Tom McCarthy

  • Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley

    There’s a scene in Peter Benchley’s Jaws that never made it into Spielberg’s movie. About halfway through the novel, Ellen Brody, the Amity police chief’s frustrated wife, and Matt Hooper, the marine biologist, go out to lunch together. During the meal, they embark on a shared sexual fantasy in which they imagine masturbating each other as they drive down a freeway until, driven to distraction by excitement, they crash the car and die, sprawled across the tarmac with their genitals exposed to bystanders.

    Jaws was published in 1974. J. G. Ballard’s Crash had been published one year earlier.

  • The New Geography

    The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space. We are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. We are at a moment, I believe, when our experience of the world is less that of a long life developing through time than that of a network that connects points and intersects with its own skein.

    —Michel Foucault, “Of Other Spaces,” 1967

    The practice of geography is by its nature a ticklish, paradoxical enterprise. It is at once the study of objects and of subjects, of things and of