Author who wrote heartbreaking ‘dating profile’ for her husband dies

(CNN)Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the prolific children’s book author who wrote a devastating “Modern Love” column about her soon-to-be-widower husband, died in her home in Chicago on Monday from ovarian cancer. She was 51.

“Everything Amy did was life and love affirming,” Amy Rennert, her longtime literary agent and friend, said in a statement to CNN. “She was such a bright light with a great sense of wonder.”
Rosenthal was best known for her many children’s books, including “Duck! Rabbit!” “I Wish You More,” and “Uni the Unicorn,” among others. She also wrote two memoirs for adults, the highly-praised “Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life” and its follow-up “Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal.”
    But one of her most powerful works was a column she wrote for The New York Times’ recurring “Modern Love” feature in early March, titled “You May Want to Marry My Husband.”
    In the article, Rosenthal wrote that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had little time left to live. Knowing these were her last days, she praised the loving virtues of her husband, making the column into a kind of a “dating profile” to help him find a new love after her death.
    “He is an easy man to fall in love with. I did it in one day,” she wrote. “I have never been on Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony, but I’m going to create a general profile for Jason right here, based on my experience of coexisting in the same house with him for, like, 9,490 days.”
    Her husband Jason is a lawyer, a good cook, a painter, and, most importantly, a thoughtful and dedicated partner, she wrote.
    “I want more time with Jason. I want more time with my children. I want more time sipping martinis at the Green Mill Jazz Club on Thursday nights,” she wrote. “But that is not going to happen. I probably have only a few days left being a person on this planet.”
    Her reason for writing the column? “I am wrapping this up on Valentine’s Day, and the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift I can hope for is that the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins,” she wrote.
    Readers reacted to the selfless love story with an outpouring of emotion and plenty of tears.
    Rennert, Rosenthal’s agent, said the essay was the “ultimate gift” to us all.
    “Amy’s final essay, written under the most difficult of circumstances, a love letter to her husband Jason, was the ultimate gift to him and also to the rest of us,” she said.
    John Green, the bestselling author of “The Fault in Our Stars,” praised Krouse Rosenthal in a series of tweets as a “brilliant writer” and “what I wanted to be when I grew up.”
    HarperCollins said in a statement the company was “privileged and honored” to have published 11 of Rosenthal’s books.
    “She was one of our most brilliant, creative, passionate authors who had an amazing way of turning ideas upside down in wonderful ways, and a gift for taking a handful of words and putting them together in a creative, unexpected way,” the publisher said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/13/health/amy-krouse-rosenthal-author-modern-love-death-trnd/index.html

    23 literary journeys with the world’s great writers

    (CNN)Writers sometimes travel far from home to find inspiration, or even the freedom to express themselves.

    Others are so closely associated with a place that it’s hard to know whether the city left its mark on an author, or if it was the other way around.
    Here are 23 writers whose words helped define a particular place.
    Some places have returned the love with museums and monuments. Others simply allow readers to walk in a writer’s footsteps and experience sites of great inspirations.

      Mark Twain’s Mississippi River (Missouri)

      Reading through “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” or “Huckleberry Finn” today, the landscape around the Mississippi River feels almost unrecognizable.
      When he wrote in the 1800s, the river was frontier land, not the powerful transport network that links half the United States, lined with farms and dotted with major cities.
      However, his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri has preserved some of the sights that the boy Samuel Clemson explored before he become famous — including the caves that became the scene of Tom and Huck’s escapades.
      A riverboat called the Mark Twain plies the river and takes visitors to Jackson’s Island, where Huck and the escaped slave Jim first realized a manhunt was after them.

      Amy Tan’s San Francisco (California)

      San Francisco’s Chinatown is the setting, and arguably a character, in many of Amy Tan’s novels.
      In her breakthrough “The Joy Luck Club,” which was also made into a successful film, the main character Waverly Place Jong was named after the street that her family lived on.
      Parts of the traditional Chinatown are now more Vietnamese, or even Russian. But Waverly Place is still home to the oldest Chinese temple in the United States, Tin How Temple.
      Waverly is known as the “street of the painted balconies,” because of the brightly painted shops and restaurants.

      James Joyce’s Dublin (Ireland)

      The

      One of the great writers of 20th-century China, Lu Xun occupies a peculiar place in the country.
      A leftist who never joined the Communist Party, his blistering critiques of tyranny still shape political thought today.
      Because the party embraced him, his presence in Shanghai has been enshrined. There’s a Lu Xun Memorial Hall (200 Tian’ai Rd, LuXun GongYuan, Hongkou Qu, Shanghai; +86 21 6540 2288), a Lu Xun Park (2288 Sichuan N Rd, LuXun GongYuan, Hongkou Qu, Shanghai; +86 21 6540 1561), and the Lu Xun Memorial Tomb.
      The selections of his works on display are, needless to say, carefully selected to avoid any possible critique of the current government.
      While the park is beautiful, it’s more interesting to wander through what used to be foreign concessions where he set up his League of Leftist Writers. The league’s building is on Duolun Road, now a popular tourist and shopping area.

      Stieg Larsson’s Stockholm (Sweden)

      The global publishing success of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy — not to mention the films made from them — has given Stockholm a new appeal for fans of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
      The Stockholm City Museum runs a walking tour that takes fans into the world of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, or at least into their trendy neighborhood of Sodermalm.
      It’s a chance to see where Larsson placed the fictional sites in his books, from journalist Blomkvist’s favorite caf to Salander’s favorite tattoo parlor.

      JRR Tolkien’s Birmingham (England)

      The film versions of “The Lord of the Rings” made New Zealand synonymous with the novels, a role the country has eagerly embraced. (The national airline featured the characters in a safety video).
      But the actual inspiration for the books more likely draws from Tolkien’s life in England. Born in South Africa, his family moved outside of Birmingham when he was four years old.
      His childhood centered on the bucolic hamlet of Sarehole, where the pastures, streams and woods are widely considered as the inspiration for the Shire and Hobbiton.
      Nearby, the towers of Perrott’s Folly (44 Waterworks Rd, Birmingham) echo “The Two Towers.”
      When Tolkien was a boy, the clanking engine and steam from the Edgbaston Waterworks would have sounded like Mordor’s Barad-dr, the Dark Tower.
      The city of Birmingham maintains a Tolkien Trail to help visitors find the sites.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/06/travel/literary-journeys/index.html

      ‘Biggest Loser’ host Bob Harper ‘feeling better’ after heart attack

      (CNN)Bob Harper, personal trainer and host of the NBC show “The Biggest Loser,” shared on Instagram that he had a heart attack two weeks ago.

