Author Archives: Anthony

About Anthony

Like all those possessing a library, Aurelian was aware that he was guilty of not knowing his in its entirety.

Brigid Brophy’s The Snow Ball

When William James describes consciousness as something that “does not appear to itself chopped up in bits” and uses the metaphor “stream of thought” I assume he refers to multiple parts joined together. Each part is aroused by a situation or … Continue reading

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Anna’s Fantastic Face

The following extended passage is from Brigid Brophy’s The Snow Ball. I doubt that I’ve read a better description of a face anywhere; it improves on Jane Austin with just a smidgen of Oscar Wilde. If I never read another … Continue reading

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Discovering Brigid Brophy

So far, this year’s reading has been remarkable. Not only some extraordinarily good first works, some singular nonfiction, and the discovery of no less than three writers to add to my list of old chestnuts, those favourites I will probably read in … Continue reading

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How Literature Moves Us and Why

How do literary works move us and why? In Uses of Literature, Rita Felski proposed a taxonomy to describe this engagement and how certain texts may trigger recognition, absorption or disorientation. Any attempt to classify our affective response to particular … Continue reading

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Privileges of Fiction (Rita Felski, Theory Without a Capital T)

Rita Felski’s The Limits of Critique, like her Uses of Literature, is admirably clear and accessible but the former is aimed primarily at an academic audience. I don’t have, nor wish to acquire an insider’s perspective of recent debates in American academic cliques about … Continue reading

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We shortchange the significance of art by focusing on the “de” prefix (its power to demystify, destabilise, denaturalise) at the expense of the “re” prefix: its ability to recontexualise, reconfigure, or recharge perception. Works of art do not only subvert … Continue reading

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Jessa Crispin’s The Dead Ladies Project

Somewhere around St. Petersburg and W. Somerset Maugham, it became clear that The Dead Ladies Project isn’t to be shoehorned into any of the recognisable classifications that exist for contemporary memoirs. Superficially, The Dead Ladies Project is a meandering meditation about a Grand Journey … Continue reading

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Sigrid Hjertén

Sigrid Hjertén. 27 October 1885 – 24 March 1948 Sigrid Hjertén’s work fascinated me when I came across it first in Stockholm, the sensuality of her studies and the way she uses colour. I do wish one of London’s galleries … Continue reading

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Privileges of Fiction (Kundera)

The space defined by Milan Kundera’s The Curtain is one that privileges the novel to an extraordinary degree, attributing it to a position distinct from not only other forms of art, but also as a reflection on existence that informs philosophical … Continue reading

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Drowsy Rambling about Kundera and Adorno

It might be that Milan Kundera’s Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts is one of the best books I have read on the art of the novel. I pause at the word “read,” which feels inadequate because I immerse … Continue reading

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