Friday, February 23, 2007

Forward, not back - Mr. Eugenides guest blogs this evening

What do Scotland, Greece and Russia have in common? Mr. Eugenides explains:

On Calton Hill in Edinburgh, not too far from where I am writing this, sits the Parthenon. Well, a replica of the Parthenon – the “
National Monument”, constructed in the nineteenth century as a memorial to the dead of the Napoleonic War , but never finished due, so it is said, to lack of funds (say what you like about the Greeks, but at least we finished ours). It stands today, overlooking Princes Street, frequented by gawking tourists by day and moustachioed homosexuals by night, mute testimony to the ambition of a forgotten age, and known now as “Edinburgh’s folly”.

Nor are the links between Scotland and Greece limited to ersatz monuments and questionable sexual practices. We also
share a national saint; indeed, St Andrew divides his attentions between Greece, Scotland and mother Russia, from where James writes.

One hesitates to draw out such a flimsy thread too far, but it is worth noting that each of these three countries is, in its own different way, in thrall to a glorious past, and each is struggling to recapture some of that lost glory.

Read the rest here…


  1. Bizarrely, according to the Catholic Church, in addition to Andrew the Apostle, who is the patron saint of Scotland, there is also a Saint Andrew the Scot, who is neither the patron saint of Scotland or even Scottish.

  2. Unity - interesting indeed about the Scottish saint.

    Mr. E - many thanks for the insights. Incidentally:

    ...[Scots] were the first to clone a sheep...

    They clearly had plenty of sheep to experiment on after Culloden.

  3. Mr E writes well too without swearing. My envy is deep and of the green variety.

  4. I agree he writes well without swearing and without the temptation of attacking Polly Toynbee.

    Good post Mr E- actually a really good guest post in that its actually a very Higham like post but with your own Scottish take!

  5. Some bloggers really are skilful, Mr E being one of them - well done sir.

  6. Thank you for those comments, and thank you James for the opportunity, of which I shall avail myself again when it is appropriate.

    I thought it proper that when "guest blogging" one should try to conform to the house style. Contrary to popular belief, I do not suffer from Tourette's.

    Perhaps the swearing is something I should dial down in future, but to be quite honest I find it cathartic, many find it amusing, and faced with a government of such staggering mendacity, my vocabulary is, all too often, simply inadequate.

  7. I would like to second that last paragraph...


  8. Presumably, DK, you mean Mr. E's last paragraph in his comment immediately above?


Your thoughts on this?