Nearly Essay 2: On Nearlyness


     In this essay I aim to define Nearlyology, describe its particular relevance to readers in that rapidly expanding phase of life between middle and old age, explore how crucial the relationship we all have with our nearly lives is to psychological wellbeing, why transmedia and multimedia elements such as reader interaction, replay stories, a social show website, songs and animations can be used in describing how nearlyness effects the three main characters in my novel, and how transmedia storytelling and the aboriginal concept of the Dreaming could lead readers towards a better relationship between the digital and analogue, virtual and physical,  fantasy and reality, the really and the nearly.

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     I define Nearlyology as the study of how the individual copes with the desires and frustrations surrounding things they didn’t quite do, how they describe their nearly experiences (1) and how these can enhance or diminish their sense of self.

(1) Nearlyological activities include the gathering of nearly stories and their classification according to type, closeness to actualization on the one hand (measured on a scale of 1-10 Whiskers) and personal significance on the other, (measured in O-10 Ohs of intensity). For example: A woman who was about to climb on the bus that was blown up by terrorists seconds later was 1 Whisker away from her nearly death. She may well be haunted by this and so feels 10 Ohs of intensity about the experience. The man who has always felt strongly that he could and should have been an opera singer though he’s never done any training in that field would be 10 whiskers away from actually doing this but scores maybe 8 Ohs of feelings about it.  The man who very nearly missed his train but caught it just in time, feels a moment of relief then forgets all about it and so scores 1 big Whisker but just 1 minor Oh.

    Personally I had a strong sense of destiny when I was younger, despite having no religious beliefs. I felt strongly that somewhere there was a map of the route of my life which I needed to follow and if I strayed from this I’d fail to be ‘true to myself’.  Hippie interest in astrology and vague spirituality, the existential concept of bad faith or at least my partial understanding of it, and writers like D H Lawrence fed my wish to act according to my inner voice, if only I could hear clearly what it was saying over the din of received opinion.

    Now in my late fifties I am in that stage of life between middle and old age when statistics show I may have many decades of healthy life ahead – though not necessarily; health fears increase and mortality looms. The Young Elderly or Middle Old, (described by the stand up comedian Cindy Oswin as The Yoderly), will still need to work for money, but perhaps not so hard and with less likelihood of being at the forefronts of their professions, with more time to enjoy themselves but more time also to reflect on disappointments and missed opportunities. There’s still time to grab a last chance, to reach the pinnacle, to re-launch oneself with a new career or relationship but, as time goes by, it’s also easier to accept who we are, forget who we may have been, feel relief that we didn’t do some of the things we once wanted to. Successes fade into the distance; the bruises of disappointment heal. And we would happily trade some fame and fortune for more time and well-being. 

    Social media further blurs the divide between past and present, actual and nearly. My Facebook friends include people from all parts of my life, from cities far away and decades long gone by, work colleagues never met in the flesh but still influential, school friends I never much liked at the time, old flames, some flickering, some once raging, and this haze of interconnections circles around my lived life and dreamt dreams.

    Since starting on this project I’ve become intrigued by the range of Nearly stories people tell and how they relate them, what makes some people at different points in their lives see themselves in terms of things they nearly did while others resist the concept fiercely; why most speak of mistakes they nearly made and what relief they feel at having been led down another path, while a much smaller percentage talk of wrong turns they still bitterly regret. There’s something about the root of fiction in these true stories of imaginary events.  As the Nearlyologist Manifesto states: “We are what we eat and what we’ve nearly eaten.” The way we deal with our nearlies may reveal more about us than what we’ve actually done.  So what does psychoanalysis say about how we live with our nearly lives?

