Circe nodded. “I see the problem Spode. You know… the usual advice here is
that you are supposed to take the battering because it’s better to be battered than to be dead, right?”
“Is that what they say?”
“That’s what they have been saying forever, Spode. Think about it. It’s better to
be alive and hurting than a zombie.”
“Yes it is. And you know it is.”
Chapter 13 of EJ Spode’s novel The Oddity
Brain research can make no contribution to traditional philosophical questions. These are conceptual, not empirical, and therefore no empirical discovery can shed light on the issues they involve.
But even more specific, non-conceptual questions that can be asked by neuroscientists sometimes involve problematic conceptual assumptions which might undermine them. I think the search for a brain correlate of voluntary action is one such case.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Hanoch Ben-Yam.
These are caricatures by dint of their very likeness, tautologies of themselves, buckled to the fast dialogue and tic tac caustic critique, working a humour pitched towards a knowing affection for its sources and illustrious originals whilst simultaneously pointing pointingly to their defects. Knowing the detectives and their shows you’re ready for the shoe-horned well-known premises, the outsider cop and his sidekick buddy and all that jazz where a fast and hilariously layered plot makes its contrivance answer all purposes and understand each swift visual interruption and eruption that the ‘Scotland Yardie’ graphic novel represents.
Richard Marshall reviews Bobby Joseph and Joseph Samuels’ Scotland Yardie graphic novel.
At its best, Patricide is devastating, thanks to Foy’s hyper-detailed account of Pat as it follows him from a broken childhood through a debauched adolescence and concludes, in adulthood, with his search for understanding and forgiveness. Throughout, Foy wades through the complexities of a damaged life behind closed doors, siphoning out the marrow of these experiences beyond the margins that are so often not discussed and even actively forgotten.
Saxon Baird reviews Patricide by D. Foy.
Modernity, in its glitz and horror, offers no redemption — just more of itself, clickbait and all. For reactionaries like Don Quijote, there is no way back. And few actually advocate turning back the clock, a fool’s errand not even Don Quijote, Knight of the Sorrowful Face, would undertake. They give themselves over to a nostalgic brand of hope the Portuguese call saudade, “a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist”. Pining for what we don’t have or can’t be, reactionaries are each of us, despairing of a future that ain’t what it used to be.
Chris Kark reviews Mark Lilla‘s The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction.
I taste the crab. I lick them too get that kick of seasoning at the back of the throat and in the nasal cavity and the sweet kick of remembering the taste of its meat on my tongue. The taste of the crab is the taste of the sea, a taste of the crab is the taste of family, death and a warning from the sea. A lick of shell makes you taste the sea waving, swinging a bell.
By Jen Calleja.
For those of us who got word of the book from farther afield, the quiet success of Solar Bones also helps us look closely at the resurgent interest in independent literary publishing. The novel has been widely praised as the sort of achieved work that only a boutique outlet like Dublin’s Tramp Press, in this case, would nurture and promote. But what is it that gives a book like Solar Bones its vanguard bona fides, aside from an obvious measure of formal risk-taking?
Jeanne-Marie Jackson reviews Solar Bones by Mike McCormack.
I grabbed my coat mid-film and made my way downhill at a brisk pace. The wind was against me; I had to pull my collar right up. I went to the butcher’s first as I had a funny feeling that the florist would be the one with the all-important news. I had to get the sequence right.
By Christian Brookland.
-umbra to p
cut of wood
n’t you like
now now n
New poetry by Greg Nissan.
In his book Ghosts Of My Life he eloquently reframed the work of artists such as Joy Division and Burial to try and understand (and to an extent lament) the lost futures portrayed their work. Neoliberal policies deny the realisation of alternative futures, instead forcing a recreation of past moments until they become stultifying.
Guy Mankowski on the polemical message of the late Mark Fisher.