He had brought a large map representing the sea, Without the least vestige of land: And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be A map they could all understand. … A perfect and absolute blank!   Lewis Carroll The Hunting of the Snark (1876)  

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Edouard Louis

I have yet to read any of Edouard Louis’ books, but I still found this interview: Fact or fiction: autobiographical novels with Édouard Louis – books podcast very interesting & thought provoking. I’ve rarely heard any contemporary writer – or thinker – reflect in a clearer and more precise language on the relationship between identity and…

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Notes on Melancholy, part 4

In my first note on melancholy I quoted the following question raised by Jacky Bowring, she asked: How can things that are sorrowful be beautiful? Louise Glück’s First Snow is not a theoretical answer, but a wonderful demonstration of something deeply sorrowful becoming almost unbearably beautiful – First Snow  by Louise Glück  Like a child, the earth’s going to…

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More or less profound feelings

or: who am I to talk about Anxiety …? further notes on anxiety and fear Notes based on Sianne Ngai’s Ugly Feelings From chapter 5. Anxiety Anxiety has gradually replaced melancholia as the intellectual’s signature sensibility, indeed becoming the distinctive “feeling-tone” of intellectual inquiry itself.  Moreover, anxiety has a history of being gendered, not least through the influence of psychoanalysis, where the centrality of…

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A note to Harold:

Harold asks: Do you read that as Beckett saying that he is writing not from “nothingness” in an existential sense but from “a place without intellect or the observation that could declare something to be ‘nothing’ or ‘something’”? That latter seems likely. I’m not sure if I quite understand your question (and this uncertainty of…

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