Chris Fleming is Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, where he is also a member of the Writing and Society Research Centre. He is the author of the acclaimed memoir On Drugs (Giramondo:2019) and has written widely on literature, philosophy, and culture. His most recent academic book is Modern Conspiracy: The Importance of Being Paranoid (New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2014) (with Emma A. Jane).
All essays by Chris Fleming
Never A Luxury
To the panicked masses running through the street, soot on their faces, smouldering koalas clawing feebly at depleted human breasts, embers hanging in the air like a jury’s verdict, we say ‘It’s going to be ok. We’ve brought criticism with us, some literature.’ The koalas miraculously stop smoking. One of the huddled masses looks at you and wells up: ‘Oh thank god you’re here.’
At first blush, what all this tends to suggest, at the very least, is that trends in the humanities are underdetermined by the rational adequacy of the theories at the centre of them. But to say – as I did above – that intellectual fashion reflects ‘cool’ obliges us to specify a little more what that might mean. What exactly is ‘intellectual cool’?
On Drugs, Part II
‘The addiction supplied me with a whole way of looking at the world – indeed, of being in the world: of suspicion, protection against the threat of embarrassment, pervasive guilt, the rigorous practices of prevarication: strategic concealment and sophisticated deceit, the utterly endless rehearsal of excuses.’ This is the second installment of Chris Fleming’s account of his drug addiction, and the modes, mechanics, and madness of legal and illegal drug acquisition.
On Drugs, Part I
‘These were, of course, not the only kinds of codes in operation, codes which – like many tacit social rules, one would learn about only when violated. The more time I spent at dealers’ houses, the more I learned that there was a hierarchy of drugs, a sort of regime of acceptability.’ This is the first installment of Chris Fleming’s account of his drug addiction, and the modes, mechanics, and madness of legal and illegal drug acquisition.
All essays featuring Chris Fleming
by Chris Fleming
Published August, 2019
This is your brain.
This is your brain on drugs.
Fleming deploys an intelligence that does not seek to draw a firm line between a before and an after; instead, the confessor is borne on the question of drugs and what they mean, rather than born again after drugs have been left behind.