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The Stone of madness
(La piedra de la locura)

2021

A fascinating reflection on chaos and madness from scientific theories, literary expressions and personal experiences.

Is reality beyond our reach? Are truth and madness symptoms of the same disease? Labatut uses Bosch's paintings, Lovecraft’s atavistic terror, David Hilbert’s radical logic, and Philip K. Dick’s delusional enlightenment to talk about the strange texture of human experience.

Following the paths of folly, Labatut delves into the discovery of chaos to try to extirpate the stone of madness that grows like a bulb on our foreheads, as the world takes on forms in which we can no longer believe. In these two essays, the author reminds us that sometimes going mad can be an adequate response to reality, and that the price we pay for knowledge is the loss of understanding.

Critics

"Labatut penetrates the heart of a reality that few have seen before him and that no one has described in this way"

— Wolfram Eilenberg, author of Time of the Magicians

"The prodigy of Benjamin Labatut’s writing lies in his ability to access domains of enormous complexity"

— José Mario Silva, Expresso

RigHts sold

• Spanish: Anagrama

• Italian: Adelphi