Jonathan McAloon

Teenage, All Too Teenage

Nietzsche and the Burbs

By

Melville House 345pp £10.99 order from our bookshop
 

In Lars Iyer’s 2014 novel Wittgenstein Jr, undergraduates follow their philosophy tutor around Cambridge, wishing to become, ‘if not fellow thinkers, then at least … companions in thought’. The narrator of Iyer’s brilliant trilogy of novels, Spurious, Dogma and Exodus, meanwhile refers to himself as ‘a friend of a friend of thought’. You might call Iyer’s books novels of ideas, though it is perhaps more accurate to think of them as novels of an idea of ideas: his characters always believe they live at a remove from things of importance. In Nietzsche and the Burbs, a chorus of hyper-intelligent provincial teenagers yearn to be at the centre of things, and for spiritual intensity.

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