Snorghs, Sailors, Philosophy and Mood

With apologies for cross-posting from my personal website; but I’m very pleased to have received this morning two copies of the Spring Issue of Interdisciplinary Humanities journal, which includes my essay on “What the Snorgh Taught me about Emmanuel Levinas”. It’s a fairly personal essay/paper about the questions around children’s literature, creative writing, research and philosophy. The paper started out when I began to realise that the process of writing my children’s book, The Snorgh and the Sailor was (whatever Martin Amis might say about children’s literature) one that fed back into my philosophical writing, opening up new questions and lines of inquiry.

Here are some quotes, for the fun of it. Some of these ideas I might follow up in future posts here at The Myriad Things:

Far from being a way of passing the time for those suffering from various kinds of mental impairment [as Amis suggests], it seems increasingly apparent to me that the writing and reading of children’s literature can lead to precisely the opposite: to new kinds of freedom, to the development of new ideas…


“Philosophers are often more like Snorghs than they are like Sailors, which is to say that they generally prefer solitude, their own soup, routine, gloom and drizzle to high adventure, storytelling, good cheer, and companionship…”

…and, finally…

Philosophy, as all diligent readers of Heidegger will know, is fundamentally rooted in mood; and mood acts as a kind of framing of the possibilities of the philosophy that grows out of it. But part of the power of narrative and of story lies in the fact that stories work by means of the transformation of moods, from one state to another, opening up new possibilities of thought as they do so.

I’ll pick up on some of these things here as time goes on. Meanwhile, the paper should soon be available via EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier (if you don’t have access, get in touch and I might be able to root out a draft copy somewhere).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.