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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

Pulling the Plug

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The news this morning reports that North West water companies are to instigate a hosepipe ban from this coming Friday. Staying in Manchester at the moment, it is not surprising that they have had to resort to this measure for the first time in fourteen years. Coming across on the M62, more concrete than water is visible along the giant Scammonden Dam that runs parallel to the motorway. And, yesterday, we walked up from Dovestone reservoir to Chew reservoir higher up the valley.

Normally, this high up on an open moor, the reservoir should be full, sending a torrent of water down the great glacial grind of a valley to the larger Dovestone below. As it is, one could easily step across what is now little more than a stream. The sides of the reservoir reveal black slime and plastic bottles; plastic bags, now dried out, flutter in the breeze. This is the region's driest start to the year since 1929. Later on the walk, we have to cut across open moorland to reach another path. The peat - a great carbon sink - has the texture of dry sand, and is unbound by the sparse patches of dry grass; we send up whorls and miniature storms as we step across in our anxious walking boots.

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Posted by Alistair at 8:50 am


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