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Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish


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Lauded novelist and critic Tom McCarthy has handpicked the essays in this original collection, which will appeal both to fans of McCarthy's fiction, pop culture, and serious criticsm.

Table of Contents

Provisional Table of Contents

1 18 Semiconnected Thoughts on Michel de Certeau, On Kawara, Fly Fishing, and Various Other Things

13 From Feedback to Reflux: Kafka's Cybernetics of Revolt

23 Get Real; or, What Jellyfish Have to Tell Us About Literature

35 The Prosthetic Imagination of David Lynch

43 On Dodgem Jockeys: A Suggested Alternative Career for Writers

45 Meteomedia, or Why London's Weather is in the Middle of Everything

56 Nothing Will Have Taken Place Except The Place

71 Recessional - or, the Time of the Hammer

87 Richter Article

94 Stabbing the Olive

106 The Geometry of the Pressant

117 On Balls and Planes: An Introduction to The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Stern

135 Kool Thing, or Why I Want to Fuck Patty Hearst

139 Why Ulysses Matters

About the Author

Tom McCarthy is known in the art world for the reports, manifestos and media interventions he has made as general secretary of the International Necronautical Society (INS), a semi-fictitious avant-garde network. His previous books include Men in Space, C, Remainder, and Tintin and the Secret of Literature. In 2013 he was awarded an inaugural Windham-Campbell Literature Prize from Yale University. He lives in London.


"[Tom McCarthy] is one of the few writers who not only illuminates his subject matter but also takes our understanding down new paths. There is an enormously wide frame of reference here, from Aristotle to MC Hammer, and it never feels forced." -Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

"Perhaps only in a Tom McCarthy essay would profound philosophical insight be pulled from both William Faulkner and M.C. Hammer. Such is the brainy, playful and always subversive power of McCarthy's first collection, Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish....[McCarthy is] an adept stylist, in the vein of Nabokov, and never fails to deliver dazzling twists of language and meaning. Each essay impresses with the author's preternatural intelligence. Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish will entice lovers of art and literature." -Scott Neuffer, Shelf Awareness

"Reading Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish is like receiving a map of all the space that art, literature, and culture have carved out for each other. . . . This is the kind of book that deepens your appreciation of the subjects you've previously encountered, and sends you to seek out the ones you haven't." -Gabe Habash, Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Stimulating, intellectually exciting, and highly imaginative." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"McCarthy's fiction and nonfiction aim to skewer an ideology of authenticity that is fed and watered by a certain humanist conception of literature." -Simon Critchley

"McCarthy's crisp, clean prose is stimulating, his concepts original and his visual imagery powerful." -Layla Sanai, The Independent

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