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Joined 2 years, 9 months ago

I arrange things into artworks, including paint, wood, plastic, raspberry pi, people, words, dialogues, arduino, sensors, web tech, light and code.

I use words other people have written to help guide these projects, so I read as often as I can. Most of what I read is literature (fiction) or nonfiction on philosophy, art theory, ethics and technology.

Also on Mastodon.

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Fionnáin's books

Currently Reading (View all 10)

Clarice Lispector: The Besieged City (Paperback, 2019, Penguin Random House) 3 stars

To see is to change

3 stars

I adore Clarice Lispector, whose prose and presentation is unlike any other author I have read. This novel, like all of her work, is brilliantly written, unique, and uncanny.

The story of Lucrétia Neves living in the township of Sao Geraldo is one of passing time. As she watches the horses and the city, it transforms in front of her eyes, in transforms because of her watching it. Her life changes and moves away, but she drags herself and her new life back into that world. The book is amazing for how it presents the changing world, the evolution of a city through the eyes of a person, and the growth of a self through the eyes of themselves and others.

Unfortunately, it suffers from its strengths, particularly in the early sections where the weirdness is too much, too repetitive, even though this is partly the point. But as an …

Marie NDiaye: Ladivine 2 stars

A difficult experiment

2 stars

NDiaye's prose is like no other author that I have read. Their previous book, Three Strong Women tangled three stories together, each with its owb uncanny mood and setting. In Ladivne there are again three stories, those of three generations of women dealing with trauma and issues of (un)belonging in France.

The writing is intricate and unique, and builds a world from the inner perspectives of the characters, who are richly developed. However, the story never really got going for me, and was mostly told in the early chapters before being trundled along for the rest of the book. The depth of character motivation, understanding each person's complex motivations for making the choices that they make, is an amazing experiment in writing, but for me the experiment that doesn't quite pay off for the whole book.

Kathleen Lynch: Care and Capitalism (Paperback, 2021, Polity Press) 3 stars

The logics and ethics of neoliberal capitalism dominate public discourses and politics in the early …

An anthology of western care in academia

3 stars

Care and Capitalism is a particular type of academic book, filled to bursting point with references to other academic sources like an encyclopedia of other people's research. The topic is as the title suggests, encompassing many theories from social, political and philosophical theory.

The sheer volume of reference material is the result of a lifetime career reading about care, capitalism, feminism and love, and for that this is impressive. However, as someone who has read a good deal of the source material, I found the lack of argument or perspective a bit flat. It's more like an introductory text for sociologists who have no framework for where the structural problems exist in care (or white patriarchal power).

Patrick Freyne: OK, Let's Do Your Stupid Idea (2021, Penguin Books, Limited) 4 stars

A sock and buskin memoir

4 stars

There are few writers like Patrick Freyne that can make me laugh until tears roll from my eyes and I drop the book on the floor. Even fewer can force me to expel a whimper a few sentences later with a punch-in-the-gut moment of care or grief. And as a journalist, he does this every week with The Irish Times.

This is a book of memoir essays, not my favourite writing form but one that fits Freyne's style. He meanders between comedy and tragedy easily, including hilarious anecdotes of his childhood, his pirate radio misadventures and his band tours (I loved the NPB before he was ever a writer and really enjoyed reading those stories) interspersed with deep, thoughtful essays of his work in a care home or as a journalist. While I loved the laughs, the more touching chapters were the ones that will stay with me. I am …