Category Archives: books

Conscience and the Perfection of Religion (Notes on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit §§677-678)

Conscience holds the moral truth within itself. Instead of waiting for the day of judgement, conscience judges its own actions in the here and now. But conscience is fooling itself. The universal law that the moral self-consciousness holds within itself, … Continue reading

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Notes on Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin

The sun is shining and Berlin belongs to Hitler, is the almost final thought of Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin. Christopher catches his reflection in a shop window and is horrified to see that he is smiling: sunshine is still … Continue reading

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Notes on David S. Wills: Burroughs on Civilisation, Hallucination, and Telepathy

For William Burroughs, the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a dividing point in history, marking the moment that Western civilisation finally ended. Could you really call a people capable of such an atrocity “civilised”? And so without civilisation, … Continue reading

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Beats and Hippos

And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks is an early work of the Beat Generation, written in the winter of 1944-45 by William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac together, or separately in that they take it in turns throughout the … Continue reading

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Meaningless to Whom, Exactly?

An artist is someone who sees something that others don’t. And then makes that thing visible, in their work, for others to see. What the artist sees is something that did not exist before it was observed by the artist. … Continue reading

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Scrooge

“ … It was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.” Christmas would also be a serious time, for Scrooge. He would remember that night of his sudden … Continue reading

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The Golden Age

The ideal is always something inhuman: “These men were the so-called golden race, subjects of Cronus, who lived without cares or labour, eating only acorns, wild fruit, and honey that dripped from the trees, drinking the milk of sheep and … Continue reading

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Religion, Magic, and Science

It’s useless to try to define something like religion. James Frazer says all he’ll do is say what he means by it, and then try to be consistent in using the term throughout his work. By “religion”, Frazer means A … Continue reading

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You must be ecstatic

In The Night Manager, Madame Latulipe asks Jonathan if he is in love. “Not that I am aware, madame,” he replies. “You are unhappy? You are lonely?” “I am blissfully content.” “But to be content is not enough! You must … Continue reading

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The Enjoyment in Writing

Past, present, and future are bound together when Henry Miller is writing. “The past is the springboard, the present the melting pot, and the future the delectation.” The past is the springboard because it is from the memories of his … Continue reading

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