Coronavirus lockdown has affected all of us, in so many ways.  Trying to stay active is a key to surviving with your mental health intact.

For people like myself, who thrive on reporting local events taking place in my adopted city, my spiritual home Edinburgh, this is particularly troublesome.  It has been a tough couple of months unable to roam around the cityscape enjoying the the myriad of cultural activities presented to local and tourist alike.

I wouldn’t normally be showcasing an organisation that operate out of London, but during the pandemic this group have switched operations online, and I firmly believe with so much free time we should look to use this time productively, expand ourselves, just a little more than we would normally.  

The pressures of daily life result in us often taking the easy route to entertain ourselves but with such time to explore new avenues why not see what you can find?

I discovered THE HOW TO ACADEMY.  Usually they present a roster of important names from diverse fields such as Nobel laureates, Pulitzer prize winners, and leading academics who present a talk on certain subjects in London.

Presently though all events are online, and many have been created specifically for the global crisis we are amid today.

I have decided during the pandemic to open to a couple of classic writers and attempt to read some challenging literature, so decided that the online talk WILL SELF TEACHES KAFKA would be a good starting point.

Presented by eminent author Self, he discusses his love for the Jewish German/Czech writer Franz Kafka and how on his road to becoming an author Self read The Metamorphosis, probably Kafkas best known literature.

As you would expect from a Will Self talk the man engages passionately and verbosely about his subject, key passages which resonated with him, and urged us to read a lesser known story by Kafka, ‘Hunter Gracchus’ a poignant tale of a dead man locked out of the afterlife therefore consigned to roam on earth for eternity.

Many pundits label Kafka as a great philosopher, particularly in the context of what happened to the Jews in his homeland shortly after his death prior to the second world war, but Self retorts that Kafka was so attuned to the human condition he can’t help but be prophetic.

A fascinating hour.  But if that’s not for you check out the many varied online talks available and stretch yourself a little more than usual.

See website howtoacademy.com for more.

– Steve Heald