Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: A Review

With Blink, Malcolm Gladwell has attempted to quantify the phenomenon of the gut feeling. Malcolm Gladwell puts forth his thoughts on the feelings of intuition in a considerably more scientific way than many people thought possible, all while admitting to the shortcomings of science in this particular area. And although science cannot possibly hope to give us all of the answers within this discipline, Gladwell retains enough of the childlike sense of wonder about the topic to leave certain questions open to the child within us, maintaining that we do not have to know everything in order to use the information that we have.

Despite the book's quantitative shortcomings at times, there is no better statistician than Malcolm Gladwell in mainstream literary society today. While discussing the concept of intuition and the things that we gather from it, he puts forth many statistics that prove that intuition is a useful and even necessary tool for humans to use. As a matter of fact, in his book, the most scientific people sometimes must rely on intuition more than the average person, which leads to great breakthroughs when their intuition is finally proven correct after a passage of time.

The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru

In his impressive and successful novel, Hari Kunzru explores the nature of identity. For some people a sense of belonging is very strong, whereas for others such feelings are mere illusion. The former group may cite social group, language, culture or religion as evidence of their stance, while the latter group, perhaps, may cite exactly the same subject matter to prove the opposite. The more politically inclined may even cite our relationship to the means of production as the primary source or personal and social identity. In that case, the way that we make our living provides much of what we perceive as identity, and, in Hari Kunzru's book, The Impressionist works through several quite different lives.

It's not that The Impressionist, the principal character of Hari Kunzru's novel, has no identity. Indeed, The Impressionist has a whole host of them, and all of them are both complex and, at the same time, completely credible. It is those around him who endow him with the trappings that confirm who he is. And he, of course, responds, donning new lives according to each new coat he wears.