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Picnic Comma Lightning

In Search of a New Reality

Author: Laurence Scott  

A spellbinding examination of the nature of reality, by one of the brightest thinkers of today.

A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

'Laurence Scott ... writes beautifully about the experience of reality in the digital age, and about how grief changes our perceptions ... I'm besotted with Scott's writing.' Derren Brown, i paper

'Clever, funny and deeply moving...

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Summary

A spellbinding examination of the nature of reality, by one of the brightest thinkers of today.

A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

'Laurence Scott ... writes beautifully about the experience of reality in the digital age, and about how grief changes our perceptions ... I'm besotted with Scott's writing.' Derren Brown, i paper

'Clever, funny and deeply moving...

Read more

Description

A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

'Laurence Scott ... writes beautifully about the experience of reality in the digital age, and about how grief changes our perceptions ... I'm besotted with Scott's writing.' Derren Brown, i paper

'Clever, funny and deeply moving... an engaging and thought-provoking journey through the fakery of modern life.' Mail on Sunday

'A stylish, playful exploration of what digital life is doing to the way we find meaning in the world.' Guardian, 'Book of the Week' ____ In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, the narrator offers a memorably brief account of his mother's death- 'picnic, lightning'. Picnic Comma Lightning similarly opens with the death of Laurence Scott's parents, and the definitive ending of their deaths raises for him one fundamental question- how much of what we live through is truly real?

With humour and insight, Scott transforms this personal meditation on loss into an exploration of what it means to exist in the world now. It used to be that our vision of the world was rooted to reasonably solid things- to people, places and memories. But today, in an age of constant internet debates, online personas and alternative truths, reality feels more vulnerable than ever before.

Picnic Comma Lightning looks at how digital life is distorting, echoing and magnifying our age-old preoccupation with what is real and what isn't. Where do we draw the line? How is technology shifting these boundaries? And how do we maintain a sense of reality in an increasingly unreal world? ____ 'A report from the front line of the digital generation by someone superbly well-equipped to read and decode the signals.' Sunday Times

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Critic Reviews

“A stylish, playful exploration of what digital life is doing to the way we find meaning in the world... It is a philosophical meditation of perceptions of reality, achieved by means of beguilingly playful moves from confession to anthropology to social analysis. Scott operates on a dauntingly large conceptual scale, but there's a sense of embrace in his cleverness. It's not often that a highly ambitious work of social analysis speaks so determinedly to the heart.”

Clever, funny and deeply moving... an engaging and thought-provoking journey through the fakery of modern life. Digital panic isn't new, but Scott writes such entrancing prose that reading his book is like waking up from a nightmare and realising, in a panicky split-second, that you're not sure if something bad has actually happened in your real life or just in the parallel one that gets live-streamed inside your own head. Mail on Sunday Laurence Scott ... writes beautifully about the experience of reality in the digital age, and about how grief changes our perceptions ... I'm besotted with Scott's writing. -- Derren Brown i Paper Reality and belief in the digital age, and signs above all, are the themes of this sophisticated book.... A report from the front line of the digital generation by someone superbly well-equipped to read and decode the signals. Scott is very, very good at metaphors. He also has a formidable wide range of cultural references. -- James McConnachie Sunday Times Laurence Scott's book on the signs and symbols of the digital age is insightful, in part for its academic nuance but also for its humane, personal style. In trying to make sense of the digital world, Scott takes on everything from the Internet of Things to the changing nature of truth. A moving meditation of reality in the 21st century. Wired, 'Books of the Year' -- Alexandra Harris Guardian, 'Book of the Week'

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About the Author

Laurence Scott's book The Four-Dimensional Human- Ways of Being in the Digital World (2015) was shortlisted for The Samuel Johnson Prize, won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize, and was named the Sunday Times 'Thought Book of the Year'. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Guardian, Financial Times, New Statesman, Boston Globe, Wired and the London Review of Books. In 2011 he was named a 'New Generation Thinker' by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the BBC, and now regularly writes and presents documentaries for BBC radio, as well as presenting and contributing to the Radio 3 arts and ideas programme, Free Thinking. He is a Lecturer in Writing at New York University in London, where he lives.

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Product Details

Publisher
Cornerstone | Windmill Books
Published
13th June 2019
Pages
304
ISBN
9781786090027
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