Robert Latona

January 2013

Desire Under the Algarrobos

Margot Callas was six years older than Simon and 37 years younger than Graves. Surprise, surprise: Simon came down with a severe case of the hots, in its starry-eyed, mooncalf mode. Margo was strikingly lovely, and, in contrast with some of the other women elevated to a plinth in the Graves goddess gallery, intelligent and classy.

Books
May 2011

Sounds exactly like opera to me

If you must slaughter the innocent, it is best if you do so in Italian, or better yet, Czech. But if there is no getting round the business, all you can do is extenuate it and hope you will somehow retain the audience’s sympathy by emphasising that well, yes, Myra is a child killer, but it’s not really her fault. Yeah, good luck with that one.

MusicOpera
February 2010

The man who almost wasn’t

Whatever the true reasons may be, Juan Pujol walked away from a comfortable life in a neutral country, and, acting entirely on his own, for no discernable personal motive, and certainly without being asked, convinced German military intelligence that he was not only anxious to hasten the Axis victory in Europe, but also in a position to do so.

Film
April 2009

The unquiet grave

During his final—for most Spaniards, long overdue—illness, Generalissimo Franco had St Teresa of Avila’s desiccated forearm at his bedside the whole while, and to this day, everyone mimes back-scratching whenever the subject is brought up.

September 2008

Mummy dearest

Hildegart’s tragedy may well come to occupy a niche of bizarre but instructive prominence in the intellectual history of the twentieth century.

July 2008

Canada’s Grand Old Man of Letters

Davies was a ‘character’ by conviction, at first styled in the fashion of his earliest creation, the harrumphing Samuel Marchbanks, echt outsider and purveyor of hilarious home truths to complacent Canadians.

Books
March 2008

The Nymphet and the Granny

All right: Dolly Haze was a victim — orphaned, abducted, sexually abused for months on end and deprived of her adolescence. Most of all, though, she was a victim of bad timing, having lived, suffered and died before it was commonplace to cash in on personal ordeals with ghostwritten memoirs plugged by Oprah and resold to Hollywood.

BooksFiction

Culture Wars was included in creativetourists’ Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs 2009.