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Lars Iyer

Forfatter af Spurious

9 Works 501 Members 29 Reviews 2 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Lars Iyer is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.

Omfatter også følgende navne: Lars Lyer, Lars Iyer


Værker af Lars Iyer

Spurious (2011) 188 eksemplarer
Wittgenstein Jr (2000) 93 eksemplarer
Dogma (2012) 88 eksemplarer
Exodous (2013) 66 eksemplarer
Nietzsche and the Burbs (2019) 41 eksemplarer
My Weil (2023) 12 eksemplarer
Magma : spurious (2013) 1 eksemplar

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Another loopy novel about philosophers from philosophy professor Iyer. What exactly is he getting at with these novels, which can be said to form a one-man genre at this point? Could all be a mere lark, poking silly fun at himself and his brethren. Could be using humor and absurdity as a serious critique of the vacuity of contemporary Western intellectual thought. Could be whichever option you please.

Again we have the philosophy professor, and students this time, vainly searching for Thought, or, since they know themselves incapable of it, for a Leader capable of Thought to which to attach themselves. And we have the insults, Iyer's greatest gift.
The philosopher looks different from other people, Wittgenstein says. The philosopher's face has secrets. Hiding places. The philosopher is incapable of a simple smile. There are no signs of philosophy in our faces, he says, looking round the class.
He knows the Cambridge student is encouraged to talk, he says. He knows the Cambridge student is to be treated as an intellectual partner, even as an intellectual equal, he says. He knows he's supposed to take heed of whatever nonsense the Cambridge student utters. He knows he's supposed to say interesting to even the most fatuous point.

He knows he's supposed to glory in the very fact that we can speak, that we say anything at all, that we've even turned up for class, he says... He watches our faces, he says. He looks for signs of understanding. But what does he see? Nothing! Nothing!
I imagine all of Iyer's real-life students getting all squirmy reading this. Is he serious? Is he having us on? You'd suspect the latter, I would think, but be unable to disprove the former to your complete satisfaction.

The insults and humor are fine, but I do find that they get stretched rather thin in an Iyer novel. For me. Something like having two minutes of interesting and exciting music bulked up with uninteresting filler to make a six minute song.

-- In-Reading Passage Noted --
The eye is only distracted by beauty. It is only deceived by beauty. Because the old alliance between beauty and goodness has long been broken, and the treaty between beauty and truth was torn up some time ago.
… (mere)
lelandleslie | 7 andre anmeldelser | Feb 24, 2024 |
To paraphrase Seinfeld, "It's a book about Nothing!" Okay, not exactly, it's a book about two academics, philosophers, who want to have Thoughts, and live in the world of Ideas, only they're too stupid, they realize, they know this, they can't accomplish anything, so the one verbally abuses the other to delightful effect, and they seek a Leader who can provide them Thoughts, only whenever they find one they scare him away by telling him they're his followers, so mostly they try to read books which they don't understand, and discuss the apocalypse and the Messiah, and try to look religious since they unfortunately lack all religious belief ("Nothing is more boring than an atheist", laments W.), and drink a lot of gin.

It's the sort of book that I'd say could be 30 pages or 300 pages, no matter. The full idea can be got across in 30, but equally it could go on much longer. Indefinitely really. Such is the liberation of plotlessness, as long as it is amusing. And this is fairly amusing, though I admit, I like Story. I like Plot. So I'm giving it 3 stars, though I'm also going to start the second book in this trilogy without hesitation.

And that's not exactly true either, there is a nod to Plot, in that Lars's apartment is being taken over by Damp. A mysterious damp that he muses may be a living entity, expressing itself through his dripping walls and ceilings. None of the experts he calls in can find the cause of this damp, and it has a Kafkaesque ring to it, who, naturally, is one of our heroes' heroes.
… (mere)
lelandleslie | 10 andre anmeldelser | Feb 24, 2024 |
Further adventures of Lars and W., Britain's most misanthropic and despairing professors of philosophy. Perhaps it was a mistake on my part to read this right after reading Spurious, the first novel in this trilogy of eruditely absurdist slagging off. About halfway through I started to find this getting tiresome, and not at all as amusing as I found Spurious. Perhaps my general attitude shifted. Or perhaps the book really did tail off. At any rate, all my notes came from the first half of the novel, and looking at them now I have to admit this is pretty good stuff:
But what would I know of all that? There's no tenderness in me, W. says. Lust, yes. A kind of animal craving. Foam on the lips. I'm like one of those monkeys in the zoo with an inflamed arse - what are they called? Oh yes, mandrills. I'm the mandrill of romance, W. says.
In the end, I excel at only three things, W. says: smut, chimp noises and made-up German. That's all my scholarship has amounted to.
Sometimes, in my company, W. feels like Jane Goodall, the one who did all that work with chimps.
Glee: that's what W. always sees on my face. That I'm still alive, that I can still continue, from moment to moment: that's enough for me, W. says. He supposes it has to be.
When not insulting Lars, on the evidence of these two novels his primary activity, W. joins with Lars in a sparsely attended speaking engagement in America, founding a philosophical movement called Dogma which collects no followers, drinking with Lars in pubs and informing the working class blokes they find there about the imminent apocalypse, and fighting his university to avoid redundancy (one of the all time great Brit euphamisms, there). Lars, for his part, turns his attention from fighting the takeover of his flat by Damp to fighting the takeover of his flat by rats. And listening to Jandek. Lord help him.
… (mere)
lelandleslie | 5 andre anmeldelser | Feb 24, 2024 |
So odd...and interesting...just odd.

If you've ever seen the movie Withnail and I, you know just how dysfunctional and one sided a relationship can get. This is like that, but sort of meaner. Yet still funny.

Oh, and must not forget the overwhelmingly damp flat.

So, so, odd.
beentsy | 10 andre anmeldelser | Aug 12, 2023 |



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