BS Johnson

Me & Mr Coe

Has He Reached ‘National Treasure’ Status? They always say it about Alan Bennett, although his field of interest, outside of his wonderful diaries and his fascination with Kafka, eventually returned to being more parochial. Mr Jonathan Coe is another matter entirely. He eschews intellectual chilliness at the risk of being excluded from the so-called literary […]

Wrong End of the Shelf: Strange Books I Love

Why we should be seduced away from the reading mainstream. For me it started with the plotless symbolist novel ‘À Rebours’ by Joris-Karl Huysmans, in which the hero locks himself away in his house near Fontenay to live in artificial decadence rather than follow the natural order. The strangest thing that happens in the (non) narrative […]

Scatterbrain

I received an online comment from someone who admired my ‘eclectic mind’, to which I replied that I was simply a scatterbrain. The brain is a selective organ. Some receive data but don’t sense atmospheres, others over-empathise without understanding facts. It seems that when we are young we’re generally emotional and impulsive, and as we […]