The Art of Reading: UK limited edition

Dear bibliophiles of the UK: to celebrate Independent Bookshop Week (#IBW2017), The Art of Reading is now out in a limited signed and numbered edition. It's only available at independent bookshops, until the general release in August. The Art of Reading is not a 'how to' or another book about books. It's a companion to reading itself; an invitation to reflect on the reader's freedom, and on the rewards of reading more carefully. From the cover: We are not born readers, we learn to turn words into worlds. But why is fine writing lauded while excellent reading is ignored? In The Art of Reading, philosopher Damon Young reveals the pleasures of this intimate pursuit through a rich sample of li

Listen to love

I recently collaborated with Audible Australia to record a new essay on the philosophy of love. Prompted by recent (and sometimes absurd) debates about marriage equality, Audible have partnered with the Equality Campaign to record a free audiobook on love, romance, partnership and intimacy. A sample from my piece: I rarely gab at the cinema. But these words had me groaning aloud: ‘I'm not a smart man...but I know what love is.’ When Forrest Gump professed his adoration for Jenny over two decades ago, I got it. Honestly. Forrest was devoted: loyal, kind, brave. But his wisdom was maddening, a flat thumbtack of moral certainty with a story spun loosely around it. Come, audience –witness uncomp

Procrastination: the thief of time

I've an essay in the New Philosopher magazine: 'The Thief of Time'. Something of a companion to my book Distraction, this piece explores procrastination, and what it says about human time and value: If procrastination is the thief of time, then William James knew this criminal intimately—as a detective, not as an accessory to burglary. The philosopher and psychologist described one dilly-dallier doing everything but his job: stoking the fire, dusting specks, nudging around furniture, skimming pages from the library. He will ‘waste the morning anyhow… simply because the only thing he ought to attend to is the preparation of a noon-day lesson in formal logic which he detests.’ James argued t

Pure food

I've an essay in the latest New Philosopher magazine: "Even simple food is not simple". Beginning with the English travels of Italian author Giuseppe Lampedusa, I'm taking issue with the idea of "pure" food: food that is simple, authentic, somehow more real than other meals. A sample: Ninety years have passed since Lampedusa tripped to England’s north, but the sentiment is thoroughly familiar. He was eating what many today call “real food”. It comes with a list of adjectives: proper, authentic, pure, honest, simple. Obviously this changes by country: real food in York will not be that of Amsterdam or Taipei. The point is that some meals are more “true” than others, often those associated w

Holy pop culture legacy, Batman

In honour of famed Batman actor Adam West, here's my Meanjin essay on Batman '66 and the failure of DC's cinematic gloom universe: #batman #adamwest #DCcomics #batmanvsuperman #superheroes #comics

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