      “I am feeling better. Just taking it easy,” the 51-year old celebrity trainer posted with a photo of himself in bed, wearing a hospital gown. “I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of messages and support. It feels good to be cared about. I’ve been home for 8 days now.”

      Well I guess you all heard what happened. Two weeks ago yesterday I had a heart attack. I am feeling better. Just taking it easy. KARL has been a great nurse. I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of messages and support. It feels good to be cared about. I've been home for 8 days now. Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I'm lucky to have such good friends and family to take care of me right now.

      A post shared by Bob Harper (@trainerbob) on

      Harper has said in the past that his family has a history of heart problems. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of heart problems and help you live longer, but family history also plays a key role in heart health. Your genes can elevate your risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Although the risk is low, exercise itself can also increase your risk of a heart attack. Most of that risk, though, is in the hours following a workout.

        See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

        The experienced fitness trainer and TV star has appeared on 17 seasons of the NBC show “The Biggest Loser” show since 2004. He has helped a number of contestants lose weight by working out and eating healthier. Harper has also written three best-selling books on the topic.
        Harper has more than 20 years of experience helping people get fit and lose weight.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/27/health/bob-harper-biggest-loser-heart-attack-bn/index.html

        City Book Review Shows You Why You Should Get Your Book Reviewed (cool video)

        The folks at City Book Review have been doing book reviews since 2008, more than 20,000 reviews over the years. If you’re an author and need a review, give them a try.

        Now that your wrote and published your book, next up is how to get your book reviewed by a professional organization. Many bookstores won’t carry a book that hasn’t been reviewed by someone, and there are fewer and fewer local newspapers that review books any more. So your chances to get reviewed are harder each year. Luckily places like San Francisco Book Review and their sister publications have stepped up to help authors with book reviews, marketing, cover design and SEO.

        Rep. Jordan confronts protesters but finds no common ground

        Fremont, Ohio (CNN)Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan acknowledged protesters outside two events in his home district Monday — a break with many other Capitol Hill colleagues who have largely avoided such scenes — but was met with shouts of disapproval.

        The Ohio Republican, a 10-year veteran of the House and one of its most ardent conservatives, spoke with what his staff and protesters estimated were upward of 150 demonstrators in Marion, Ohio, at the historic home of former President Warren G. Harding.
        He then headed about an hour north where he talked briefly with a much smaller group of protesters at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library in Fremont, Ohio, before heading into a presidential trivia contest for children (which prompted his former Democratic opponent to claim he was using the kids as “human shields”).
          Jordan’s tour of his sprawling Ohio district Monday showed the dilemma for lawmakers eyeing up a repeat of the tea party protests which swept Democrats out of power in Congress in 2010 — but with the fire and the threat coming from the left this time.
          And it also shows how deep the anger has bled into staunchly conservative territory. Jordan beat his Democratic opponent 68%-32% last year and President Donald Trump won the district by a similar margin. The first hint of trouble for Republicans came two weeks ago, when Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz was confronted by hundreds of angry protesters at his town hall.
          Since then, Republican lawmakers have canceled town halls, while others have split town entirely — heading on Congressional delegation trips to spots like the Mexican border and Europe. Meanwhile, some Republicans have fully embraced the fury: Rep. Mark Sanford huddled hundreds of protesters at his South Carolina town hall this past weekend, even walking outside to address an overflow crowd.
          Jordan didn’t give it the “Full Sanford” Monday, but he did attempt some outreach — with varying success.
          “They may not agree with me, we may share different perspectives,” Jordan said, as a group of protesters laughed outside the Hayes Library. (“No, we don’t agree with you,” yelled one woman, interrupting Jordan.)
          “But they’re allowed under the first amendment to speak up, and my job is to listen and tell them where I’m at,” Jordan said, which resulted in one man mocking him: “Listen and give the party line, no real reasons, no in-depth analysis.”
          The sight of hundreds of protesters packed outside the Harding presidential home earlier in the day was compelling enough, Jordan said, for him to take questions from the angry crowd. But protesters claimed they had to force him to address them.
          As Harding Home director Sherry Hall attempted to read through a history of Harding from the wraparound porch, with Jordan by her side, angry protesters chanted at the “Stop Reading!” and yelled “Hold a town hall!” according to video of the event taken by one group of protesters.
          Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implored his Republican colleagues last week to face protesters and address them (even though he isn’t hosting any town halls himself — opting instead for a trio of closed-door fundraisers).
          But the House of Representatives’ chief security officer urged House lawmakers to coordinate police protection for their public events while they were back in their home states. (A pair of Fremont police cars pulled up to Jordan’s second event, but the small number of police just watched while a few dozen protesters milled around outside.)
          The showdowns are likely to be a common sight this week — with town halls in Arkansas, New Jersey and Florida acting like magnets for irate Democrats and even some independents who stayed out of politics until Trump took the White House.
          Cheryl Laugherty, 62, a retired librarian from Fremont, Ohio, said she didn’t get active in protesting until Trump emerged as a force last year. Since his election, she’s been organizing with other women in northwest Ohio, and stood with a small group protesting Jordan in Fremont.
          “It’s been off and on through the years, but his (Trump’s) behavior on the campaign trail this year just clinched it for me. I could not tolerate the way, like he made fun of the handicapped columnist, just things he said,” Laugherty said. “And it hasn’t changed, the belittling of people and the nicknames. It’s juvenile. It’s juvenile bullying.”
          Jordan said Monday that it’s up to other Republicans to decide what they want to do, but suggested they honor the First Amendment and hear out the protesters. But Laugherty and others gathered outside the Hayes home Monday quickly pointed out that Jordan has yet to schedule any town halls himself.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/20/politics/jim-jordan-town-hall-protesters-democrats/index.html

          Federal judge blocks travel ban for Virginia residents

          (CNN)As the Trump administration grapples with the Ninth Circuit’s refusal to reinstate the President’s travel ban, a federal judge across the country dealt another significant blow to the executive order in Virginia late Monday, writing in her opinion: “Maximum power does not mean absolute power.”