    In Freud’s Formulations on the Two Principles of Psychic Functioning he charts how humans make the transition from the Pleasure to the Reality principal, how we change from hungry babies, only capable of fantasizing the breast so urgently needed, to adults capable of coping with pangs of hunger as we shop and cook or book a table for later, spinning out our desires in order to enhance the eventual moment of gratification. Artists, he believes, find a special way to bridge the divide: by making artworks which are real objects built out of fantasies – making our nearly lives almost real:

    Art brings about a reconciliation of the two principles in a unique way. The artist is originally someone who, unable to come to terms with the renunciation of drive satisfaction initially demanded by reality, turns away from it and gives free rein to erotic and ambitious wishes in his fantasy life. Thanks to special gifts, however, he finds his way back to reality from this fantasy world by shaping his fantasies into new kinds of reality, which are appreciated by people as valid representations of the real world.

– Freud (1911: p.???)

    In Missing Out – In Praise of the Unlived Life, Adam Phillips elaborates on this idea that culture is what humans have devised to fill up this space created between wanting and getting. Conversation, thought, storytelling grow in the gap between desire and consummation. He anatomizes the unlived lives we lead and the different strands of frustration threaded through us:

    There is a world of difference between erotic and romantic daydream and actually getting together with someone; getting together is a lot more work, and is never exactly what one was hoping for. So there are three consecutive frustrations: the frustration of need, the frustration of fantasized satisfaction not working, and the frustration of satisfaction in the real world being at odds with the wished-for, fantasized satisfaction.   (p.23)

    When we’re younger this sense of longing can be overwhelmingly poignant. In older age there may be some relief from yearning; it’s easier to enjoy admiring the desirable without the craving to get.  As physical desire grows less intense the ability to savour imagination grows stronger – at least that’s what we like to think. Gregory Carraday, at first maddened with frustration that he can’t travel to Australia, now finds his imaginary Australia more compelling than the real thing, like the young clerk mentioned in the Book of Disquiet by Portugese poet Fernando Pessoa (1888 – 1935)  who:

would go to travel agencies…and he would ask for brochures about excursions to India, brochures listing the boat connections between Portugal and Australia… he knew the exact route of the train from Paris to Bucharest as well as the routes of all the trains in England, and as he mispronounced the strange names, I could see the glowing certainty of his greatness of soul…. perhaps  one day, in his old age, he will remember how it’s not only better but also truer to dream of Bordeaux than to actually go there.  (p.372)

    Pessoa invented characters not to people his poems but to compose them with. His team of heteronyms were the nearly selves he adopted to write in different ways, and several of their voices can be heard in his extraordinary  non-memoir  The Book of Disquiet, an antidote to conventional biography and those realist fictions which pedal the lie that our lives are driven by a single, absorbing narrative line. Actually we click between channels all day everyday, one moment the loving parent, next the driven professional, next the eternal child. Meanwhile in the 21st Century we’re bombarded with story, half hour units of complication and resolution on TV, in books, film. which manage to fool us over and over again into caring whether the killer will get caught, the affair consumed. Viewers enjoy TV whodunits because of the atmosphere, the intensity, the characters. They didn’t really care who did it. We like being pulled along by the urge to find out the truth, but the final reveal is often unsatisfactory.  Boredom with the overfamiliar narrative tropes has led writers like Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard to turn from novels to his epic memoir My Struggle declaring himself sick of fiction.  In Man In Love he becomes naudeated by fabricated characters in fabricated plots.

every single sentence was met with the thought: but you’re just making this up… The only genres I saw value in, which still conferred meaning, were diaries and essays…that were not about anything, but just consisted of a voice, the voice of your own personality, a life, a face, a gaze you could meet. 

(location 8752)

    And yet fiction can take us deeper into ourselves than biography, and imaginary characters can’t sue their authors or demand right of reply. What’s more, fiction consumed on the iPad sits alongside our own photos and emails; the screen reflects our face, our life, our gaze and calls out for a personal response to the make believe.

    The transmedia novelist can use the lure of a strong story to attract a community of readers to then contribute their own stories to a broader discussion of the themes it raises, and intersperse the text with their readers’ words alongside other material such as songs, blogs and artworks which act as a counterpoint to the central narrative. ‘The social show’ as discussed by Angelique Toschi in her essay on Convergence Culture and Transmedia Storytelling is a website drawing a community of fans to read specially made extra material linked to a popular TV series or movie. A similar show can be an integral element of the transmedia literary novel.

