Critique of Pure Reason
In Critique of Pure Reason, Gabriel Blackwell bends found forms to story, repurposes history, sets mathematics and a programmer’s logic to generating emotion and wonder. This is the work of a talented storyteller slyly taking the stance of a documentary filmmaker, or else of a first-rate bureaucrat, perhaps rising quickly through our Ministry of Imagination—and with each new diagram and footnote and well-made sentence the philosopher in Blackwell provides us another piece of that most illusive of proofs, a verification of our shared humanity, captured here in all its absurdity and horror and glory.
Unique and compelling as the very souls they depict—from the unknown to the famous to the infamous—these stories are wildly inventive, sly, astute. There’s a bit of Sir Thomas Browne (Borges, too) for the twenty-first century in these wizardly, magical narratives. The notion of ‘pure reason’ has rarely had a more subtle, comical, yet deeply humane alchemist at work in the great lab of fiction than Gabriel Blackwell.