thank you. I do feel I should end with a proper message, and it just so happens I have one that I feel rather strongly about. The kind of fiction I have been discussing is often not seen as ‘meaningful’, and is derided by many. No matter how well written it is or how expertly intricate its structure, it is sniffed at, seen as “not literary”, and all because one can’t find a million and one poxy meanings behind just one phrase. I challenge all of you (still reading) to ignore this snobbery – the two kinds of fiction are incomparable. Revel in each one, enjoy reading/watching/playing whatever you want. I get more enjoyment watching The Lord of the Rings than reading the entirety of Dickens’ work and personally I can glean more meaning from it. It’s all a matter of preference; find yours and stick to it.

VIRGIL’S FIRST ECLOGUE Introduction and Translation by Tom McCarthy It is a commonly held belief that the Eclogues are set in a kind of Arcadia, where the shepherd is an iconic figure for a life of ease, of love and of music. A reading of the First Eclogue shows this to be doubtful at best. It deals with two shepherds whose farms have been confiscated. One of the shepherds, Tityrus, has had his farm restored to him after an appeal to an unnamed youth, in Rome. The other, Meliboeus, has no such luck. His farm is to be given to an ex-soldier, an “impius miles”, a godless thug. He is for exile now. Virgil grew up in the waste land of the dying Roman republic. The situation in this Eclogue corresponds to that historical reality. After the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, the victors, Octavian and Mark Antony, decreed that farm land in Northern Italy should be confiscated and given to ex-soldiers. Cremona and Mantua (where Virgil was born to a farming family) were included in these clearances. It is possible that the family farm was among these. Certainly the youth who gave Tityrus his freedom and restored his farm is Octavian who, soon after the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, became the first Roman Emperor as Caesar Augustus. Is Tityrus a self-portrait?

M: Here you are, Tityrus, lying at your ease Under the shade of this wide beech; Here you are, playing country tunes On slender pipes. As for me, I’m forced To leave my home and the ploughed fields I love. Exile for me, Tityrus. For you, Cool under the shade, you teach the trees To echo back your songs to Amaryllis. T: Ah, Meliboeus, it was not a man but a god Who made this leisure mine. I shall raise An altar for him, an altar that I will stain With the blood of a new-born lamb From my own flock. He gave his word and, see, My cattle graze at ease while I play What tunes I please on this wild reed.

T: My freedom! Freedom called me overdue, Long after the clippings of my beard grew grey. Yet that call did come after lazy years, with Galatea gone, when to one more loved, To Amaryllis, I pledged my heart. True, with Galatea I was content To stay in thrall and live from day to day. Lambs would be picked from my flock for sacrifice And rich cheeses brought to the thankless town, Yet I sauntered home, empty-handed. M: I used to wonder why Amaryllis called, Weeping, to the gods; why she left ripe apples On the trees: her Tityrus had gone far away! The very pines, old friend, the very springs, The vines themselves were sighing for you.

M: I am not jealous but amazed. Each farm Nearby is in turmoil. Look at me, sick too, Unfit for any road; yet I can drive my goats on, on. See, Tityrus, this one I can scarcely drag along? Just now among those thick hazels she bore Two fine kid goats, my hope for the herd. Yet She cast them aside on this flinty track

T: What else could I have done? Where else But Rome could I have gained my freedom, Gain divine protection? In Rome I met that youth For whom twelve days a year my altar smokes; From him I won a kind reply to my request: “Feed your cattle as before, my lad Let loose your bulls.”

I was blind not to see disaster looming When, warned by heaven, lightning struck The stout oaks. But tell me, old friend, Who is this god of yours?

M: You lucky man! This farm will then be yours Again, land wide enough, though rocks and bog With sedge and mud encroach your pastures. No strange feed will ever test your breeding ewes; No canker taint them from a neighbour’s flock. Lucky, lucky man! You’ll find cooling shades By well-known waters, by sweet and sacred springs. This thick hedge here, along that neighbour’s bourn, Whose willow-blossom feeds the Hyblan bees, Will often soothe you suasively to sleep. A vine-dresser at the foot of that high rock Will sing his songs to the gentle breezes. You will be charmed by your own cooing pigeons, By turtle-doves calling softly from lofty elms.

T: I was a fool, Meliboeus. I used to think Great Rome was just like this, our market-town; Our town where you and I would drive for sale Our weanling lambs. I was a fool measuring Great by little things, thinking a pup a dog Full-grown or a kid its mother-goat. I know Now great Rome soars high over other cities As the cypress soars over low, twisting osiers. M: What great reason drove you there?

T: Fleet-footed stags will feed in the upper air And seas roll back to leave the fish on shore --And sooner will Parthians prowl through other lands And drink the Arar or Germans drink the Tigris --Before the memory of my patron’s gracious face Fades from my heart. M: But we are for exile now; some to thirst Among the Africans, others to Scythia, to walk By Oxus’ banks, to trudge on chalky soil, Or sup with Britons at the world’s last edge. And shall I never see a place to call my own? A simple cottage with turf piled high? Survey With pride my small kingdom’s modest crop? No! Some godless thug will grab my fertile land --A barbarian these fields. We are sunk in misery Since Roman fought with Roman in Roman war. What we have sown men like that will reap. For them I’ll graft my pears and plant my vines? No! Walk on, my herd of goats, my quondam pride! Never again, stretched in some cool, green shade, Shall I spy you nimbly leap from rocky crags Where brambles grow. No songs I’ll sing again Nor lead my flock to feed on sweetest clover And grow quite fat on strong willow shoots. T: Yet you could be my guest for this last night, Could sleep at peace on these green leaves. We’d share Ripe apples, sweet chestnuts, richest cheeses, As evening smoke is rising from our neighbour’s farm And from the distant mountains taller shadows fall.

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Emma O'Leary, studying A Level Art in Year 13, is currently exploring the contrasting guises of David Bowie through a range of media.

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Portsmouth Point - The Icon Issue, Winter 2012  

Pupil-led publication

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