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Michael Neve, 20 October 1983

by Timothy Leary.
Heinemann, 397 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 434 40975 8
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Freud and Cocaine 
by E.M. Thornton.
Blond and Briggs, 340 pp., £12.95, September 1983, 0 85634 139 8
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Right-Wing Women: The Politics of Domesticated Females 
by Andrea Dworkin.
Women’s Press, 254 pp., £4.95, June 1983, 0 7043 3907 2
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Hidden Selves: Between Theory and Practice in Psychoanalysis 
by Masud Khan.
Hogarth, 204 pp., £12.50, July 1983, 0 7012 0547 4
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... re-educate ourselves. Certain themes in the life and work of Sigmund Freud, of the LSD prophet Timothy Leary, and of the more strident feminist authors, of whom Andrea Dworkin is undoubtedly one, give glimpses of the culs-de-sac into which many roads turn. Unsurprisingly, Freud comes off least badly, but the case made against him by E.M. Thornton is ...

On Michael Neve

Mike Jay, 21 November 2019

... visions, does the deliberate deafness take hold?’ is the way a piece began that yoked together Timothy Leary, anti-Freud polemic and Andrea Dworkin. ‘Oliver Sacks is the Jules Verne of the neurological interface’ was the opening of another piece. Just as often, the most startling insights appeared as throwaways. ‘It’s a moot point as to ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Thomas Pynchon, 8 May 2003

... in mind-control experiments in Gravity’s Rainbow stem from Pynchon’s having worked, with Timothy Leary, for the CIA, distributing LSD among the rebellious youth of California to incapacitate the enemy within? Almost certainly not. It’s a shame – and one of those things some people like to call ‘an irony’ – that Pynchon’s assiduous ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Dinner at the Digs, 20 March 2008

... except your dinner guests’. ‘They’ve outlawed the number one vegetable on the planet,’ Timothy Leary once moaned, though, technically, grass is a fruit. The perfect student menu could go something like this: Really Wild Mushroom Sauté * * * Pot Pesto & Herb Pasta * * * Mad For It Moroccan Majoun The mushroom starter has cannabutter (made with ...

Whatever happened to Ed Victor?

Jenny Diski, 6 July 1995

Hippie Hippie Shake: The Dreams, the Trips, the Trials, the Love-ins, The Screw Ups … The Sixties 
by Richard Neville.
Bloomsbury, 376 pp., £18.99, May 1995, 0 7475 1554 9
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... which those to come could breathe. Kerouac, Genet, Burroughs and John Coltrane were there before Timothy Leary, Marcuse, Germaine Greer and the Beatles. I remember feeling wretched in the early Sixties that I had been born too late, the Beats had already happened, the parade, the great time had passed before I was old enough to join in: just as later ...

Chemical Common Sense

Miroslav Holub, 4 July 1996

The Same and Not the Same 
by Roald Hoffmann.
Columbia, 294 pp., $34.95, September 1995, 0 231 10138 4
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... more are in the New Age style or promoting New Age ideology. There are also essays by Proust and Timothy Leary and some Freudian texts. Between them, these dominate the list and are the most visible volumes of non-fiction in the windows of every bookseller. Newspapers carry only an occasional article on popular subjects such as a new comet or an old ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation, 8 September 2016

... on to hallucinogens. (On the way to the Lowell/Hardwick apartment on Riverside Drive in 1961, with Timothy Leary in tow, Ginsberg’s partner Peter Orlovsky asked an entirely reasonable question: ‘Why are we giving psilocybin to Lowell?’ Ginsberg, according to his biographer, Miles, was in no doubt: ‘We hope to loosen him up, make him happier ...


Rose George: In the New Beirut, 23 January 2003

... once had a suite; Kim Philby came to stay. Dizzying deals were sealed over handshakes in the bar. Timothy Leary stayed here with some Black Panthers during his Middle Eastern study tour of revolutionary movements. The late Marquess of Aberdeen, as he wrote in the Oldie recently, would stay at the St George and make whoring trips to Mme Janette’s, two ...