          US District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema in Virginia granted a modified version of the state’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of the travel ban, finding the state had the ability to sue, “is likely to prevail on the merits” of at least one of its constitutional arguments and the Justice Department would not suffer any harm from imposing the injunction.
          The judge declined to issue her injunction on nationwide basis “to avoid any claim that” it is “defective because of overbreadth.”
            At the hearing the judge also said that she was moved by a declaration signed by several former senior US officials, including former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Madeleine Albright, in support of a brief filed by the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota in the Ninth Circuit appeal.
            “We view the (executive) order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States, rather than making us safer,” officials wrote.
            “It could do long-term damage to our national security and foreign policy interest, endangering US troops in the field and disrupting counterterrorism and national security partnerships.”
            Brinkema said at last Friday’s hearing that the officials’ declaration was “clear as a bell.”
            “This is coming from people with first-hand direct knowledge” of national security issues, Brinkema added — whereas the government had failed to offer even a “scintilla of evidence” that counters it.
            Brinkema’s written decision on Monday further recounted the public comments made by then-Republican presidential candidate Trump, calling for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” and more recent statements from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani that Trump wanted to find a way to implement the ban “legally.”
            “Defendants have not denied any of these statements or produced any evidence beyond the text of the (executive order) itself, to support their contention that the (executive order) was primarily motivated by national security concerns,” Brinkema explained.
            “Defendants have argued that the court may not go beyond the text of the (executive order) in assessing its purpose, or look behind its proffered national security rationale, but the Supreme Court has rejected that position,” she added.
            “The evidence in this record focuses on the president’s statements about a ‘Muslim ban’ and the link Giuliani established between those statements and the (executive order),” Brinkema wrote. “Based on that evidence, at this preliminary (stage) of the litigation, the Court finds that the Commonwealth has established a likelihood of success on the merits.”
            “I saw this unlawful, unconstitutional, and un-American ban for exactly what it is and I’m glad the Court has, too,” Virginia attorney general Mark Herring said in a statement following Brinkema’s ruling.
            The Justice Department declined to comment.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/13/politics/virginia-ruling-travel-ban-lawsuit/index.html

            Illuminating facts about the UK’s art collection – BBC News

            Image copyright other

            Horses are a more popular artistic subject than dogs – that’s one of 10 illuminating facts unearthed by BBC analysis of Art UK’s digital archive, which catalogues more than 200,000 of the nation’s oil paintings.

            1. Kew’s forgotten queen is the most prolific female artist

            Media captionVictorian pioneer Marianne North ‘most prolific female artist’

            The woman with the most paintings in the collection is the Victorian botanist Marianne North.

            Born in 1830, North devoted her life to travelling the world and painting plants.

            There is a gallery at Kew Gardens in south-west London dedicated to her work.

            North had no formal training, according to the Kew website. However, she put her natural talent to “prolific” use on her travels. During an eight-month stay in Brazil, she finished more than 100 paintings. Instead of painting individual plants, her work typically showed landscapes and natural habitats. The Marianne North Gallery contains 833 paintings by the artist, showing more than 900 species of plant.

            North approached Kew and offered to build the gallery in return for her life’s work being displayed in it. It opened in 1882.

            2. The most painted monarch is Charles I

            Image copyright Art UK
            Image caption Anthony van Dyck (b. 1599) Equestrian Portrait of Charles I, The National Gallery, Art UK

            The Stuart king’s execution in 1649 enshrined his status as an object of fascination for artists. There are more than 200 paintings of Charles in the collection, about 40 more than his son, Charles II, who was restored to the monarchy in 1660.

            Andrew Ellis, director of Art UK, said: “It does not surprise me that Charles I is the monarch with the most portraits.

            “Not only was he the greatest of royal patrons and collectors of art but he was also keenly interested in how art could promote the image of kingship. Some of the portraits date from after his death including one in King’s Lynn Town Hall, which was the subject of a sonnet written for Art UK by the poet John Fuller.”

            3. The paintings in the collection reflect our obsession with the sea

            Image copyright Tate
            Image caption JMW Turner (b. 1775), Sketch for East Cowes Castle, the Regatta Beating to Windward No.2, Tate, Art UK

            Maritime trade, sailing and naval power have long captured the imagination of artists.

            We counted up the words used to describe the paintings in the collection. Boat (12th), sailing (14th), mast (16th), ship (17th), wave (18th), sea (22nd), sail (25th) and rigging (42nd) all feature in the top 50.

            Pieter van der Merwe, the general editor of the National Maritime Museum, said the emergence of the seascape as an art form in England was imported from the Netherlands in the 17th Century.

            “It’s a British taste, but where did we get the taste for maritime art? We did not invent it ourselves, we got it from the Dutch,” he said.

            4. A dog is not an artist’s best friend

            Image copyright The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum
            Image caption George Harvey (b. 1806), Horse, The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Art UK

            We may be a nation of dog lovers, but there are more horses than dogs in the collection, according to the list of the most popular tags.

            The horse is the most popular animal tag (49th), followed by dog (132nd), bird (138th), cow (140th), sheep (172nd) and fish (200th).

            Pictured is the Scottish painter George Harvey’s depiction of a horse from 1836.

            5. There are more paintings of men than women

            6. A forgotten wanderer is the most prolific male artist

            John Everett’s 1,058 oil paintings form the largest collection by a male artist.

            Dorchester-born Everett, a well-connected Edwardian, was a graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art who lived his life according to his dual passions – painting and sailing.

            His life and work remained relatively unknown until art historian Gwen Yarker began researching his biography.

            The majority of his art lies in the storerooms of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, while his landscapes can be viewed at Dorset County Museum.

            Ms Yarker said Everett shunned fame, was ambivalent about exhibiting and reluctant to take the limelight.

            “Art history has not been kind to him,” she said.

            7. At least 1,800 paintings were donated to collections in lieu of tax

            Image copyright Bradford Museums and Galleries / Bridgeman Images
            Image caption Blasted Trees (blue version) by William Rothenstein (b 1872), Cartwright Hall Gallery, is one example of a painting donated in lieu of tax (Art UK)

            Works of art can be handed over instead of inheritance tax.

            Under the scheme, the government accepts the item at market value, and hands it over to a public museum or gallery.

            8. There are at least 28,000 paintings in the collection where the artist remains unknown

            Image copyright Astley Hall Museum
            Image caption It is not known who painted this image of a tiger hunt, from the Artley Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Art UK

            Andrew Ellis said: “We are aware that we are still missing key information for many of the paintings on the site. Who is the artist? Who is the sitter? Where is the landscape?

