Tue, 10 November 2020

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Saying the Unsayable – Will Self on Death

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Orphaned at 25, Will Self discovered that we struggle to talk about death and bereavement. With no end yet in sight for the global plague, he joins us to have an honest conversation about the Inevitable.

Following the loss of his mother thirty years ago, the novelist Will Self discovered how difficult people found it to offer him simple condolences; and even after decades of education in the importance of emotional intelligence and frank public discussion of the importance of mental health, he has found that in 2020, nothing about this aspect of the collective British psyche has changed.

The end of life is a preoccupation of Self’s life and thought: a theme running, like the pattern embedded in a stick of Brighton Rock, across innumerable critically-acclaimed novels, stories, and essays. In this livestreamed talk, he will address our anxieties head-on, offering an idiosyncratic and characteristically brilliant perspective on the questions that all of us will eventually face.

What does it mean to ready oneself for ‘a good death’? Are Goths better or worse at processing grief than those of us not preoccupied by ghoulish iconography? Is assisted suicide an affirming expression of personal dignity or an insult to those who care for the dying? In a world brought to the brink by the excesses of consumerism and greed, what does it mean to leave a meaningful legacy?

Don’t miss this opportunity to confront the human condition head-on with one of the most iconoclastic and audacious authors of our age.

The event takes place at 6:30pm GMT and includes access to a replay video available 48 hours after the event to enjoy with no time limit.

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Will Self

Author of eleven novels and Professor of Contemporary Thought at Brunel University.

Will Self is the author of eleven novels, latterly Shark and Umbrella, as well as seven short story collections and seven essay collections. He is Professsor of Contemporary Thought at Brunel University.