“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.” –Terry Pratchett, Hogfather (London: Corgi, 1997), p. 422 This blog has recently undergone a move from WordPress.com to a real domain, as well as a re-design that includes a new name – something more vivid and less technical than ‘Neo-Historical … Read more
Last week Thursday I flew from Cardiff back to the Netherlands, where I’ll be whiling away the holidays with my partner. It’s not all oliebollen and ice skating, though. I am determined that there will be at least some thesis work conducted during this break. On Friday (the day after I arrived) I made a trip into Amsterdam … Read more
Today marks the very first Jane Austen Day – which would also be the author’s 239th birthday were she still alive. While a lot of websites have been celebrating by listing 30 tips from Jane Austen for a successful life (“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be … Read more
The second round of the books I ordered from the library have now arrived, and two of them were in hardcover no less. Not something you see every day, and certainly not in the “popular fiction” realm of theory, which tends to be relegated to trade paperback – not too shabby, but not quite as … Read more
In this initial phase of my full-time PhD research I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Fortunately Cardiff University’s library has a massive selection of books in my field, specifically on the Gothic and on neo-Victorian fiction. They were missing a handful of books that I really felt I needed, so about a month ago … Read more
Every piece of research needs to have goals, and mine has two. The problem with these goals is that they’re kind of difficult to understand unless you explain one term: posthumanism. This term is tricky to approach as well, because it actually has two meanings. One of the meanings has to do with altering humanity through technology, with the idea … Read more
So as of this week I’m a freshly minted PhD candidate. This means I’m finally going to have to get around to putting all those thoughts and scribbles I’ve been accumulating over the last couple of years into what is essentially a book on monsters. In the PhD application I just submitted to the Amsterdam School … Read more
Today I saw this newly-viral video of a tiny hamster eating a tiny burrito on Gizmodo:
As with all videos of animals who think they’re people, I was sold. The video wasn’t what interested me the most, though. In the comments section, the following exchange took place between the post author and a random commentator:
I laughed (inside, not out loud) as I read that, but then I started wondering whether that could ever happen, and if so, what it would take to actually get everyone who saw that thing to abandon the internet forever. Would it be something great, or something from a Brave New World-esque dystopia?
For a second, I could virtually taste the relief I would feel to know that “It’s all done now”. I only wish a thousand dancing hamsters could make it happen.
Artist Travis Louie paints some of my favourite portraits. Part Victorian photography, part monster mashup—no matter how hard I believe that his fantastical creations never actually existed, looking into their eyes I can never quite shake the feeling that they’re still out there somewhere, taking selfies and giving the paleo diet a go.