            “The Art Detective sub-site of Art UK is helping to fill in some of this missing information with the incredible help of the general public.”

            9. 1910 is slap bang in the middle (But with some caveats)

            Image copyright Bruce Castle Museum
            Image caption Beatrice Offor (b. 1864), Miss B.S, Bruce Castle Museum (Haringey Culture, Libraries and Learning), Art UK

            BBC News examined the dates of the paintings in the collection.

            The median year was 1910, meaning half of the paintings we have a creation date for came before that date, and half afterwards.

            However, we could only ascertain dates for about half of the 214,000 artworks. Some 74,000 paintings had no year at all, and another 27,000 used either date ranges or other descriptions.

            Earlier works are less likely to be dated as record-keeping was poor.

            10. The National Trust has the largest collection of oil paintings

            Andrew Ellis said: “At the other end of the scale, some 50% of the collections on the site have fewer than 10 paintings.”

            What is Art UK?

            Image copyright Museums Sheffield
            Image caption Charles-Louis-Auguste Cousin (b. 1807), A Venetian Byway, Museums Sheffield, Art UK
            • Art UK’s roots go back to 2002, when a charity, the Public Catalogue Foundation, was founded by Fred Hohler, who was determined to improve the public’s access to the art it owned.
            • The record started life as a series of hardback colour catalogues on a county-by-county basis.
            • In 2011, the BBC and Public Catalogue Foundation launched the Your Paintings website to catalogue the collection online. Five years later, this became Art UK.
            • The website was built with funding from Arts Council England, the Scottish government and a private foundation.
            • More than 200,000 oil paintings by nearly 40,000 artists are available to view online

            The data analysed relates to the artwork in Art UK’s digital archive.

            Photo credits for collage picture: City of Edinburgh Council, Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Tate, Jersey Heritage, Budleigh Salterton Town Council, Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage, Ferens Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery

            Reporting team: BBC England data unit: Pete Sherlock, Paul Bradshaw

            Related Topics

            Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38340015

            The 100 best nonfiction books: No 53 The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (1902)

            This revolutionary work written by Henry Jamess less famous brother brought a democratising impulse to the realm of religious belief

            The United States is a society, first described in Thomas Jeffersons revolutionary words in 1776, that constantly rewrites its narrative in law, philosophy, economics and belief, as well as through poetry, drama and fiction. In moments of change, its finest writers have often found new forms of expression and ideas that both illuminate the American story and help to redefine it.

            William James, brother of the more famous Henry, was a classic American intellectual, a brilliant New Englander and renowned pragmatist a celebrity in his time who coined the phrase stream of consciousness. He responded to the cultural and social ferment of the late 19th century with the Gifford lectures, given in Edinburgh during 1900-02. When he turned these talks into a book, James, a Harvard psychologist and the author of The Principles of Psychology, placed himself at the crossroads of psychology and religion to articulate an approach to religious experience that would help liberate the American mind at the beginning of the 20th century from its puritan restrictions by advancing a pluralistic view of belief inspired by American traditions of tolerance. Like his brother, he was obsessed by the problem of expressing individual consciousness through language; this is just one of the principal themes of The Varieties of Religious Experience.

            Psychology aside, this is an odd book in many ways, especially for its unorthodox approach to the precepts of organised religion. One commentator has described it as a classic that is too psychological to have shaped most religious inquiry and too religious to have influenced much psychological research. And yet, in the words of Psychology Today, it remains the most notable of all books in the field of the psychology of religion and probably destined to be the most influential book written on religion in the 20th century.

            The James family, who were originally Scots-Irish, like many of the first Americans, exerted a powerful influence on William James in the genesis of this text. His father, Henry Snr, was not just an unorthodox Calvinist, he was also (with Emerson and Jung) a disciple of the cult mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, who was determined to find a theory which would explain how matter relates to spirit. Swedenborgs desire to understand the order and purpose of creation had led him to investigate the structure of matter and the process of creation itself: his ambition was intoxicating and his teachings inspired a democratisation of religious impulses that appealed to the unorthodox Jameses, father and son.

            The idea that all citizens were equally and independently close to God sponsored among the James family the conviction that religious experience should not become confined within the narrow prison of a denomination. The same irreverence towards categories encouraged William James to adopt a high-low style that gives his writing a fresh and populist character thats rather different from the mature style of his brother the novelist. William used his populism to suggest that any religious experience was true if the consequences of holding it were pleasing to the individual concerned. This restatement of the American pursuit of happiness gave his audiences a new appreciation of human dignity grounded in everyday reality.

            In his approach to religious experience, William James writes that he had to face a hard problem: first, to defend experience against philosophy as the real backbone of the worlds religious life; and second, to make the reader believe that [the life of religion] is mankinds most important function.

            James begins his argument with the assertion that religion answers basic human needs. From here, he separates belief from its tribal origins. Religion, he says, has become a consumer item for individuals. His only concern about religion is what it tells us about what goes on in the single private man. Then he comes up with a famous definition:

            Religion shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.

            Using potted biographies of well-known writers and thinkers, including Tolstoy and John Bunyan, William James concludes a long and fascinating exploration of the healthy mind, the sick soul, and the divided self, with closing chapters on mysticism, saintliness, atonement and conversion. Here, too, he presented an account of God as a finite being, inextricably caught up in world affairs, and linked to human activity and ambitions. He closes with a witty question: Who knows whether the faithfulness of individuals here below to their own poor over-beliefs may not actually help God in turn to be more effectively faithful to his own greater tasks?

            A signature sentence

            And the moment we renounce the absurd notion that a thing is exploded away as soon as it is classed with others, or its origin is shown; the moment we agree to stand by experimental results and inner quality, in judging of values who does not see that we are likely to ascertain the distinctive significance of religious melancholy and happiness, or of religious trances, far better by comparing them as conscientiously as we can with other varieties of melancholy, happiness, and trance, than by refusing to consider their place in any more general series, and treating them as if they were outside of natures order altogether?

            Three to compare

            William James: The Principles of Psychology (1890)
            William James: Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907)
            Louis Menand: The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America (2001)

            Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/06/100-best-nonfiction-books-53-the-varieties-religious-experience-william-james

            From book to boom: how the Mormons plan a city for 500,000 in Florida

            The Mormon church owns vast tracts of US land, and now envisages a huge new city on its Deseret Ranch but at what cost?

