Walking the Dog with Will Self

For an example of brilliant writing try Will Self’s “Diary” published in the London Review of Books and available in full for free to read on their Web site. The article is ostensibly a tribute to BBC Radio 4’s program, In Our Time, which is chaired by Melvin Bragg who Self describes as a “handsome walnut,” but ends up as a meditation on walking across London’s Clapham Common with his Jack Russell, Maglorian. Self brings together the disparate themes of a radio program with walking the dog in a most surprising ending.

A dispiriting proposition: but I had full waterproofs and In Our Time to look forward to. As Maglorian and I bounded up the stairs from the tube Bragg syringed his guests into my inner ears: Raymond Geuss, a professor in the Cambridge University philosophy faculty; Esther Leslie, a professor of political aesthetics at Birkbeck; and Jonathan Rée, who was dashingly trailed as a ‘freelance historian and scholar’. Their subject: the Frankfurt School. And what could be a more fitting podcast – I thought to myself as I set off across the muddy grass – than a consideration of those who had considered the work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility?