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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

Proust's Subject

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Continuing my occasional self-help series on great writers who struggled to write (which began with Hugh Trevor-Roper), I was pleased today to find the following quote from Proust:
Since I wished, some day, to become a writer, it was time I knew what I was going to write. But as soon as I asked myself the question, trying to find some subject … my mind would cease to function, my consciousness would be faced with a blank, I would feel either that I was wholly devoid of talent or that perhaps a malady of the brain was hindering its development.
I know how you feel, mate, as I sit procrastinating at my computer with numerous projects or subjects I feel I should be capable of writing on before the start of term, but which seemingly convert into large, vacant spaces the moment I try to think of them. But at least you managed to make up for lost time in the end; as for me, I only have three weeks until the start of the teaching year in which to get any serious writing done.

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Posted by Alistair at 12:11 pm


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