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I have a great affinity. (As it happens, though this is incidental, there are also three shades of grey in my CMB personal colour guide.) That ‘capacity to mediate’ which Richter alludes to is very compelling, and if we substitute ‘uncertainty’ for ‘indifference’ then I feel sure this describes an important lifelong value of mine, though one I have only recently come to recognise, articulate and defend. My last book was called The Aesthetics of Uncertainty, and its project was to refuse certainties – especially uncritical, unconsidered certainties – in favour of

in Austerity baby
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potentialities which enveloped my life to come in black volutes torn by fiery flashes, like those which had hidden Mount Sinai. Like Moses, from that cloud I expected my law, the principle of order in me, around me, and in the world. By 1941, by now at university, and in the context of the new political realities, he lost faith in chemistry as the source of certainty: Chemistry, for me, had stopped being such a source. It led to the heart of Matter, and Matter was our ally precisely because the Spirit, Philately and chemistry [ 177 ] dear to Fascism, was our enemy; but

in Austerity baby