A splendid novel

by Chris Bertram on July 25, 2004

I finished Andrew Crumey’s Mr Mee last night, and, to adopt the Chris Brooke evaluative vocabulary , it is truly splendid and I’m going to read his other books as soon as I can. Crumey weaves together three interlocking stories: the unworldly octogenarian Mr Mee, and his discovery of the internet, porn and sex; the reflections of a terminally ill professor of French literature on his life, work on Rousseau, Proust, and (most pressingly) his plan to seduce his favourite student; and the adventures of Ferrand and Minard, two characters from Rousseau’s Confessions. I’ll avoid posting spoilers, but along with the Monty Hall problem , we’re also treated to versions of Searle’s Chinese Room and Ned Block’s entire population of China, and one of the protagonists, seduced by an 18th century anticipation of the functionalist theory of mind, tries to construct a computer from string and paper. Anyone who has ever taught or been taught elementary logic will laugh aloud.

{ 2 comments }

1

PG 07.26.04 at 5:34 am

First Ted on the French murderer, now this fiction praise. At this rate, I’ll have to read a quality book.

2

Brad 07.26.04 at 9:28 am

I recently organized a colloquium that had Andrew Crumey as one of the panelists. Not only was he an incredibly gracious contributor to our very humble conference, his reading from Mobius Dick (his latest release) was absolutely brilliant. As to his older stuff, I cannot recommend enough Music in a Foreign Language (his debut novel), and Pfitz.

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