            Everything about the Deseret cattle and citrus ranch, in central Florida, is massive. The property itself occupies 290,000 acres of land more than nine times the size of San Francisco and almost 20 times the size of Manhattan. It is one of the largest ranches in the country, held by the one of the biggest landowners in the state: the Mormon church.

            On an overcast weekday afternoon, Mormon missionaries give tours of the vast estate. Fields, orange trees and grazing animals stretch as far as the eye can see. While central Florida may be best known for Disney World, the ranch roughly an hours drive away is nearly 10 times bigger. It is home to a jaw-dropping 40,000 cows and has grown oranges for millions of glasses of juice.

            Now there are ambitious, far-reaching plans to transform much of this land into an entirely new city, home to as many as 500,000 people by 2080. Deseret has said that while nothing will be built here for decades, its plans are necessary because urban growth in the area is inevitable and the alternative is piecemeal development. A slide from a 2014 presentation explains: We think in terms of generations.

            The
            The Deseret Ranch in central Florida. The Mormon church has said it plans are necessary because urban growth in the area is inevitable. Photograph: John Raoux/AP

            Deserets plans, which were given the green light by local county commissioners in 2015, are thought to be the largest-ever proposed in the state and have attracted high-profile attention. Critics have accused the plans of putting already stressed natural habitats and critical resources, such as water, in further jeopardy.

            This is not a typical housing development. It is an entire region of the state of Florida and it is the last remaining wilderness, said Karina Veaudry, a landscape architect in Orlando and member of the Florida Native Plant Society. It is, she stressed, a plan on an unprecedented scale: This project impacts the entire state, ecologically.

            For years, environmental groups protested that it was too risky to build so much on such ecologically important land particularly in one of the few areas of Florida that hasnt already been consumed by sprawling developments. We fought it and fought it and fought it, said Veaudry, who described it as nothing less than a David and Goliath struggle.

            Except this time, Goliath was part of the property empire of the Mormon church.

            Faith and property

            The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long influenced urban developments in America through specific ideas about town planning. In the 1830s, the churchs founder, Joseph Smith, laid out a vision for compact, self-sufficient agrarian cities. These were utopian in conception and have been hailed as a precursor to smart growth planning.

            The plans for the Deseret ranch in central Floridahave shone a spotlight on another side of the churchs influence: its investments in land and real estate. Today, the church owns land and property across the US through a network of subsidiaries. Its holdings include farmland, residential and commercial developments, though it remains notoriously tight-lipped about its business ventures.

            The church has been buying up land in central Florida since the 1950s, starting with 50,000 acres for Deseret Ranch since expanded almost sixfold. Its most recent major acquisition, by the church-owned company AgReserves, was another 380,000 acres in the states north-western panhandle the strip of land that runs along the Gulf of Mexico. Deseret Ranchs website quotes the late church president, Gordon B Hinckley, as saying that farms are both a safe investment where the assets of the church may be preserved and enhanced and an agricultural resource to feed people should there come a time of need.

            Across America, subsidiaries of the church reportedly hold 1m acres of agricultural land. This is thought to include land in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas. Church companies are also thought to hold land outside the US, including in Canada and Brazil. In 2014, when church-owned farms in Australia were put up for sale, reports estimated their worth at about $120m (72.8m).

            The
            The Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City where the church has its headquarters. Photograph: George Frey/Getty Images

            Recent real estate investments by church companies include the 2016 purchase of a 380-unit apartment complex in Texas, estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, and, in Philadelphia, a shopping area, a 32-storey apartment block and a landscaped plaza being built across the street from a newly constructed Mormon temple.

            In Salt Lake City, where the church has its headquarters, a church company is currently working on a new master-planned community on the citys west side for almost 4,000 homes. Last year, another investment was unveiled: the new high-end 111 Main skyscraper. Goldman Sachs is reportedly signed up as a tenant.

            This city was built by Mormons. In the 19th century, early Mormon settlers gave Salt Lake City bridges, miles of roads, rail and other infrastructure. Hundreds of businesses were also set up: banks, a network of general stores, mining companies. The citys Temple Square is filled with statues glorifying the pioneers.

            Nearby is a more contemporary monument to the investing and enterprising church: the City Creek Center, a new shopping mall with 100 stores and a retractable glass roof. It cost an estimated $1.5bn. At its grand opening, a church leader cut a pink ribbon and cheered: One, two, three lets go shopping!

            The church said its investment in the mall would help revitalise central Salt Lake City as part of a wider multibillion-dollar initiative called Downtown Rising. Bishop H David Burton said it would create the necessary jobs and added that any parcel of property the church owns that is not used directly for ecclesiastical worship is fully taxed at its market value.

            The City Creek Center project has been controversial, however even among Mormons. Some current and former church members have questioned why money invested in such projects isnt spent on charitable initiatives instead.

            In 2013, Jason Mathis, executive director of Salt Lake Citys Downtown Alliance business development group, said the church was an interesting landlord. Theyre not worried about the next quarter, he explained. They have a much longer perspective they want to know what the city will look like in the next 50 or 100 years.

            The
            The City Creek shopping centre in Salt Lake City, which reportedly cost $1.5bn. Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP

            Black box finances

            Projects such as the Salt Lake City shopping centre have certainly focused attention on the churchs investments, but it remains secretive about its revenues and finances.

            An entity called Deseret Management Corporation is understood to control many of the churchs enterprises, through subsidiaries focused on different commercial interests including insurance and publishing.

            Several church ventures bear the name Deseret itself a term from the Book of Mormon meaning honeybee and intended to represent goals of productivity and self-sufficiency.

            In central Florida, the churchs Deseret Ranch is understood to sell cows to Cargill, a Minnesota-based trading company, and oranges to Tropicana, as well as renting land to hunters and other companies.

            Deseret, however, declined to confirm this. It said: As a private investment affiliate of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret Ranch does not release financial information or details about our production and customers.

            The churchs press office in Salt Lake City also did not respond to emails from the Guardian.

            Previously, church officials have emphasised that finance for its companies investments do not come from tithing donations (church members are supposed to contribute 10% of their income each year) but from profits from other such ventures.

            But these and other claims, even when offered, are also difficult to verify. Ultimately their finances are a black box according to Ryan Cragun, associate professor of sociology at the University of Tampa.

            Cragun previously worked with Reuters to estimate in 2012 that the church owns temples and other buildings worth $35bn and receives as much as $7bn in members tithing each year. But he says the church stopped releasing annual financial information to its own members many years ago.

