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Jack Underwood, a father and poet, reflects on how his daughter’s birth at a time of great
global uncertainty inspired him to rediscover with fresh urgency the importance of language as a realm of ‘intimacy, overlap, hope and trust’. Poetry can uniquely offer an understanding of the world which brings its complexity within reach – yet does not seek to reduce or explain that complexity away.
Kafka once speculated that human beings are merely “nihilistic thoughts, suicidal thoughts, that came into God’s head.” But luckily, “our world is only a bad mood of God”. Outside of the world as we know it, there is “plenty of hope, an infinite amount of hope – but not for us.”
Philosopher and writer Tom Whyman argues that Kafka was right, and, weaving engaging reflections on parenthood and the philosophy of Kant, Adorno, Jean Rhys, and Mark Fisher and
others, delicately explores a common yet increasingly burning question: how might we cling to that hope as sea levels rise, forests burn and a pandemic sweeps across the
Tom Whyman is a philosopher and writer who lives in the north-east of England. His book Infinitely Full of Hope is out. Jack Underwood is a poet, writer and critic. His debut collection of poems Happiness was published by Faber in 2015 and won the Somerset Maugham Award. He is a recipient of an Eric Gregory Award, and a draft of his new book Not Even This was shortlisted for the Arts Foundation’s prize for Creative Non-fiction in 2017.
LINKS FOR FURTHER INFO:
Twitter: @RepeaterBooks / @Jundermilkwood / @HealthUntoDeath
** This talk will be held online using the Zoom application (available for PC, Mac, iOS and Android). A link to join the talk will be sent to ticketholders on the day of the event. **