Jack Messenger

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Tag: Book review

What Stella Sees | Sarah Kornfeld | Review

Front cover to What Stella Sees by Sarah Kornfeld, reviewed at www.jackmessengerwriter.comWhat Stella Sees, Sarah Kornfeld’s complex debut novel, is about convergence and displacement. Above all, it is about perception: the consequences of its absence and the obligations of its presence. Young Stella is ill, it seems, with a peculiar form of epilepsy that eludes diagnosis and treatment. Her parents Rachel and Michael are in the throes of divorce, increasingly estranged from their own selves as well as one another, while they careen off specialists and medical regimes, a process that takes them from New York and San Francisco to Paris in search of a cure for their daughter. Yet Stella sees other things, too. Her seizures are a kind of vision-state in which she is able to explore the ocean depths, discovering real and imagined creatures that inform her art – the art of creating worlds of meaning inside the tiny whorls of seashells.

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Crowd of One | Filip Severin

Crowd of OneIn Someone Else’s Conspiracy: a book review of Crowd of One, a novel by Filip Severin

The epigraph to Crowd of One is taken from Edward Bernays, one of the least-known and most influential figures of the modern era: ‘Men are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.’ Bernays pioneered what eventually became known as public relations (aka propaganda) by applying crowd psychology to control the ‘herd instincts’ of the ‘irrational masses’. What he termed the ‘crystallizing’ of public opinion rapidly evolved over the course of the twentieth century into the manufacturing of consent to the political and commercial imperatives of society’s managers and elites. Like it or not, we all live in Bernays’ world.

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