            Estimating their total land holdings? Good luck, says Cragun. Nobody knows how much money the church actually has and why theyre buying all of this land and developing land.

            The
            The Mormon church-owned skyscraper at 111 Main in Salt Lake City. Photograph: City Creek Reserve

            A new city for Florida

            Over the last half-century, Florida has become something of a laboratory for ambitious and sometimes surreal master-planned communities. In southern Florida, for example, the founder of Dominos Pizza funded the construction of a Catholic town called Ave Maria. Closer to Orlando is the town of Celebration, developed by the Walt Disney Company, where shops on meticulously maintained streets sell French pastries and luxury dog treats.

            Across Florida, more new subdivisions and developments are planned. Many of these projects have drawn criticism for their potential impact on Floridas already stressed water resources.

            Sprawl is where the money is, and people want homes with big lawns and nearby golf courses, a columnist for the Florida Times-Union newspaper recently lamented. He suggested the state should step in to ban water-hungry grass varieties and introduce stronger planning procedures to limit large-scale developments.

            The ranchs plans are the largest of these yet. Indeed, they are thought to be the largest-ever proposed in the state, and this land lies in an area thats been called Floridas last frontier.

            In 2015, local Osceola county officials approved the North Ranch sector plan, which covers a 133,000-acre slice of Deseret property. As part of this plan, tens of thousands of these acres have been earmarked for conservation lands, not to be built on; and, in addition, Deseret has insisted that it will also continue ranching operations here for generations in the future.

            But most of this land, under the approved plan, could be transformed into a new urban landscape. By 2080, it could be home to as many as 500,000 people. The plan explicitly refers to a new fully functioning city.

            It envisages a massive development complete with a high-intensity, mixed-use urban centre and a variety of centres and neighbourhoods. There would be 16 communities and a regional hub with a footprint of around one square mile equal to [that] of downtown Orlando.

            The
            The Lake Nona complex of master-planned communities where the grass is greener. Photograph: Claire Provost

            New office blocks, civic buildings, high-rise hotels and apartment buildings are among the structures anticipated, along with new schools, a hospital, parks and a university and research campus. New motorways and rail lines would connect it all to Orlando and cities along Floridas eastern coast.

            The document argues that the plan is necessary to prepare for expected population growth. More than 80% of the vacant developable land in the very area where demographic and economic forces are propelling an increasing share of the regions population and job growth is located on Deserets North Ranch, it says.

            In an email to the Guardian, Dale Bills, a spokesperson for Deseret Ranch, said it offers a framework for future land use decisions but will not be implemented for decades.

            Were not developers, but the sector plan allows us to be involved in shaping what the ranch will look like over the next 50-60 years, Bills said. When growth does come to the region the plan will help create vibrant communities that are environmentally responsible and people-friendly, he said.

            The plan also provides for continued farming operations, Bills added, meaning that generations from now, Deseret will still be doing what we love growing food and caring for the land.

            Meanwhile, the ranch has set aside another, smaller block of its land for a separate and more immediate project called Sunbridge, to be developed by the Tavistock Group known in the area for its Lake Nona complex of master-planned communities just south-east of Orlandos international airport.

            A
            A render of the Lake Nona development. Photograph: KPMG

            On a weekday afternoon, the still largely empty Lake Nona development is silent. Signs planted by the road proclaim it is where the grass is greener. At the visitors centre, a pair of well-dressed women chat over coffee. A sales agent hands out glossy brochures with aspirational verbs embossed on its cover: DISCOVER. EVOLVE. INNOVATE.

            Still under construction, Lake Nona describes itself as a city of the future with super-fast internet connections, one of the top private [golf] clubs in the world and homes ranging from luxury apartments to sprawling estates. Less than an hours drive from the ranch, it offers a potential hint of whats to come.

            The damage is done

            Until this happened [the ranch] was a quiet neighbour, said Jenny Welch, 54, a registered nurse and environmental activist who lived in the area for decades before leaving earlier this year. When I first moved here in 1980, I thought it was great because it would never be developed. This is such environmentally important land. Its a wildlife corridor. There are wetlands.

            Major concerns about the Deseret North Ranch plan have included how much water it will consume, the impact of proposed new roads and the amount of land set aside for conservation.

            Veaudry, the Orlando landscape architect, said environmental groups tried to engage with the Deseret plans from the beginning by raising concerns but also suggesting enhanced measures to protect local ecosystems.

            But, she said, what was ultimately approved was pretty much the nail in the coffin for decades-long efforts to establish a north-south ecological corridor to allow wildlife and ecosystems to flow across the state. It would put literally a city right in the middle of it, she said.

            The new city envisaged for this land wont be constructed overnight. While the overall plan for the area has been approved, more approvals will be needed on specific details. This has not reassured critics.

            Florida environmentalist Charles Pattison has argued that the long time frame only makes it harder to monitor the project. People involved in this today will not be around to see [it] through to completion, as many new administrative and elected officials will come and go over that time, he said.

            The main guidelines, the amount of conservation, how wide the buffers have to be, all of that is already approved and set, said Veaudry. As far as I understand it, the damage is done. Locals know what happened. The Mormon church is the largest landowner here. And they have enormous resources.

            The second half of Claire Provosts exploration of Mormon city planning will appear tomorrow. Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter and Facebook to join the discussion, and explore our archive here

            Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/30/from-book-to-boom-how-the-mormons-plan-a-city-for-500000-in-florida

            Brian Eno: Weve been in decline for 40 years Trump is a chance to rethink’

            The revered producer has been at the centre of pop since the days of Roxy Music. But dont ask him about the past hes more interested in how to reorder society

            Brian Enos new album is called Reflection, and what better time to reflect on an astonishing career? Or careers. Theres the first incarnation of Eno as the leopardskin-shirted synth-twiddler who overshadowed the more obviously mannered Bryan Ferry in Roxy Music. With his shoulder-length hair and androgynous beauty, there was something otherworldly about Eno. He was as preposterous as he was cool. So cool that, back then, he didnt bother with a first name.

            After two wonderfully adventurous albums he left and Roxy became more conventional. There followed a sustained solo career, starting with the more poppy Here Come the Warm Jets, progressing to the defiant obscurity of his ambient albums and on to commercial Eno, the revered producer behind many of the great Bowie, Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay records.

