Tony McKibbin writes for various magazines and journals in the UK and elsewhere.

Read more about Tony

Recent articles

The Tree of Life

Expanding the Finitude and the Attitude

Perhaps we cannot help but admire a film if it searches out the epiphanic even if it fails to work its epiphany upon us. Four recent films that seem interested in the epiphanic dimension through a certain cosmic ambition are The Tree of Life, The Turin Horse, Enter the Void and Melancholia. But it is to the former that we will choose to concentrate. Where the cathartic response common to many a fi…

Additional Pieces

Stars of the Moment

Burning Bright and Burning Briefly

Perhaps there is a very specific sort of stardom that reflects the zeitgeist, a spirit of the time which produces what the French call a ‘star du moment’. In such stardom, an actor is so part of their moment that their stardom cannot be extracted from it. While actors like Paul Newman, Cary Grant, Bette Davis and Lauren Bacall can be removed from a moment and still retain their fame, m…


Existential Literature

Leaps and Loops of Consciousness

Introducing The Existential Imagination, a collection of writings that include Kafka, Dostoevsky, Beckett and Sartre, the editors Frederick R. Karl and Leo Hamalian say: “existentialism is a philosophy of disorientation and the literature that has developed concomitant with its influence is a literature of despair.” There isn’t much to disagree with in their succinct claim, even …




I have a friend who was once given a month off as part of an artistic project. She was working in a gallery in London five years ago when she heard that a well-known artist wished as her installation to close the gallery, give the staff full pay and send them home. In turn, everyone involved in the gallery was interviewed by the artist, whose grant money had paid for their month’s holiday. R…


On the Island


Though born in Glasgow, Ian Crichton Smith is associated with the Western Isles, where he moved at the age of two and was raised by his widowed mother on a croft in Bayble, along with his brothers. Writing in both Gaelic and English, Smith’s work examines the island’s remoteness and its religiosity, its peculiarities and its prejudices. Though born in Glasgow, Scotland’s industri…

Course Notes Etc
View all articles