I’m Not a ‘Literary Critic’

Recently, I’ve been re-reading Aimé Césaire’s A Notebook of A Return to the Native Land (1947). André Breton’s introduction to the 1947 edition, ‘A Great Black Poet’, has been of particular interest (as well as nauseous reading). Despite being almost crowded out by the condescension of Breton’s voyeurism, his introduction does demonstrate a persistently instrumentalist …

Exhaustion Economy: Capitalepsy and Restorative Passivity

If capitalepsy is to be a viable, functional term in the way I think it can be — as a shorthand for the psychosocial condition of 21C cultural production and working life — it needs to be situated correctly in the cultural and political history of Britain and New Labour.

Diagnostic Digressions, or The Tyranny of the Imagined Normie.

The final passage of my Autism-ADHD diagnostic report. Alexithymia has some benefits. Or, at least one. When I say I don’t know how something makes me feel, I know that I’m telling the truth. I don’t have uncomplicated access to my feelings. If I ‘know’ how I feel, it’s through hindsight and the analysis of …

Joy Division and the Northern Imaginary: The Diagrammatic Iconicity of ‘Disorder’

Introduction During the fin de siècle of the twentieth century, the North of England took on immense significance in global popular culture, with Manchester in particular providing the likes of The Fall, The Smiths, The Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses and, the focus of this essay, Joy Division. The perceived relationship between Joy …

A Footnote on Freedom: Camus and Fisher in a Paradise Lost

A response to a colleague’s question ‘What is freedom to you?’ It started as a tweet and ended up becoming a rambling engagement with the deserts of freedom in the work of John Milton, Mark Fisher, and Albert Camus.

‘Lost my shape / Trying to act casual!’: Autism and HE.

I had to develop my own ways of dealing with being different. By the time I had got to university I’d come up with a strategy, and the strategy was really simple: don’t interact with people of your own age, just turn up, get straight As, and I wouldn’t speak to anyone.”Chris Packham in Asperger’s …