Adrian Turpin

Disease of the Learned

The Missing Shade of Blue: A Philosophical Adventure


Abacus 320pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

‘Do as I say, not as I do’ applies to philosophy as much as any other discipline. The search for the Good Life (what the Ancient Greeks termed eudaimonia) does not presuppose a good life, or a particularly ordered one. David Hume, the Scottish Enlightenment thinker whose presence haunts Jennie Erdal’s first novel, spent a lifetime trying to find an accommodation between philosophy and ‘the common life’. But it didn’t stop him, like Descartes, suffering a nervous breakdown as a young man. Hume’s response to the ‘disease of the learned’, as depression was sometimes known in the eighteenth century, was to play backgammon and take long daily hikes that stilled his whirring mind. The consolations of philosophy went only so far. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,