Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘She-Thing

Sunday Night Lights

with 5 comments

* The Wrong Side of the Heart: this weekend’s dose of vintage movie poster greatness.

* AskMetaFilter has all the huge-nerd podcasts I crave.

Dr. Metzinger first proposes his thesis: there is no such thing as the self. The subjective sense of being a conscious person – the sense of being a self that is distinct from the body and present in a single, unified reality – is not a separate, coherent brain function but rather the result of many different systems running at the same time. I was telling you people this years ago!

* Four lesser-known members of the Fantastic Four. I’d never even heard of She-Thing.

* Pension war update: “…public employees and their dominance of blue states is going to be the biggest issue in this country for the next several years.”

* Marco Roth vs. the “neuronovel.”

The last dozen years or so have seen the emergence of a new strain within the Anglo-American novel. What has been variously referred to as the novel of consciousness or the psychological or confessional novel—the novel, at any rate, about the workings of a mind—has transformed itself into the neurological novel, wherein the mind becomes the brain. Since 1997, readers have encountered, in rough chronological order, Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love (de Clérambault’s syndrome, complete with an appended case history by a fictional “presiding psychiatrist” and a useful bibliography), Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn (Tourette’s syndrome), Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (autism), Richard Powers’s The Echomaker (facial agnosia, Capgras syndrome), McEwan again with Saturday (Huntington’s disease, as diagnosed by the neurosurgeon protagonist), Atmospheric Disturbances (Capgras syndrome again) by a medical school graduate, Rivka Galchen, and John Wray’s Lowboy (paranoid schizophrenia). And these are just a selection of recently published titles in “literary fiction.” There are also many recent genre novels, mostly thrillers, of amnesia, bipolar disorder, and multiple personality disorder. As young writers in Balzac walk around Paris pitching historical novels with titles like The Archer of Charles IX, in imitation of Walter Scott, today an aspiring novelist might seek his subject matter in a neglected corner or along some new frontier of neurology. 

Via MeFi, which also links to the Jonah Lehrer’s response.

* And what Harlan Ellison makes, the world takes. Also via MeFi.