Simon Leser

editor, freelancer, copywriter

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Is Design Really Art? - Muddle Mag!

"Zalling. Is there a word zalling? If there is what does it mean? If there isn't what does it mean?... Perhaps both, maybe neither." Yes, it's a Monty Python quote. And no, it's for no particular reason... except perhaps as illustration of my current, initial state of mind.

Culture Trip
Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich On The Soviets' Luckless Century

In winning the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature, Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich became the first non-fiction writer to be given the prize. We examine her latest publication Second-Hand Time and what distinguishes her work as literary journalism.

I Can't Turn Left! - News & Politics

Yes, the American political landscape has a Zoolander problem: none of its parties are on the left. But before we actually get into it, I propose starting with a definition, if you don't mind. We are after all supposed to at least pretend this is something of a serious blog.

Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
Turkey's long road to repression

Turkish newspaper editor Can Dündar is in exile after being convicted of "leaking state secrets" Prior to July 15, very few people inside or outside Turkey could have predicted this year's coup attempt.

A Moral Collapse - Muddle Mag!

Chaos abounds, and the radical Left becomes neither radical nor leftist With 2016 already off to a fantastic start (he was only the greatest artist of his generation, mind you), it seems a little easy to forget just how awful 2015 was - a year of rapid-fire horror on one end and stubborn pointlessness on the other, the whole rounded off by a general, but not wholly contradictory, sense of apathy and doom...

Culture Trip
Language is a Battlefield: An Interview with Turkish Writer Ece Temelkuran

Simon Leser Literary Editor Updated: We caught up with Ece Temelkuran to discuss her latest book, Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy, as well as Turkey's increasingly volatile state of affairs. Read our review here. Poet, novelist, journalist, TV presenter and unwitting dissident, Ece Temelkuran has been a constant figure in Turkish public life.

Culture Trip
How Nick Cave's Lyrical Genius Sets Him Apart From Other Songwriters

Simon Leser Literary Editor Updated: Performer, pianist, guitarist, novelist, screenwriter... there is more than one Nick Cave. To celebrate the release of the Bad Seeds' newest album, Skeleton Tree One More Time with Feeling , we take a look at what makes the man such a unique artist: the writing.

Everyday Drinking - Muddle Mag!

The Kingsley Amis Guide to a Life Fulfilled It finally happened. After years of painful literary wandering I have at last come across a book that truly changes lives. Not quite as sprawling as Ulysses, far less risqué than Lolita, yet still better written than Gravity's Rainbow - this particular number outdoes all in one lovely aspect: use.

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