Bile with Style

In 2015, Suhrkamp Verlag published Werke in 22 Bänden, the definition edition of plays, novels and stories by the great Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, to commemorate his death twenty-five years previously. This review considers his life and work from the vantage of his novel Auslöchung, (1986), published in English translation as Extinction (1995). “How do…

Mad on Metrics

As the Indo-European languages tell us, medicine and religion have much in common, not least in offering a measure of salvation to the sinful. In her ambitious novel Corpus Delicti (English title: The Method), the socially committed German novelist Julie Zeh considers how much personal liberty we would be prepared to forego in a future…

Being Nice to Nietzsche

In his vagabondage around western Europe in the decade of white-hot creativity that was granted him after he resigned his chair in philology at the University of Basle, three other cities were of particular importance to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: Nice, Genoa and Turin—all cities with an Alpine background. The last of them impressed…

A Doctor’s Dictionary

A copy of A Doctor’s Dictionary can be pre-ordered directly from my publisher Carcanet Press, or through Amazon. In this pithy abecedarium, doctor and poet Iain Bamforth takes a close look at the conflict of values embodied in what we call medicine – never entirely a science and no longer quite the art it used to be….