According to modern science, we live in a material world. Everything that happens depends on the play of fundamental particles moving in strict accord with the laws of physics. Nothing is exempt. Stars, rainbows, plant growth, animal behaviour and the antics of our own exquisite selves are all essentially physical processes. If it doesn’t seem like that to us at first sight, this is only because of the unrevealing ways in which our material brains respond to the material world.
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'Too many historians sneer at our forbears; scolding them if they follow the customs of their own day ... tut-tutting if the poor things are detected having a little fun.'
From the archive, Mary Clive on medieval travellers.
'Reading Taylor’s book has also made me join a book club. I did not like the January book; I did enjoy drinking gin while saying why.'
@clamorousvoice explores the history of women readers.
'When the language starts functioning as a character in fiction, when it is there drawing attention to itself ... It’s not anything that anybody really takes seriously.'
Our interview with Anthony Burgess from 1983.