    In my story, separating the linear chase of the narrative from a broader contemplation of its themes seems particularly appropriate for dealing with Jamie’s problems as his sexuality changes from an ocean of becoming to a complex archipelago of fractured feelings and desires.  Jamie starts writing a blog on Nearlysex to create a community talking about issues around sexuality including loss of libido, erectile problems, sexual fantasies and practices, and what else people do to express intimacy and feel a buzz as their bodies age and change.


    When Jamie discovers he has Peyronie’s Disease, a condition which disfigures and de-sensitizes the penis, he is confronted in a moment by a set of alternative futures, forking paths between suicide and liberation which appear as a series of entwined hyperlinks in a one-off exercise in what Janet H Morris classifies as a Replay Story, 

an interactive digital story structure in which the same scenario is offered for replay with significant variations based on parameters that the interactor may control or merely witness in action” involving, “Multiple instantiations  of the same story elements, such as an alternate reality or divergent timeline…  These stories assume a parameterized world in which destiny is open-ended and events can be revisited and changed.

    Morris cites Borges’ Garden of Forking Paths, Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life among her examples of Multiple Instantiations and has a list of ‘Six Key Design Strategies for writing these: Dramatic compression, a high stakes focus, strongly differentiated characters and not too many of them, contrasting beats and readable parallels.

    If this sounds like a recipe for cliche, Atkinson’s novel alone proves that replay stories don’t inevitably demand instantly recognizable stereotypes, but do need clearly drawn characters which can be ‘got’ by readers quickly and so are capable of being retold, like the stars of soap operas, sitcoms, cartoon strips, Greek myths and bible stories, with reference to their specific attributes and unique selling points, so around my novel I’m making booklets and newspapers featuring brief, cartoon-like adventures of   my main characters which sit alongside the main narrative and links to other material – including the blog and Nearly Songs written by character and heteronym Jamie J.

    The same strategies apply to another kind of narrative relevant to nearlyness which involves fantasy selves enacting their adventures alongside the realistic story: what happens in the head of Don Quixote as he becomes The Knight of the Sad Countenance in contrast to how others see him as he tilts at windmills; how in the cartoon strip Calvin and Hobbes a small boy metamorphoses into a dinosaur or space hero or gumshoe, a stuffed toy tiger his witty and playful companion. As Captain Spiff is about to be tortured by aliens, the dream world is punctured by Calvin’s teacher Miss Wormwood demanding an answer to a maths question. In my novel Carraday goes walkabout across his private outback, Freya revisits her super sleuth childhood alter ego Freya Redcoat, Jamie comes to terms with his inner singer/songwriter.

    Songwriting allows for another kind of re-telling. Songs are three minute fictions, miniature opportunities to play with a character or state of being and then move on. Here’s a chance to dance fleetingly with different aspects of ourselves, in the format of three minute love tunes. My novel isn’t a musical; though some of the nearly songs illustrate particular events in the narrative, mostly they provide a counter narrative, an accompanying salad alongside the main course, exploring related themes in another way. The song with its three verses and middle eight provides another structure for storytelling, less wedded to realism, fleeting but catchy, able to get ‘stuck in your head’.

    Peter Forbes, writer on nano science and guitarist in my Ifso Band, relates the Nearly Songs to Frank Zappa’s notion of ‘Conceptual Continuity.

Conceptual continuity is both easy to understand and elusive. As Zappa conceived it, it simply meant that he had a certain attitude towards everything: composing; arranging; band leading; the music business. But it also meant that themes kept reappearing in different guises throughout his career. And that there is a recognisable genre that is – not rock, not jazz, not classical – but Zappa music.

“As the Great Frank might have said: Conceptual Continuity isn’t dead it just needs shaking up a little. It is alive and well in the work of Chris Meade, who under some bewildering aliases –Jamie J,  C J Overleaf – and on websites and blogs is creating linked stories and songs under the banner of Nearlyology…

“All a songwriter needs is the creative ambience that allows the words and music to tumble out. Nearlyology has created just such a fertile environment.

