Van Ness Parsons pyramid

I was walking home through Clinton Hill when I met a wizard. He wore a conical straw hat and a cloak of many colors and was in the process of casting a spell, squatting down by the foundation stone of the Orient Temple, speaking an incantation and waving a burning twist of sage. He looked as if

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What happens after the end? Since the portrayals of world-destroying deluges in early writings (“Gilgamesh,” the Matsya Purana, Genesis, the “Timaeus”), narratives of apocalypse have structured our understanding of time and history. Religious eschatology looks to the end of days as a prelude to

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Dune cover

It’s 50 years since the publication of Frank Herbert’s Dune. To celebrate the anniversary of one of the great SF novels, I wrote an essay for The Guardian about beach grass, Bedouin, Orientalism

After the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, I wrote about my reaction for The Guardian.  

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Ursula Le Guin


Last night (November 19th) Ursula Le Guin accepted the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. 'I think hard times are coming', she said in her acceptance speech, ' when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how

Christian schoolbus propaganda, Mississippi

Of all the jargon words that get thrown around in British political discourse, "faith" may be the one from which I feel most alienated. If you listen to politicians, "faith" seems to be a nebulous goodness, a state of mind that leads citizens to behave in certain convenient ways. The faithful

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Walt Whitman

'Formally “10:04” belongs to an emerging genre, the novel after Sebald, its 19th-century furniture of plot and character dissolved into a series of passages, held together by occasional photographs and a subjectivity that hovers close to (but is never quite identical with) the subjectivity of

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This is not boring in the way bad narrative is boring; it is boring in the way life is boring, and somehow, almost perversely, that is a surprising thing to see on the page. 

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Miss Pipi's Blue Tale

[This text was written for the Camden Arts Centre's Exhibition: 'We at Camden Arts Centre are Exceedingly Proud to Present an Exhibition of Capable Artworks by the Notable Hand of the Celebrated American, Kara Elizabeth Walker, Negress.' up from

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Anti corruption demo

'For this displaced member of the Nigerian elite, Lagos is the opposite of an open city. His decision to leave, to make himself a cosmopolitan, in other words to have aerials instead of roots, has closed it off definitively.'

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