            There is Eno the visionary, who helped conceive a 10,000-year clock and invented an influential pack of cards called Oblique Strategies that offer creative solutions for people inapickle. There is Eno the visual artist;Eno the activist, tirelessly campaigning for a fairer world; and Eno the philosopher, endlessly thinking of ways in which to bring thisnew world about.

            We meet at his studio, near Notting Hill in west London. It is a mix of the minimalist and maximalist. Minimalist in its big white empty spaces, maximalist in the numerous books carefully filed away (library-like sections for African, Asian and European art), old-fashioned hi-fi equipment, a parked bike, and his own Rothko-ish artworks.

            Eno, now 68, could not look more different from the louche glamour-puss of the early 70s. As his music became more pared down, so did he. The head was shaved, the makeup washed off and the feather boa dispensed with. Nowadays, he looks like a stylish academic.

            His assistant asks me to join Eno athis table. Ill just be 40 seconds, finishing off my lunch, Eno says. He takes a mouthful of fruit salad. Just 30seconds now. There has always been something fastidious about him. His interviews tend to be 45 minutes long precisely. One journalist said that Eno had interrupted their chat to play him an Elvis Presley record that lasted two minutes and seven seconds, and then added two minutes and seven seconds to the interview sothe journalist wouldnt be shortchanged. At the same time, Eno loves to embrace the random. As a producer, he encourages artists to pick up Oblique Strategies cards to alter the path they are taking. Itell him I have brought a pack with me in case we find ourselves struggling. He smiles, flashing a gold tooth. That will be just the job, I should think, he says.

            Roxy
            Roxy Music in 1972, with Eno at front. Photograph: Brian Cooke/Redferns

            Eno talks slowly, calmly, eloquently. He would be brilliant on Just a Minute no repetition, hesitation or deviation. His voice is as soothing as his ambient music. He was christened Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. You might assume he was an aristocrat, but his father and grandfather were postmen. And my great grandad actually, he says enthusiastically when I mention it. And my two uncles.

            Did he ever think that was his destiny? Well, I did go into communications, didnt I? He laughs. Youre a sonic postman? Yeah! I help people communicate with each other in one way or another. When I was in my mid-30s, and my mother and father were living in a house I had bought for them with the proceeds of my music, my mum said: Dad and I were talking. Do you think youll ever settle down and get a job? Hahahhaha! She said: You could get a job in the Post Office. In the office! You know, not trudging delivering mail.

            Eno decided he didnt want a regular job when he saw the effect it had on his father. He did shift work. It was a three-week cycle, mornings, afternoons and nights. I realised years later he was in a permanent state of jet lag because his eight-hour work day was shifting every week. I remember him coming home from work and sitting at the table; my mother had just put the food down and he fell forward, asleep. I thought even if I have to turn to crime, I wont get a job; the horror of being that exhausted and doing your work just to keep things going; the lack of freedom inyour life.

            His Belgian mother had spent the war in Germany building planes in a labour camp. Eventually she returned to Belgium at the end of the war. It took her three months to get back. She arrived in Dendermonde near Brussels weighing five stone.

            He has been talking quietly and beautifully about his parents. So it comes as a shock when I ask where his string of first names comes from, and he explodes. God, are we going to do any interesting questions? This is all bollocks. I mean Im not fucking interested at all in me. I want to talk about ideas. Can we do any of that?

            He picks up one of the Oblique Strategy cards, and bursts out laughing. He shows it to the two women in the studio. Hahaha! How about that? Hahahaha! Take a break!

            Take a break, they echo. Hahaha!

            Arent they brilliant? Eno says. Fancy that.

            The more they laugh, the smaller Ifeel.

            Enos
            Shaping the future: Enos Oblique Strategies cards. Photograph: Brian Eno

            Eno says he hates talking about himself. Im not interested in that personality aspect of being an artist. Its all based on the idea that artists are automatically interesting people. I can tell you they arent. Their art might be very interesting, but as people they are no more or less interesting than anybody else. And Im really not at all interested in talking about Brian Eno. His ideas, however, I think have something to recommend them.

            So what is Brian Eno working on at the moment, I ask. Im interested in the idea of generative music as a sort of model for how society or politics could work. Im working out the ideas Im interested in, about how you make aworking society rather than a dysfunctional one like the one we live in at the moment by trying to make music in a new way. Im trying to see what kinds of models and and structures make the music I want to hear, and then Im finding its not a bad idea to try to think about making societies in that way.

            Could he be more specific? Yes. If you think of the classical picture of how things were organised in an orchestra where you have the composer, conductor, leader of the orchestra, section principals, section sub principals, rank and file the flow of information is always downwards. The guy at the bottom doesnt get to talk to that guy at the top. Almost none of us now would think that hierarchic model of social organisation, the pyramid, is agood way to arrange things.

            In other words, he says, society should be built on the more egalitarian model of a folk or rock band, who just get together and do their thing, rather than a classical orchestra. Cant you see, he says with the passion of a visionary, if you transpose that argument into social terms, its the argument between the top down and bottom up? It is possible to have a society that doesnt have pre-existing rules and structures. And you can use the social structures of bands, theatre groups, dance groups, all the things we now call culture. You can say: Well, it works here. Why shouldnt it work elsewhere?

            He has called himself an optimist. In the past. I ask him if he still is, post-2016. Yes, he says, there is a positive way to look at it. Most people I know felt that 2016 was the beginning of a long decline with Brexit, then Trump and all these nationalist movements in Europe. It looked like things were going to get worse and worse. I said: Well, what about thinking about it in a different way? Actually, its the end of a long decline. Weve been in decline for about 40 years since Thatcher and Reagan and the Ayn Rand infection spread through the political class, and perhaps weve bottomed out. My feeling about Brexit was not anger at anybody else, it was anger at myself for not realising what was going on. I thought that all those Ukip people and those National Fronty people were in a little bubble. Then I thought: Fuck, it was us, we were in the bubble, we didnt notice it. There was a revolution brewing and we didnt spot it because we didnt make it. We expected we were going to be therevolution.

            He draws me a little diagram to explain how society has changed productivity and real wages rising in tandem till 1975, then productivity continuing to rise while real wages fell. It is easily summarised in that Joseph Stiglitz graph. The trouble now, he says, is the extremes of wealth and poverty. You have 62 people worth the amount the bottom three and a half billion people are worth. Sixty-two people! You could put them all in one bloody bus then crash it! He grins. Dont say that bit. (Since we meet, Oxfam publish a report suggesting that only eight men own as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people in the world half the worlds population.)