    Songwriters like Paul Simon are refreshingly unpretentious about the meaning of their work. He says, “I don’t consciously think about what a song should say. In fact, I consciously try not to think about what a song should say…because I’m interested in what I find, as opposed to what I’m planting.

    A lot of time the whole thought comes, not connected to the thought before it in any appreciable way. And then you say, “Well, what will this connection be?” And by the time you get your choice of the third thought, you’re off in a direction. Because three consecutive thoughts imply direction. .. When you have a strong sense of direction, then meaning clings to it in some way. People bring meaning to it, which is more interesting to me than for me to tell meaning to somebody.  (p 96)

    Songwriters use intuition, a sense of worrying at an idea until it feels cooked enough to perform or record.  Similarly in accounts of psychotherapy, the patient talks about their past until a moment when something is unlocked and the neurotic pattern dispels. The closure achieved at the end of a narrative has something like this effect on us. Songs can also transport us and unlock lost feelings. Through fiction readers are taken to a strange place, and in transmedia fiction can tell their stories there too.

    “Experience has taught me that our childhoods leave in us stories like this – stories we never found a way to voice, because no one helped us to find the words. When we cannot find a way of telling our story, our story tells us – we dream these stories, we develop symptoms, or we find ourselves acting in ways we don’t understand.” writes psychotherapist Stephen Grosz in The Examined Life – How we lose and find ourselves.

     The transmedia novel has the potential to help readers to tell their own nearly stories as well as read the author’s own, and this could be genuinely therapeutic as well as comic. Linked to the novel I’m running workshops with  the psychotherapist James Paul Kelly and change management consultant Brian Lawson, the fruits of which could be offered to readers at a point in the narrative. There is also no reason why I shouldn’t offer direct one to one responses to readers who write to the book.

    An example of this kind of individually customised experience is the artist Tino Sehgal’s  These Associations presented at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2012, in which as well as watching a swarm of around fifty participants moving around this huge space, visitors had personal encounters with individual participants in the piece. The hall becomes a kind of analogue social network in which conversations occur and stories are spontaneously customised for their audience. Pushing beyond the limited intimacy of Twitter chat between idols and fans, the artist Mikael Richter’s  contribution to the Umedalen sculpture park in Sweden is a sign in the style of a motorway emergency phone number which connects those who try calling it directly with the artist Mikael Richter who is ready and willing to talk to them.  At we’ve been experimenting with making resources for schools such as The Story Park, written with David Almond who created the character Sea Captain Joe. Children send him stories for the park he wants to create, and receive a personal response from the character. This response isn’t written by Almond but by myself and the if:book team in a tone of voice defined by Almond. Readers who write to What Didn’t Quite will also receive a personal response from a character in the novel. Depending on demand, this might be an auto-response or a uniquely composed personal reply.

    Freya Seward is the fictional character most likely to include this kind of barmy idea in a business plan. Digital consultant Freya is prone to hype and exaggeration bordering on lying. She’s a natural entrepreneur, trying to make opportunities, good at self promotion. She’s fascinated by how digital culture allows us to ‘be nearly’ in the virtual sense – to create multiple on-line identities, to reach across the globe to ‘be’ in many places simultaneously. But in her life Freya seizes on actual opportunities and doesn’t like to look back – which is why she’s so de-railed by her imagined affair with a colleague. She refuses to regret her decisions – to split with Jamie, to borrow cash –  but that leads to her moral world buckling around her.

   Digital abundance gives us instant access, nearly, to anything we might want. Does this blunt our preparedness to confront what Freud calls the Reality Principle? Does the web infantilise us? Left alone with our laptops do we mine it as a free university of learning or search for clips from children’s programmes of our youth? Do we dig deeper or potter in the shallows? The truth, I think, is both. The web, awash with pornography, kittens and campaigns to change the world, supports Freud’s belief that “the normal man is not only more immoral than he believes but also far more moral than he knows.” (Ego and the Id – McGowan page 4)

    But perhaps virtual abundance is draining us of energy to seek out real experiences of all kinds. This is the argument of Todd McGowan in The End of Dissatisfaction – Jaques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment. 

