A workers state with executive dysfunction

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Artur Nowrot
    April 8, 2016 @ 9:44 am

    Oh, what a lovely and unexpected (to me, at least) turn; though I suppose not mentioning Blake in a chapter that explicitly alludes to him would be a travesty.

    (Incidentally, my copy of Ackroyd’s biography of Blake should be arriving today. Talk about magic.)

    I’m also a little surprised that you didn’t use a phrase “Moore’s Basilisk” in this part – but as with not mentioning Blake in the Neoreaction excerpt you posted some time ago, this was probably neither the time, nor place.


  2. Sean Dillon
    April 8, 2016 @ 2:37 pm

    I’m not sure if this is just a quirk of being on mobile, but the ozymandias panels are in the wrong position.


    • Anton B
      April 8, 2016 @ 3:06 pm

      Symmetry. I’m assuming it mirrors the last post and will become the centrepiece of the chapter when it’s finished.


      • Elizabeth Sandifer
        April 8, 2016 @ 5:23 pm

        More basically, look at the other marker panels in this entry and the general formatting rule I used should become clear.


        • Sean Dillon
          April 8, 2016 @ 5:32 pm

          Ah, ok I see it. I thought you might pull something like that, it’s just jarring when you see the two together like that.


  3. Aberrant Eyes
    April 8, 2016 @ 3:57 pm

    Ozymandias himself, whose plan is a dead ringer for the sorts of elaborate world-spanning schemes of super-villains like Doctor Doom, Lex Luthor, or Ra’s al Ghul might come up with.

    And, indeed, Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Luthor under the guidance of Visionary Director Zack Snyder strikes me as owing a certain debt to Ozymandias, though Goyer and Terrio clearly understand Veidt better than, for instance, Len Wein did:

    [T]the reader never actually sees any of Ozymandias’s major leaps of logic as he’s making them. Everything is described as a realization already had, narrated by Ozymandias to people he clearly does not believe could ever possibly understand him.

    The Luthor of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice does the same thing, with the difference that Ozymandias explains his conclusions straightforwardly while Luthor couches his in riddle and metaphor.


  4. Sean Dillon
    April 8, 2016 @ 5:35 pm

    “And Moore’s halfway measure of locating this monstrous possibility within his labyrinth and then walking away made it all too easy for someone to follow his steps and then take one more.”

    Yes, and that person was called… Neil Gaiman.


    • Tim B.
      April 8, 2016 @ 8:19 pm

      I see what you did there…


  5. MinisterPopsycle
    April 8, 2016 @ 9:47 pm

    Aaarghh. Third time at this comment. So, a third of the way through this Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell pops into my mind. Characters that seem to inaugarate a resurgence of magic in the public eye. One a crusty stay at home, the other a would be rock-god. One replacing the other in the State’s affections. Both turning out to be a spell of Albion.
    P.S. I have been drinking heavily while imbibing this heady brew.
    P.P.S. Love what you do, Mr Sandifer.


  6. Kit
    April 10, 2016 @ 7:15 am

    “having tried and failed to hack it as a rock star”

    Although I appreciate the rhetorical intention, this is a fairly profund misunderstanding of C86.


    • Sleepyscholar
      April 11, 2016 @ 7:29 am

      I have C86 sitting in a box across the room from me: I got it from the NME when it came out, rather than as a collector’s item. At this remove in time I would be really grateful if you would correct my own ‘profound misunderstanding’, and perhaps explain The Mixers’ connection (or Jenny & The Cat Club’s, or Ochre 5’s) with it.


      • Kit
        April 16, 2016 @ 2:55 am

        Ahoy! I didn’t think to look back at the comments until this week’s LWIA came out. I wasn’t referring to the cassette itself, but condensed down from a longer comment to use the associated movement/style as the shortest possible -hand to refer to the ideals of British indie of the time, and especially the wilful throwback of janglepop, as having aspirations significantly counter to notions of “rock stardom” or world-straddling fame and success.


  7. Jake
    April 12, 2016 @ 3:59 am

    Whatever living rivals Blake may have had, his more important struggle was against the figure Harold Bloom would call his precursor: John Milton, whose magnum opus is named in this post. You wouldn’t have the war without him!


    • Aberrant Eyes
      April 12, 2016 @ 1:22 pm

      And don’t forget Emmanuel Swedenborg. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell clearly announces itself as a reaction to him.

      “And lo! Swedenborg is the Angel sitting at the tomb: his writings are the linen clothes folded up.” (Plate III)

      “A man carried a monkey about for a shew, & because he was a little wiser than the monkey grew vain, and conciev’d himself as much wiser than seven men. It is so with Swedenborg; he shews the folly of churches & exposes hypocrites, till he imagines that all are religious, & himself the single one on earth that ever broke a net.” (Plates XXI-XXII)


  8. Daru
    May 15, 2016 @ 2:36 pm

    “Who, in other words, was drawn to the idea of standing astride the world and bending it to his will in almost precisely the way that Moore was repulsed and terrified by it. … But Albion is not a young realm, and none of this is new.”

    I really love the way you seamlessly shifted the narrative here from Moore’s life to the life of Albion and then Blake. Beautiful stuff, loving it Phil.


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