The Horror of Ageism

This morning, Hugh Green read The Age of Horrorism by Martin Amis. The most telling part of the essay is the title, which accurately describes (a) the time it appears to take to read the essay; and (b) what it feels like to read his prose. And I say this as an admirer of Yellow Dog. He seems to be rapidly turning into an old fart.


I was thinking more about Martin Amis’s abandoned novella, the Unknown Known, as he describes in his essay.

Maybe he abandoned it because he knew that the title, Unknown Known, would appear to have been inspired by Slavoj Zizek’s essay on Donald Rumsfeld, in which Zizek offers the following observation:

In March 2003, Rumsfeld engaged in a little bit of amateur philosophizing about the relationship between the known and the unknown: “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” What he forgot to add was the crucial fourth term: the “unknown knowns,” the things we don’t know that we know—which is precisely, the Freudian unconscious, the “knowledge which doesn’t know itself,” as Lacan used to say.

Or maybe he abandoned it because he didn’t know that he knew that the title would have appeared to have been inspired by Zizek’s essay. Either way, the project reads like convoluted trash.


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