The ‘wired’ experience is the apotheosis of imaginary satisfaction. When I am in cyberspace, I no longer have to deal with an intersubjective partner that I might potentially find dissatisfying. Cyberspace promises an other both perfectly suited to us and constantly changing so as not to bore us. Thus, it eliminates the need for any dissatisfaction – for any encounter with the other in her or his Real dimension. It even allows me to overcome dissatisfaction with myself: through a cyber identity, I can create a “realized” version of my ideal ego. The image delivers a satisfaction that the symbol doesn’t – and hence leaves us without the feeling that we are lacking, without desire. (page 70)

    Apart from the drawback that nothing online is tangible, in every other way each user can create a world around them to reflect their personal quirks and worldview, can listen to the music of their preferred era, find menus to suit their palate, (and far right extremists or sexual predators can just as easily create a homepage to suit their prejudices and kinks, spurning the notional balance of established gatekeepers). Yet the web hasn’t blunted the taste for real international travel. The live gig has become a more valuable commodity as access to the recorded track becomes so instantly available.

    Meanwhile digital means of delivery give a new texture to story: we can download a mini-series and watch in nightly chunks on the tablet, like a novel, or explore an app about Mozart where text and tune sit beside each other. Sometimes the author mixes the media, more often the consumer does it for him or herself, reading an article on line while listening to iTunes on the same device, clicking a link to a secondary text, interrupting their own flow with a quick glance at Facebook, then perhaps talking to friends or walking to a park or gallery where new thoughts occur about the storyworld. Each makes a transmedia experience out of a range of materials available through their portable devices. Thus transmedia fiction is consumed in the way that we read the rest of the world.

   The space between reading and writing, between searching and finding, wanting and getting has shrunk dramatically. I hear about a book, I order it online and download it instantly. Where has that powerful experience of anticipation gone? Does the diminishing of frustration mean we win or lose? Or do we simply transfer our frustrations to new objects of desire?

     Released from the confines of the paper book, fiction can involve a pick and mix experience, shaped for the way our attention fluctuates, soars and flits, as we nearly read and nearly write. It can better reflect the totality of what it feels like to be alive and networked now, being here and elsewhere, real and virtual, actual and nearly.

    At the heart of my novel is outsider artist and Nearlyologist Gregory Carraday whose secret art is his means to make sense of the totality of his experience, real and imagined, and to cope with conflicted feelings about what he didn’t do. Outsider artists develop their art practice in seclusion, placing themselves, more or less intentionally, beyond normality – and many are  considered to be mentally ill or unstable. Michel Thefoz, curator of Jean Dubuffet’s Collection de l’Art Brut wrote of these artists that they “make up their own techniques, often with new means and materials, and they create their works for their own use, as a kind of private theatre…and they do not care about the good opinion of others, even keeping their work secret.”   

  The American Morton Bartlett who died in 1992 had spent thirty years secretly making half life-sized doll figures of an imaginary family which he  photographed in tableaux and then stored in his basement. Working in a mineshaft at the age thirty five, Augustin Lesage heard voices telling him to become a painter so he did, guided by the spirits of Leonardo da Vinci and Lesage’s sister Marie who had died at a young age. Work by both men featured in the 2013 Venice Biennale exhibition Il Palazzo Enciclopedico which was itself named after a work by Marino Auriti  who ran an auto body shop in Pennsylvania in the 1950s and spent his evenings constructing a huge and elaborate  architectural model for an imaginary museum, the Encyclopaedic Palace of the World which he patented and kept stored in his garage. Gregory Carraday makes totems and enacts rituals which he finds fruitful to fend off the cacophony of the nearlies he hears around him.  Suffering a breakdown after the break up of a relationship, he lives with his bed-ridden mother and makes art which he then buries or burns without anyone seeing. For Carraday this practice gives him absolute freedom but consigns him to being hidden, a Nearly Artist only. No critics to bother with, no peer review. Letting go of his work is painful but creates feelings of loss, regret and relief which he does keep documented in a plain notebook. As a Nearly Artist he’s not pretending he isn’t aware of a world of art, but his project is by its nature invisible to that world so there is no danger of being lured into that arena –  until Freya Seward comes on the scene and teases out a confession, then begins to promote the works that Carraday might have made.

