Those excellent readers, Bill and Joel, are joined by ‘one of the best essayists in America’ (the TLS's words, not mine; though I agree with them) Phil Christman, to talk about my The This, which is about hive minds, social media, Coleridge and, most importantly, GWF Hegel. It is, I can be straight with you, amazing to me. Listen and see, or hear, for yourself. I mean, amazing. Amazing!
I'll be honest: it took me several goes to listen to this. It starts with some healthy American praise, which of course made me pull a face like I was sucking a whole lemon, to the degree that I had to stop listening, more than once. What's the matter with these geezers? Can't they call me a cunt, even once, to put me at my ease? But eventually I was able to listen to it all. Some very perceptive and interesting things, here! I am, as the discussion suggests, a big KSR fan. I also liked the idea that Alan Jacobs, Francis Spufford (the patron saint of the podcast, it seems) and I end up ‘not quite constituting an ism’, which I think is right. I am very pleased to call Alan and Francis friends, but the three of us have in the past noted that there's a off-kilter tripod-solidity to our affinity: Francis and I are Brits where Alan is American; Francis and Alan are Christians where I'm not; Alan and I are football fans and Fancis isn't. It makes for, I think, a thoroughly robust friendship logic. But Francis and Alan are both amazing, eloquent and penetrating writers and I'm honoured to be bracketed in their company.
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