Elaine Mokhtefi: Panthers in Algiers, 1 June 2017

... York Times Magazine entitled ‘Our Other Man in Algiers’.Soon after the opening of the embassy Timothy Leary, the high priest of LSD (‘turn on, tune in, drop out’), and his wife arrived in town. Leary had been sprung from a US prison by the Weather Underground, who’d been paid $25,000 (some say $50,000) by the ...

Viva la joia

Roy Porter, 22 December 1983

Montaigne: Essays in Reading 
edited by Gérard Defaux.
Yale, 308 pp., £8.95, April 1983, 0 300 02977 2
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Montaigne and Melancholy: The Wisdom of the ‘Essays’ 
by M.A. Screech.
Duckworth, 194 pp., £19.50, August 1983, 0 7156 1698 6
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... and eccentrics were all to abound, from Donne and Sir Thomas Browne through to Rousseau and Timothy Leary. But so many of them were egomaniacs, self-hating, self-exiled, possessed by daemons. Montaigne, by contrast, taught that the soul should be at home with the self – neither beast nor angel, but human. ‘Our great duty’, he wrote, is ...


Jeremy Harding: My ’68, 19 July 2018

... shoved everything into the rucksack: UFOs and Yeats, Grace Slick and Maud Gonne, ley lines, Timothy Leary and R.D. Laing, as we struck camp and pitched it a few metres down the road the following evening. It didn’t matter that we were still in the same place: the point was to see it – and ourselves – differently, to change the people we were ...

Grunge Futurism

Julian Loose, 4 November 1993

Virtual Light 
by William Gibson.
Viking, 336 pp., £14.99, September 1993, 0 670 84081 5
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Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Post-Modern Science Fiction 
by Scott Bukatman.
Duke, 416 pp., £15.95, August 1993, 0 8223 1340 5
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... beyond the SF ghetto: Kathy Acker’s Empire of the Senseless paid Gibson plagiaristic tribute, Timothy Leary now advises people to ‘activate, boot up, and change disks in their minds’. Science fiction, increasingly recognised as Post-Modernism’s ‘low art’ double, is in danger of becoming respectable. Frederic Jameson has even declared ...

Unaccommodated Man

Christopher Tayler: Adventures with Robert Stone, 18 March 2004

Bay of Souls 
by Robert Stone.
Picador, 250 pp., £16.99, February 2004, 0 330 41894 7
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... looked not at all the type. He claimed he’d been given the LSD by Arthur Koestler, who had known Timothy Leary. She thought he might have got it in Buenos Aires from a CIA collaborator with the dirty war. His play name had something to do with spreading grain, fighting Communism. An acid vision. He believed in some variety of neo-Fascist revolution ...

I am Gregor Samsa

Eric Korn, 7 January 1993

Virtual Reality 
by Howard Rheingold.
Secker, 415 pp., £19.99, October 1992, 0 436 41212 8
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by Katie Hafner and John Markoff.
Fourth Estate, 368 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 1 872180 94 9
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Glimpses of Heaven, Visions of Hell: Virtual Reality and its Implications 
by Barrie Sherman and Phil Judkins.
Hodder, 224 pp., £12.99, July 1992, 0 340 56905 0
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... by producing the image of a keyboard on or around which you can then work); futurologists, freaks, Timothy Leary and other state-of-the-art gurus (‘if our destiny as organisms is to become wetware symbiotes of our own tools’); virtual personalities, cyber-gloves, flight simulators and cybernetic cadavers (for teaching surgery); Rheingold has clambered ...

A Little Bit of Showing Off

Adam Phillips: Isherwood’s 1960s, 6 January 2011

The Sixties: Diaries 1960-69 
by Christopher Isherwood, edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 756 pp., £30, November 2010, 978 0 7011 6940 4
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... and doing his own writing. There are wonderful descriptions of the famous and the infamous – Timothy Leary, Warhol, Ginsberg, Charles Laughton, Truman Capote, Natalie Wood, Thom Gunn, the Reagans, Leslie Caron, Nehru – but it’s their performance that’s gossiped about, not their morals. When he describes people it’s as if he’s making notes ...

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