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On Modern Manners is a book about our plight in the modern world, about how we live and how we lie about how we live. It consists of sayings and fragments telling ofslights and fancies, imagined loves and broken dreams, completed in the time it takes to recognise another, to smile and to stand back surprised as they pass by without seeing us. These are moments that may be decisive or not, fragments on which things just might turn. They seek to describe an event or a feeling, hinting at something deeper just out of view. Much has been left unsaid, but not by me.They leave themselves open to speculation over what they might mean. But they are not part of anything bigger: this really is all there is. They provide just enough colour and light, enough of a glimpse into the lives of others, such that they hold us even as we feel we are holding them.These are stories that are as complete as they ever will be, and perhaps can be. 

But these stories are also attempts to pull free; to convince that we can be free and that we need not be pushed down. These are efforts to say that we can still laugh. Not the cackle of the maniac or the desperate, but the quiet chuckle that means contentment and an easy night. These stories ease us away from loss and to assert a wit even if we cannot manage wisdom. These are attempts to show that we are not afraid; that we are not alone; and if we are wrong – if we are afraid and are alone – then it does not really matter.

On Modern Manners consists of two parts. The first, Sayings Against Madness, is a series of aphorisms arranged loosely into themes but, like all aphorisms, are often downright contradictory. The second part, Fragments, consists of tiny but complete pieces that aim to evoke and provoke. Taken together this work, consisting of hundreds of stories, offers some comments on modern manners.

The book is published by Arktos ( available as a paperback or e-book at:

The book is available via Amazon UK at:

It is available via Amazon US at:

You can watch an Arktos podcast of me discussing the book at:

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