            Eno himself is a multimillionaire, largely because of his work as a producer.He wouldnt be one of the 62, would he, I ask. I certainly wouldnt be, he says with a thin smile. No, Im a long way off that.

            He is still thinking about the political fallout of the past year. Actually, in retrospect, Ive started to think Im pleased about Trump and Im pleased about Brexit because it gives us a kick up the arse and we needed it because we werent going to change anything. Just imagine if Hillary Clinton had won and wed been business as usual, the whole structure shed inherited, the whole Clinton family myth. I dont know thats a future I would particularly want. It just seems that was grinding slowly to a halt, whereas now, with Trump, theres a chance of a proper crash, and a chance to really rethink.

            Reflection is his 26th solo album, and his first ambient release in five years. Does he think there is a particular need for its soothing qualities at the moment? Well, I think this is quite a good time for it, he says.

            I am not sure I get ambient its pleasant but dull; nice to have on in thebackground while you are working. Thats exactly what I want it for myself, he says, delighted. I do a lot of writing, and one of the ways I have of writing is by starting to make a piece of music of that kind and then, while Im carrying on writing, Im thinking: Theres a bit too much of that and not enough of this. So I go in and fiddle around with ita bit. I keep adjusting the music until its helping the writing, and then I adjust it less and less.

            I had read that he initially made ambient music to help him when travelling, because he was frightened of flying; that it was supposed to be a kind of audio Mogadon. No, not Mogadon. One of the things you can get from music is surrender. From a lot of art, what youre saying is: Let it happen to me. Im going to let myself be out of control. Im going to let something else take over me. And thats what he wants to happen with this music.

            That desire to surrender is interesting because, in many ways, he seems so controlled. I mention the interview with the Elvis song. Well, thats fair, isnt it? Its controlled but not controlling. You asked me whether Im controlling. Thats different to whether Im controlled. I think controlling would be if I said to the interviewer: Im taking some time out of the interview to play you something, but fuck you, Im in control here, so piss off. I didnt say that. I said Im taking some time out of the interview to play you something, but since you didnt request that, Im not expecting you to lose that time. Of course, I work in a role that could be seen as a controlling role as a producer. But, in fact, Im not that kind of producer. What I want to do is make situations where were all slightly at sea because people make their best work when they are alert, and alertness comes at the moment when you feel youre on the edge of being out of control. Youre not alert when youre settled and you know exactly what youre doing.

            Ah, the collaborations. Much as Iadmire Eno the thinker and activist, like most of his fans it is Eno the collaborator/producer I love. And this is what I have really been looking forward to talking about. Like many middle-aged pop enthusiasts, I owe a huge debt to Eno. He has shaped so much of my favourite music from the first two Roxy Music albums, to Bowies Berlin trilogy and Talking Heads Remain in Light. Just as fascinating is his ability to mentor the more obviously commercial Coldplay and U2.

            Eno
            Eno with David Bowie and Bono at the Meltdown festival in 2002. Photograph: Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage

            Who has he enjoyed working with most? Pause. Probably Brian Eno! Hehehe! I keep returning to him. No, really, I say, which collaborations does he look back on with most satisfaction? Idont look back much, to be honest. Whenever I look back at music, I think how I could have done it better.

            Is there nothing that makes him think, God, I love that? Well, I suppose every collaboration continued because I liked doing it. Some of them are funnier than others

            Which ones? Erm Uch. I dont want to talk about this. I so dont want to talk about this. And again, an explosion. Look, weve got a few minutes left. Lets talk about something good.

            Thats controlling, I say.

            Its not controlling. Its just fucking boring. I have to keep myself awake. Im tired.

            I dont understand, I say I dont even know what is so fucking boring that you are refusing to talk about.

            I just dont want to talk about history. All that shit! You can find all this in other interviews Ive done. Ivebeen 40 years talking about other people Ive worked with. No, sorry. Imjust not interested.

            Doesnt he think the idea that the interview should be entirely about the present and what he may do in the future is a bit unreasonable?

            But you can do research, he says. And calm, measured Eno has turned into irascible Eno. Thats your job! Research! You can look through thousands of interviews Ive done where Ive talked about all of this. Thats your job! You get paid for it. I dont get paid for this, by the way!

            I get paid to ask people questions, Isay.

            OK, well, youve asked me and Ive said I dont want to answer them. Thats a fair deal, isnt it? I know what you were after, he says, and I dont want to go there. I dont want to go intoa historical gloss on my career because that is not where my thoughts are right now. Im thinking about something as were talking that were not talking about and I dont want to lose it.

            What is he thinking about? That piece of music Im working on in there which I have been playing today and making changes to in between interviews.

            Was he thinking that I was asking about Bowie?

            I know you were.

            Well, I kind of was and wasnt.

            Well, you kind of were, he mocks.

            No, I say, I was thinking of any number of the great collaborations, including Bowie.

            Im not interested in talking about any of them. And I think it would be considerate of you to say: He doesnt want to talk about that, so there are plenty of other things he could talk about; hes quite an interesting guy. Then he tells me exactly how Im trying to trap him. I could ask him a million other questions, but I know because this would make a headline, so Im going to fucking ask him about that.

            I think thats unfair, I say.

            All right, sorry, that is unfair, Eno says.

            Weve spent most of the time talking about politics.

            Only because I asked you to, he replies sullenly.

            OK, were going to have to have to wrap this up now, the publicist says.

            I dont want to wrap it up on a badvibe, Eno says, talking fast and breathing heavily.

            But weve ground to a halt. Im not sure that even his Oblique Strategies could help us now.

            Im sorry, he says. Im very tired today because I didnt sleep last night. And I knew I was going to be ratty, so Im sorry about that. But I really dont want to spend the rest of my life Im now 68, so I might have another 15 to 20 years left talking about my history. So, given the little time Ive got left on this planet, I would really love to focus on some of the new things Im doing.

            What new stuff have we not talked about that he would like to talk about, Iask. Silence. I point to the serene orange lightbox image in front of us, and ask if thats a recent piece of work. Yes, thats one of my new pieces. Yes, this is stuff Ive been doing for hospitals, he says. I was invited to make some of these for rooms where people are spending a long time in stressful situations. With that he calls the interview to an end.

            Reflection is out now on Warp.

            Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jan/23/brian-eno-not-interested-in-talking-about-me-reflection