Lars Iyer’s Spurious is probably the most profound contribution to post modern literature that these islands have produced since Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Acerbically witty, reveling in the banality of the daily disintegration of thought in Britain, it manages to transgress our everyday delineations of truth, reality, fiction and authenticity with a wanton hilarity which is breathtaking in its audacity. Spurious is based on the true story of a friendship surviving on the dregs of metaphysics – two professional philosophers clinging onto a discipline that has been systematically undermined in Britain since the eighties, the callousness of their relationship reflecting the dire nature of not only their personal positions, but the fate of thought itself. W’s much harked upon great Essex University Philosophy postgraduate scene was real, but it did not herald the renaissance we thought was coming, but rather the last wet flop of the dying fish called Continental Philosophy. It is worth noting that the most consummate of thinkers from that group left Britain immediately and became a successful cars salesman in France, whereas the worst became well known. To my knowledge, W is both charmed and incensed at the book – it is a typical Larsian product, brilliant in its ignorance, but condemning W to a life on the sidelines, immortalized not in the thought he loves, but in the pork scratching of a beleaguered friend. Lars has shown himself to be a true artist, risking probably his only true friendship for the sake of his work and I hope he will be adequately rewarded for his courage.
Coffee Percolator, Not the Booker review