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Can you lend me 50 pounds to mend the shed?


A friend of mine’s wife just sold the family copy of McElligot’s Pool for $450 via the Internet, apparently to someone who was desperate to get a copy before the government book burners arrive.

I’m going to have to mark this one down under “the system works.”

Anyhoo, one thing all this nonsense reminds me of is that writers and artists of every kind whose work survives them (a tiny percentage of all such people obviously) are constantly subject to historical re-evaluation, often in drastic ways.

For example, in a Western intellectual context the three biggest figures from the late 19th early 20th century were clearly Marx, Freud, and Darwin.

Darwin’s current reputation is higher than its ever been, while Marx’s is down somewhat from its peak although he’s still considered an extremely important figure for all kinds of reasons.

As for Freud, has any other once-towering intellectual figure suffered as catastrophic a decline? And if that’s “cancel culture,” then I suppose we need a good deal more of it.

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