Ken Campbell, I'm not mad, I've just read different books

Review in Issue 15-4 | Winter 2003

This visit to Kenworld is an absolute pleasure. Shuffling around a table, books laid out like a display at a conference, Ken Campbell lets us and the universe in his hands flapping on top of his head as if his skull were opening, bay door like to admit some imponderable spaceship bearing Ideas from the edge. But rather than a story or a philosophy, what Campbell gives us is a map.

He begins with a few routes off the mainstream-early Jackie Chan the Jeremy Beadlean Library, the Cathar Theresy’. Laughing Jesus, a Swiss cult with a screenplay problem, Those familiar with Kenworld can guess that these seemingly disparate lanes are all part of some Ken-coherent topology. It’s just that we haven’t been told yet.

And sure enough, as we enter an invigorated second half the routes meet in quantum entanglements we are simultaneously travelling high science with professors Deutsch, Penrose, Hawking et al, middle-brow necromancy at Ken’s local Old Catholic church, deep into an IntraMontane temple.

If there’s a weakness it’s the coalescence into a final meaning - all about time lines’. Having set so many hares to catch, Campbell isn’t quite sure where to stuff them all. Pity he didn’t pursue Roger Penrose a little more. Then, rather than a final narrative, he might have ended by dissolving big Self and little plots in Penrose’s quan tum consciousness - but can the one-person show survive that?

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-4
p. 25