4 thoughts on “The Cockroach – Ian McEwan



    “a mosaic of memories, impressions and intentions that scattered as he tried to hold them down.”

    A remarkable inversion of Kafka’s metamorphosis for our Prime Minister in fine McEwanese, as you have become accustomed to such fine McEwanese over the years, untainted, so far, by the AI infiltration in Machines Like Me. This in Brexit times Swiftianly couched as Reversalists versus the Clockwisers. It even predicts the very recent proroguing stunt!

    “He was a tiny element in a scheme of a magnitude that no single individual could comprehend.”

    “The collective pheromonal unconscious of his kind bestowed on him an instinctive understanding of his direction of travel.”

    Conveniently, too, only a week or so ago I reread METAMORPHOSIS and real-time reviewed it here: https://elizabethbowensite.wordpress.com/the-big-book-of-classic-fantasy/#comment-964

    My latest Brexitese real-time here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/22845-2/

  2. TWO

    “The origins of Reversalism are obscure and much in dispute, among those who care. For most of its history, it was considered a thought experiment, an after-dinner game, a joke. It was the preserve of eccentrics, of lonely men who wrote compulsively to the newspapers in green ink. Of the sort who might trap you in a pub and bore you for an hour. But the idea, once embraced, presented itself to some as beautiful and simple.”

    Not Brexit after all, but something related to “‘reverse-flow economics” that Sir Keith Joseph recommended to Thatcher. No, it is BREXIT, I say, before Kafka got hold of it! Even the political shenanigans in the McEwan match! Retrocausality is among things I have long myself propounded with processes such as CERN Zoo, Cone Zero, Parthenogenetic Literature, Late-Labelling, Nemonymous and Gestalt Real-Time Reviewing. So I should know!!!!

    Mr Speaker: Order. There is far too much noise in this Chamber. Too many members think it is all right for them to shout out their opinions at the prime minister. Let us be clear: it is not.”

  3. THREE

    ‘a nationalist wave of manufactured anger fed by an irrational Twitter storm’.

    Well, we know how it goes and the PM tries to emulate the POTUS. Much serious shenanigan and skullduggery vis à vis the French and fishing waters. And much else on the day today in my own real-time when it seems to have been made clear that no deal is possible – EVER!

    “There was nothing more liberating than a closely knit sequence of lies. So this was why people became writers.”

    Kafka eat your heart out. Kafka somehow knew about Twitter storms, too. And red lines as well as red lies (worse than white ones).

  4. FOUR

    “An appeal to basics would not have helped. Everyone knew that in every single law of physics, except one, there was no logical reason why the phenomena described could not run backwards as well as forwards. […] …everyone had lost the thread, even when a theoretical physicist came specially from the CERN laboratories to set everything straight in less than three hours with some interesting equations.”

    “Was it really going to happen? Couldn’t the mother of parliaments bring the nation to its senses? […] Surely the Greeks had a word for it, choosing to act in one’s own very worst interests? Yes, they did. It was akrasia”.

    “‘Why are you doing this? Why, to what end, are you tearing your nation apart? Why are you inflicting these demands on your best friends and pretending we’re your enemies? Why?’ […] Because. Because that’s what we’re doing. Because that’s what we believe in. Because that’s what we said we’d do. Because that’s what people said they wanted. Because I’ve come to the rescue. Because. That, ultimately, was the only answer: because.”


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