Tag archive: Act 1

a necessary stage – nihilism

[3, 13] Have we all become Akaky Akakievichs? – Akaky Akakievich is the central character in Gogol’s The Overcoat (1999). This story is a short darkly comic, pre-Kafkaesque, story about a lowly civil servant, mocked, pitied or disregarded by everyone… continue reading »

The Republic of Reason never arrived

[3, 11] Everyone’s a policeman. Everyone’s policing their own behaviour. Why? There’s no God to do it for us. – Kant wrote a short essay “What is Enlightenment?” (2009) in which he described a human mind that relied on some… continue reading »

vast labyrinthine bureaucracy

[3, 4] vast labyrinthine bureaucracy – an allusion to Kafka’s The Trial (2009c). In this book the central character, Josef K, wakes up one morning to be informed he has been arrested. He does not know why and spends the… continue reading »

Wish You Were Here

[2, 26] A walk-on part in a television show –  a further allusion to the song ‘Wish You Were Here’ (Pink Floyd, 1975). The lyric runs like this: “Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a… continue reading »

Corruption of Science

[2, 24] science…has also been perverted, corrupted…like Faust. Sold its soul. For what? – What is the soul of science? William Blake, in his famous picture of Newton “was critical of reductive scientific thought” (Blake, 1795) and accused the development… continue reading »

Pragmatism and Subservience

[2, 19] We’ve had a century of pragmatism. It’s made us deeply subservient to orthodoxies – This characterization is not a critique of Peirce (1992, 1998) or James (2000) but of the neo-pragmatic movement under Rorty (1990). Although Rorty was… continue reading »

How Small A Thought

[2, 5] to take the smallest fragment to make a whole life – an allusion to Wittgenstein (1998): “How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life”. Steve Reich (2005) took this line and put it to music… continue reading »

A Heap Of Broken Images

[2, 3] wandering amongst the dead earth and rubble An allusion to The Wasteland (Eliot, 1974): “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you… continue reading »

Lost Souls

[1, 19] re-treading the same ground One of the first allusions to the song ‘Wish You Were Here’ (Pink Floyd, 1975). The lyric runs like this: “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, running… continue reading »