Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the eighth most popular individual on Instagram. He posts mainly photos of himself working out at the gym, or promotional material relating to his latest movies. His photos invariably appear alongside comments that could be distilled to aphoristic life advice, albeit advice that tends to centre around first-person pronouns (“I make my cheat meals EPIC because, hell we all work hard and only live […]
Mark Greif is Professor of Literary Studies at the New School, NY, and a founding editor of the magazine n+1. His collection of essays "Against Everything" offers a sustained critique of contemporary consumer culture, and asks questions about our assumptions concerning 'the good life'. King's Review editors Johannes Lenhard and Chris Townsend spoke with Greif about Romanticism, hipsters, and universal basic income.
Despite the fact that Amanda Coker has now cycled further in a year than any other human, she has been dogged by critical voices on social media. This in part relates to her methods —she has ridden in circles around the exact same seven-mile loop for the past 365 days, and she often rides a relaxed 'recumbent' bike. Chris Townsend explores the excessive nature of her achievements, and attempts to make sense of the claim that what she has done is "not real cycling".
‘Second-Hand’ is a series of alternative book reviews. Traditional reviews, with their emphasis on the latest and greatest novels, risk leaving the reader behind. This column offers a breathing space, by focusing each time on a single second-hand book. The focus of this column is on chance encounters, revisionary readings of classic novels, and on the margins of the literary canon. It is a celebration of the book as physical object, in an […]
As is now tradition for presidential candidates in the United States, Donald Trump committed many of his key policies to print ahead of the 2016 election, in the campaign book "Crippled America". Now, after Trump's campaign was proven successful and at the end of 2016, Chris Townsend turns to the book for some answers.
‘Second-Hand’ is a series of alternative book reviews. Traditional reviews, with their emphasis on the latest and greatest novels, risk leaving the reader behind. This column offers a breathing space, by focusing each week on a single second-hand book. The focus of this column is on chance encounters, revisionary readings of classic novels, and on the margins of the literary canon. It is a celebration of the book as physical object, in an […]
During the Conservative Party Conference last week, the prime minister gave a speech critical of those in the political class who turn up their noses at the public’s patriotism, national pride, and pro-British sentiment. Our editor Chris Townsend thinks through May's comments with George Orwell on his side.
On Christmas day in 1832, the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson set sail from America to Great Britain. His goal was to meet some of his literary heroes, including the poets Coleridge and Wordsworth. Emerson's encounters with the two great English-language poets of the day leaves us with two richly delineated portraits which Chris Townsend recapitulates: Coleridge as frantic and frenetic thinker, Wordsworth as calmly composed poet. But these encounters also cast light on a formative time for Emerson, as he transitioned from a period of turmoil towards his own time as a great writer of verse and an influential thinker, in no small part inspired by the British poets.
A basic function of artworks is that they hold a mirror up to our selves. Doubled figures in art therefore tell us something about that process of mirroring, and can make it explicit. Chris Townsend explores doubles in David Lynch’s cult TV series Twin Peaks, to begin to understand how a TV show can shed a little light on our own dual natures.
The artist Fabrice Le Nézet's latest sculptural works, exhibited online in a number of photographs, are distinctive works -- not least because they do not exist in real life. This has been the cause of significant confusion (and, in some cases, embarrassment) for art critics. Chris Townsend had the chance to speak to Le Nézet about this work, the nature of truth and lies in art, and the relation of artist to critic.