Half-Hope, Binding, Incarceration, Crime Writing, Celebrity

A weekly selection of fine writing from Conked.


Kathleen Rooney Shares How She’s Got Half Hope

Kim Brooks | Los Angeles Review of Books | 16 OCT, 2020

Always drawn to the juxtaposition of light and dark and the coexistence of hope and despair, Kathleen has half-hope and is drawn to characters who do too: they really desire things, but come to have a dawning awareness that their desires may go unfulfilled. In her novel Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey she explores World War I through the battlefield connection between a man and a carrier pigeon. (2,800 words)

Types of Binding

algekalipso | Qualia Computing | 17 OCT 2020

Binding is a form of co-consciousness between disparate parts of the brain: we both see and hear an orchestra. Binding allows the executive processes in our brains to operate on a large, holistic model of the world: a form of reality mirroring. When this breaks down a person presented with a paint brush will see the disparate parts, but not the whole. Not mentioned, but this may be a key part of the breakdown that takes place in the brains of dementia sufferers: they are unable to connect the dots. (1,050 words)

A Radically Different Way to Look at Incarceration

Samantha N. Sheppard | The Atlantic | 17 OCT 2020

Time itself is a medium through which to examine the conditions for the incarcerated and their loves ones left behind. Time, a moving documentary, reframes our perception of mass-incarceration and its effects. “Prison is not a building ‘over there’, but a set of relationships that undermine rather than stabilise everyday lives everywhere.” - Ruth Wilson Gilmore. (1,800 words)

How a Great Crime Writer Came to Imitate Himself

Paul Franz | The Atlantic | 22 OCT 2020

“The dullest object could, for him, flare into sudden significance, could throb in the sudden awareness of itself. There were clues, and he was the detector.” John Banville’s Snow provides an alternative to the sense of completion a conventional crime novel exudes. Instead, he focusing on the sense of awful and immediate reality that makes the book so startling, so unsettling, and so convincing. (1,900 words)

A Grim Purgatory: On Greg Jenner’s History of Celebrity

Aida Amoako | LA Review of Books | 22 OCT 2020

Greg Jenner’s Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen is not a tut-tutting book about 21st-century celebrity culture. Rather, it is a gambol through history that seeks to disillusion us of the idea that celebrity is a solely hyper-modern phenomenon. (2,300 words)


“Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I will move the earth.”

― Archimedes

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Rand Leeb-du Toit, Conkerer

Beryl Leeb-du Toit, Publisher

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