Back operation and new book


I see that I have not updated my medical bulletin. In case anyone is interested.

Three weeks after the operation, my back pain suddenly diminished to almost nothing, which was the object of the spinal decompression.  The crushed nerve to my right leg means that it is not working optimally, but I am doing physio to strengthen the muscles etc.  I am walking better, but not over distances of more than about 1 mile. I am determined to make progress.  My physio is Marcel Wallace, Marina Wallace’s son, who lives in Vancouver!

Major thanks to the excellent surgeon, Roy Chaudhary. He was confident that the op had gone well. He was right.



I have delivered my book, Heavenly Visions. Dante and the Art of Divine Light, to Lund Humfries. Aiming for publication in April during Dante’s 700th anniversary.  I see it as a new ‘paragone’, the comparison of the arts. Whether the text is any good, the visuals should be spectacular.

This is a fragment from the introduction.

“The present book is in part about Dante Alighieri’s understanding of light [based on Mediaeval optics]  and the legacy of his Paradiso. This involves both the direct sense of the considerable impact of his extraordinary vision, and also the general diffusion of his literary portrayal of the extra-terrestrial realm of spiritual light. But it is also a paragone study in what poetry can do and what painting can do.  We will see Dante and the painters mutually striving to meet one of the greatest of all visual challenges. That challenge was how to describe extremities of divine light that were beyond the scope of our earth-bound sense of sight.”