Thunk, thunk, thunk…

Will Essays 4 Comments

Bicycles are my favourite mode of transport. They are less grouchy than camels, they don’t have minds of their own the way horses do, they are cheaper than cars, and they are speedier than going on foot. So it was a pleasure today to borrow a bike from my guest-house here in Bodhgaya, and to set out to explore the …

India!

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The last few days have been pretty busy, as I’ve been putting everything in order for my forthcoming trip to India. I’m going to be doing an event at the Kolkata Book Fair, where I’ll be launching the paperback of my novel, The Descent of the Lyre. Kolkata Book Fair is an interesting event, in particular because of the strong …

Gilgit - Image Courtesy Hashoo Foundation.

Unmapped: Flesh and Stones

Will News 2 Comments

I’m very pleased to have another article in Unmapped Magazine. This time the subject of the magazine is books, and the piece is a short story about corpses, cherries, perilous roads in the north of Pakistan, and one of my early encounters with Buddhism, by means of an old and mildewed book that I picked up in a second-hand bookshop. You …

A Poem by Han Shan

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I’ve been entertaining myself over the last few days translating some poems by Han Shan; and just for the hell of it, I thought I’d post one translation here. I don’t write much poetry of my own (although I used to), so I’m enjoying the experience of taking a break from writing prose, and tinkering with translations. If you want …

Therapeutic Philosophy and the Pharmacopoeia of Humankind

Will Essays 16 Comments

Some time ago, I attended a conference — I won’t say where the conference was — at which a certain speaker was talking about what he called the “fundamental conditions of human existence”. The speaker was a tall, rather distinguished looking Norwegian academic; and as he spoke, he laid out what he believed these conditions to be. “Existential loneliness,” he …