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The Pequod
Dr Alistair Brown | Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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New Essay

Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It seems paradoxical to suggest that any dictionary or account of national history, sport, literature, art, politics, biography can be securely objective; that it can escape the perils of patriotism, implicit in such a project, in wanting to claim for the country in which it was produced, and with which it is concerned, the continuing vitality of lives whose common link is their happy coincidence within national boundaries over an extended period of time. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is, therefore, an intrinsically risky venture, promising by the word 'dictionary' an authoritative account of British history which must, by the terms it has set for itself, largely suppress foreign-language voices, other nationalities, and which by definition cannot objectively and fairly represent the impact of other nations on the evolution of its particular national narrative. However, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, whilst it cannot avoid this issue, offers new, non-ideological ways of reading history...

Read the rest of this Review of The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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Posted by Alistair at 2:40 pm


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