    In his imagining of a life he never led in Australia, his renderings of amulets to help dissolve the destructive frustrations of nearlyness and release positive energy instead, he makes his feelings safe by containing them within a structured exercise: the destruction of the art work. It’s an inoculating jab against a potentially lethal sense of bitterness because, whether we exist in a multiverse or not, we are stuck in one body, on one linear journey from birth to death, with “one foot in the future and one in oblivion’ as Jamie puts it in a song.   And so after all these narratives have been explored, we need to take the experience back into our one semi-lived life.

     The prevalence of outsider art at the Venice Biennale and ‘The Alternative Guide To The Universe’, a major show of outsider art at the Hayward Gallery in 2012 point to its increasing interest to the mainstream art world at a time when it’s harder than ever, in art as in literature, to draw clear lines between professional and amateur, spectator and maker, the obsessions of the conceptual artist and the neuroses of the ‘ordinary’ eccentric.  The question for viewers of Outsider Art is whether they’re watching freaks or visionaries. These makers don’t much think about such issues as they’re too involved in their daily business of making stuff. But they do seem to think of themselves as nearly brilliant nearly mad, stubbornly refusing to accept the reality principle that artists require formal training or public recognition to justify their right to obsessive creation.

    Some believe that the web encourages such delusions of genius. Indeed Porter Anderson, an influential commentator on the publishing scene, in a talk to students of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, talked about the ‘Unconscious Incompetent’: unskilled individuals with illusory competence whom he thinks fuel the world of online self publishing. Yet, in contrast to the vanity presses of the past which created unreadable tomes to give the gravitas of publication to whoever paid for it, the web is not an uncritical place. Here we can create our own webpage just how we want it, but also check our analytics daily to be confronted by how few people look at it, and face the blistering criticisms of those who do.

    This is a new space for a new kind of nearly artist, able to present themselves fully and build a following outside conventional institutions and definitions; able to find others who share their fascinations and delusions but without the need to build thick walls of self regard to protect them against the critical, cruel and simply not bothered.   Here Freya believes Carraday could make a space to articulate his ideas more publicly – or she could do it for him and build a business around it. Here Jamie can perform his songs without anyone needing to decide whether he’s a ‘real’ musician or not, and converse intimately with invisible strangers through the blog he starts almost by accident as a place to express his sexual worries. And the web, with its mix of intimacy and anonymity, is an ideal place in which to express the many layered texture of sexuality, which is also the epicentre of our nearlyness, where each of us creates an epic narrative of fantasised encounters and relationships as we go through our lives. The physical sex act is shrouded in mists of fantasy, some shared, some remaining intensely private. But a similar fog surrounds every aspect of our lives and always has done, capable of paralysing us with fearful memories and imaginings unless, as psychotherapist Stephen Grosz puts it, we can ‘give voice to our stories’ and absorb these into the texture of our actual lives. A Nearlyologist would say, we must embrace our nearlyselves and in so doing find out who we really are. The transmedia storyteller aims to clear a narrative pathway through the forest of digital distractions and then lead us in.

    Those who argue that digital media cause distraction fail to notice that it also highlights the extent to which we’ve always experienced the world in this way, managing to build a coherent and consistent sense of self from fragments of attention and forking paths of imagination. A man reading a book in a library may look concentrated, but is he any less likely to be daydreaming, wandering about in his mind as someone tapping purposefully on their iPhone?

