Susan sontag

In the grip of apocalypse angst

You have to love a book about the end of the world in which the first two references are to Saul Bellow’s Herzog and the HBO series The White Lotus, a high/low combo that preps us for authorial omniscience. In the next few paragraphs we get Marc Maron, Sally Rooney and Frank Kermode. Buckle up, kids, a cultural whirlwind is coming! The day of judgment is at hand, and the all-knowing Dorian Lynskey, who seems to have doomscrolled through every card catalogue on the planet, is just the person to provide live commentary. A capacious cultural history of ‘apocalyptic angst’, his Everything Must Go will make you happy to be

Liberate yourself from sexual repression the Wilhelm Reich way

When she was 22, Olivia Laing had a sensual epiphany in Brighton. She’d been drawn into a herbalist’s massage parlour by the sign outside claiming that headaches, anger, depression and colds — in fact any symptoms at all — were caused by stuck energy from past traumas that body psychotherapy could release. ‘The idea of the body as a storage unit for emotional distress excited me,’ she writes. Just as well she didn’t present with cancer or the symptoms of Covid. At the time, Laing’s body was, she thought, a cataclysm of inaccessible traumas: ‘I was so rigid and stiff I flinched when anyone touched me, like a mousetrap going