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The Pequod
Dr Alistair Brown
Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more


Pennine grit, rough sandstone forms
The skin of earth, waiting soft hands to work
Into its stony shapes: a labour of
Sustains possibilities within a wood


Two hundred years, a mottled, moss-worn
Until fresh wood and stone works renewed
Completes the circle, peoples the stone

I wrote this poem for Beth and Sam, creaters of somewhere and something (words can't quite describe it) called The Bivouac, near Masham in Yorkshire. There is a stone circle and druidic-style temple on the top of a hill in the woods, built there two hundred years ago as a beguiling but ultimately purposeless folly. Beth and Sam have now taken on the woods and folly, and turned them into an inspirational retreat, built in harmony with nature. When I visited with my fiancee whilst it was still being built, we knew immediately that we wanted to get married there.

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This page was published on September 5, 2012 | Keywords: The Bivouac, Yorkshire, stone circle, rings

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