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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

Home of the Coal Tzar

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Spent yesterday, in the late-melting snows of March, walking around the grounds of Gibside Hall. Despite the beautiful setting above the River Derwent, with long, sweeping coach drives and deep forests, the whiff of decay hangs indelibly - but in a quite tranquil way - in the air.
Photograph of a forest slope, covered in snow, reflected in a pond at the bottom
Gibside was originally the estate of 18th century coal owner George Bowes. The buildings scattered across his landscaped grounds include an orangery, chapel, the house and, as seen in this photo, a grand banqueting hall set above this tranquil lake. But today, the house is a brown shell, whilst the information boards scattered about - written in the voices of the past inhabitants - recall the grand days of entertainment and luxury from which all this place (with the exception of the chapel, which is used for weddings) has fallen.

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Posted by Alistair at 2:51 pm


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