    Sue Thomas in her book Technobiophilia interviews the Buddhist nun Damcho Wangmo who spends a lot of time online as part of her life of mediation. She says, “It is wrong to assume that distractions come from outside… If you start with a distracted mind, the ping of your cellphone and the buzz of the Web will tug at that distraction, but they don’t cause it.” (Location 3680)  In Carraday’s albeit eccentric version of aboriginal dreaming which he calls The Dozing, dreams, fantasies, social media and lived reality swirl around him as he navigates through this potentially distracting soup, the most ancient culture on earth helping to inform his wayfaring,  the spirit world of ancestors replaced by what Andre Jansson describes as the transmedia textures of mediatized social space in which interconnectedness, interactivity and a shared cloud of data surround us all, a place to tell stories in new kinds of ‘ social “gathering places” or fixtures within the everyday communicative fabric.”

The Dreaming is not a chronological concept (like the biblical Genesis) but a focus on, and a vital connection with, ancestral beings who travelled the length and breadth of the continent, forming the natural features of the landscape and social relationships with humankind at the same time…. Thus the Dreaming is ‘always already’ and it is both epistemology and ontology; a way of knowing and a way of being.

Muecke S. & Shoemaker A (2004) Aboriginal Australians – First Nations of an Ancient Continent, Thames & Hudson p.35

    With its layering of multiple text, sound and image, its breathing spaces for conversation and collaborative elaboration online and in the flesh, its dissemination on the devices we carry with us as we lead our lives, not only do we need transmedia storytelling to fully describe the ‘always already’ nature of the mediatized world in which every question is googleable, in which space, time and friendships can – nearly – be bridged at a click, and the effect this is having on our sense of self; now we may have the tools to convey the true texture of the way we’ve always known and nearly been.


Here are the books I’ve been reading while writing this essay. Let me know please of others you’d recommend.

This essay dips into a number of areas. Missing Out is a key text which has led me to re-read Freud and accounts of psychotherapy by Yalom, Grosz, plus Philippa Perry’s guide to sanity. I’m reading fiction that involves multiple narratives and fantasy selves, and memoirs like Pessoa’s and Knausgaard. Writing on Outsider Art includes plenty about the characters who make it.

Anderson, P. Talk at Bath Spa University, April 2014

Atkinson, Kate, (2013), Life After Life  London

Bottoms, G. (2007) The Colourful Apocalypse, Journeys in Outsider Art. Chicago; University of Chicago Press

Cervantes, (    ) Don Quixote <<.

Forbes, P.  Blogpost

Freud, S.(1911) Formulations on the Two Principles of Psychic Functioning. Harmondsworth; Penguin.

Jannson, A. Mediatization and Social Space: Reconstructing Mediatization for the Transmedia Age, Media and Communication Studies, Karlstad University, Karlstad SE 651 88, Sweden

Knausgaard, K.O. (2008) A Man In Love: My Struggle Book 2 London;  Harvill Secker

McGowan. T. (2004) The End of Dissatisfaction – Jaques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment, New York;

Morris J.H. (2011)  Inventing the Medium, Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice USA; MIT Press

Muecke S. & Shoemaker A (2004) Aboriginal Australians – First Nations of an Ancient Continent, London; Thames & Hudson

Perry, Philippa (2013) How To Stay Sane. London; School of Life

Pessoa, F, (1998) The Book of Disquiet. Harmondsworth; Penguin

Phillips, A, (2012) Missing Out, In Praise of the Unlived Life; Harmondsworth; Penguin

Rooksby, R. (2000) How To Write Songs on Guitar, San Francisco; Backbeat Books Thefoz, M. (1995) Art Brut, Geneva 

Thomas, S. (2014) Technobiophilia, London; Bloomsbury

Toschi, A. (2009) ‘Convergence Culture and Transmedia Storytelling’ California State University Fullerton COMM 500 – Mass Communications Theory Dr. Zandpour
May 20, 2009

Wallace, P. (1999).  The Psychology of the Internet,  Cambridge; Cambridge University Press

Watterman, B. (2005) The Complete Calvin & Hobbes,  Kansas; Andrews McMeel Publishing

Wright, A. (2006) Carpenteria. London; Constable 

Yalom, I.D. (1999), Momma and the Meaning of Life: Tales of Psychotherapy. London; Piatkus

Zollo, Paul, (2003) Songwriters on Songwriting. USA; Da Capo Press