The Mysteries of Occupation

Douglas has words of consolation for anyone who ever thinks: 'I Am Not My Job'... I started as a busboy and dishwasher at a greasy downtown bar and grill in California’s flat, hot Central Valley. I was “paid” (if you want to call it that) under the table. My duties included killing ... Read More...

The strange obscurity of Eugene Burdick

Mark Pack explains why the work of a now almost forgotten political novelist is worth seeking out... A best-selling author shifting millions of books in the post-war decades, a renowned public intellectual, a friend of celebrities such as Marlon Brando, a highly respected political scientist and famous enough to feature in ... Read More...

Milan K. Part One: The Teenage Years

Daniel Kalder discovers a French comic book about Vladimir Putin, which reveals much about how western Europe struggles to categorise the Russian president... As regular visitors to this site will know, I have an interest in bandes dessinées, i.e. French comics. Every now and again I like to bring a particularly ... Read More...

We’re back!

  Welcome to the new and improved Dabbler! Yes we’re up and running again – apologies for the interruption to your cultural nourishment during the last few days. You’ll notice the site looks rather different. There will almost certainly be a few glitches that need ironing out. But the good news is that ... Read More...

Sandy the Scrapper attends a Seance

'Story Of My Life: The Trials and Triumphs of Sandy the Scrapper' was a tale penned for children by Edith Monro Armstrong in 1914, and revised again for publication in 1949. It gives a dog's eye view of Edwardian Canada. Bill Atkinson, who is working on a new edition of ... Read More...

Achievement Gaps

Ever tried to write a novel that wasn't worthless? Douglas considers talent, mediocrity, the limits of creativity and the art of appreciation... In A Mathematician’s Apology G.H. Hardy estimates that only five or ten people in a hundred can do something “rather well.” Considerably fewer are truly gifted. We do not each have ... Read More...

Sandy the Scrapper – a sweet tale for Edwardian children

Guest contributor Bill Atkinson shares a tale penned by an Edwardian lady about a little dog. It suggests that 100 years ago they had rather different ideas about what was deemed suitable for children's entertainment... Sandy was the favorite pet of Edith Monro Armstrong (b. 1874, d 1960), an Edwardian lady, Doctor's wife, chatelaine, accomplished ... Read More...