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John Kennedy Toole

Born on this day. Toole’s life and times is brilliantly set out in this bio on which a forthcoming bio-pic is being based. I also have an edited volume in the works dealing with several aspects of the novel and that should be published next summer or autumn. Butterfly in the TypewriterConfederacy of DuncesCory MacLauchlinhumourJohn Kennedy…

George Santayana

Born on this day: here are his SEP and IEP entries. Oddly enough neither lists Noël O’Sullivan’s nice little book, an overview by Max Teichmann here. “Catholic freethinker” was the playful label Bertrand Russell affixed to George Santayana, and a back-handed tribute to the readiness of the Spanish-American to examine, respectfully, many other systems of thought…

The Psychology of Chess

Fernand Gobet has a new book out that, as a (very rusty) chess player, has piqued my interest. As a cognitive scientist and a highly skilled player himself, there are few (if any) better placed than Fernand to write on this topic. Visitors to this site might recall Fernand’s excellent essay on Herb Simon. Here is…

Mishima’s The Frolic of the Beasts

Here is the very excellent Damian Flanagan’s report on Andrew Clare’s recently published (first) English translation of The Frolic of the Beasts. Today marks the death of Mishima. (For those who have yet to discover Mishima, beware! There is a lot of maleducated journalistic tripe out there). For a high-profile author like Mishima, it’s surprising how…

From Mishima with love

Here’s another somewhat pretentious Johnny-come-lately review of Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters but fortunately there is this little nugget of a footnote to Mishima’s life. JapanMishima: A Life in Four ChaptersPaul Schraderphilosophical cinemaphilosophical literatureYukio Mishima

Kafka’s Last Trial

Christoph Irmscher reviews the newly published book by Benjamin Balint — Kafka’s Last Trial — that sets out the tortuous fate of Kafka’s literary estate. Benjamin BalintFranz KafkaMax Brodphilosophical literature