RIP Lauren Berlant


ten years ago when we were having dinner in a vegan restaurant in chicago with a large group of brilliant and beautiful people all completely in awe of her, she zoomed in on the person who was probably less familiar with her work than anyone else in the room except the waiting staff and asked all about me. one of the interesting things she said was that she saw no discontinuity at all between my former life as an artist/academic and my then new life as a writer/narrative therapist/spiritual carer.

she made me promise i'd send her my book when it was finished and wrote to me after she read it and she was very nice about it. she was 'asking for a friend' who had been diagnosed with cancer what i thought of stephen jenkinson and my answer was : not much. he reminds me of a cult leader, and as is sometimes the case with cult leaders, about fifty percent of what they say is interesting and good, the problem is with the other fifty percent.

i would like to think that she found something in my book that was useful to her. i would have like to have had a conversation about death and dying with her. i am sure she would have had something seriously interesting to say about it.

i would have liked to have said to her that i see no discontinuity between being alive and being dead, but it does make writing and thinking impossible and that is a great pity, especially in the case of lauren berlant.

for six months of each year we were the same age.