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Instant CPR for the Head

November 10, 2010

ta14We now have some reviews of the 14th issue of the Anomalist journal, entitled Electricity of the Mind, to share with you. Peter Rogerson, in his review of the book for Magonia, does a wonderful job of linking most of the contents of this volume of essays to a common theme: “Texts contain hidden secrets, and new technologies are helping to unearth them. Older texts may contain the strangest stories and the ones that require the most textual analysis to help tease out their meaning.” He ends his review with these fine words: “As always in the Anomalist the good stuff far outweighs the dross, and recommended to all Forteans and explorers of the matrix of ghosts.” Tom Ruffles, in his review of the book for the Society for Physical Research, picked out his two favorite essays: “There are two stand-out papers here, one by Theo Paijmans, the other by Mike Jay. Paijmans … gives us … some fine examples of how searching newspaper runs digitally can assist in uncovering stories. A major benefit of this is the ability to check huge quantities of text quickly, throwing up variants of the same story in different publications…The always reliable Mike Jay looks at Coleridge…[and] concludes that Coleridge, being poised to elaborate a new psychology, then drew back, perhaps because he found it beyond his capabilities, though he incorporated these insights into his wider literary theories. The main point was that imagination was not mechanical but was fluid, capable of synthesis and recombination.” Finally, Paul Sieveking of the Fortean Times chose to highlight another essay in his review of the book: “This latest Anomalist anthology offers a wide range of short(ish) articles to stimulate the fortean imagination…The most contentious contribution is a piece by ‘Aeolus Kephas’ exploring the implications of treating anthropologist Carlos Castaneda and alien abductee Whitley Strieber as genuine witnesses of shamanic phenomena, conduits for superior intelligence. This is an intriguing thought experiment, but I still suspect The Teachings of Don Juan and Communion are ingenious fiction rather than travelogues from the Land of Magonia. However, this anthology deserves a place on every fortean’s bookshelf.” So, thank you, Ian Simmons, who did such a bang-up job as the guest editor on this volume!