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kerrypolka

Kerry

Hello! I live in London, and I like reading about history, travel and literature. I also like good non-fiction about things I don't know about yet, and adventures.

Currently reading

Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens
Sofka Zinovieff
Escape Routes: Control and Subversion in the 21st Century
Vassilis Tsianos, Dimitris Papadopoulos, Niamh Stephenson
Introducing Fascism: A Graphic Guide
Litza Jansz, Stuart Hood
Women, Travel Writing, and Truth
Clare Broome Saunders
Progress: 37 %
Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers
J.K. Rowling, Emily Walcker, Jean-François Ménard
Progress: 10 %

"The National Uncanny", by Renee L. Bergland

The National Uncanny: Indian Ghosts and American Subjects (Re-encounters with Colonialism: New Perspectives on the Americas) - Renee L. Bergland

Firstly, nothing I write will be able to compare with this review by rushthatspeaks on Dreamwidth, which is how I found out about this book. They start:

 

By the time you finish reading this review, I intend to convince you that you have seen a ghost. I believe that in the majority of cases I will be successful.

 

Yes, I do mean you, whoever you are, reading this now. And yes, by ghost I do mean a spectre raised from an untimely grave to torment the guilt of the living and deny the peace of the dead, and by seen I mean seen, with your eyes, or possibly in some circumstances heard with your ears; I mean these things absolutely literally.

 

Having said that, I will now proceed to tell you that this slender little book of literary criticism, The National Uncanny, is one of the very best books I have read in an extremely long time, one of those books which makes the inside of the reader's head a different and a better place.

 

And they're right. On both counts.

 

This is probably the best book I've read all year. It's one of the densest, in a great way – it's fairly short (the content, not including notes, goes up to 169 pages) but every page has an exploding idea (I should say, at least one exploding idea) that makes you shake out your assumptions and look at them again or go, "oh my god, that! That is the thing I've been trying to put my finger on for all of literature!"

 

I know it's a cop-out but I really don't think I can add to the review I've linked above – read it, then read this book.