Jean-jacques rousseau

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

The 17th-century Huron chief Kondiaronk can still teach us valuable lessons

Ten years ago, David Graeber was a leading figure of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He and his fellow protesters camped out in Zucotti Park, storing $800,000 of donations in trash bags because they didn’t believe in banks. The American anthropologist and anarchist activist called this an experiment in ‘post-bureaucratic living’. But such politics made Graeber persona non grata at US universities, so he moved to Britain where, in 2013, he became a full professor at the LSE. There, until his death last year aged 59, he imagined anarchist utopias and indicted what he took to be an oxymoron: western civilisation. In Debt: The First 5,000 Years he called for