≠≠≠≠≠w.g. sebald

A lost brother: My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is, by Paul Stanbridge, reviewed

Grief leads us down some strange roads. Few, though, can be as peculiar as those charted by Paul Stanbridge in his auto-fictional My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is. This singular and striking book follows a narrator (the extent to which this figure overlaps with Stanbridge is kept teasingly obscure) mourning the suicide of his brother, an isolated, eccentric mathematician. Yet, while it contains passages of raw tribute, it is a self-consciously tricksy narrative. Stanbridge circles around his brother’s death via some of history’s more overgrown byways, such as ‘Clever Hans’, the mathematical horse, locked-in syndrome and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s enthusiastic onanism. There’s a suggestion of Olga Tokarczuk’s novel Flights to