A Fictional Organ With A Surface Anatomy of Four LobesUnknown - 2008
Ah! Val Carmichael's nose - a treatise could have been written on it; indeed it looked as if an unseen hand had begun to do exactly that - poking with a steely nib at its sub-surface blood vessels and pricking them into the rased purplish calligraphy of spider anginoma, a definitive statement that the Plantation Club's owner was already in the early stages of cirrhosis.
These remarkable new pieces from Will Self each feature the largest of our internal organs- the liver, in varying states of disease and decay. In 'Foie Humane' we go inside a Soho drinking club, the denizens of which live in a highly stylised yet emotionally dead state of excess. 'Promethus' tells the story of a dazzlingly successful advertising copywriter who can sell anything to anyone at any time. But things go wrong when he meets Zeus, a bigshot entrepreneur with a beautiful and manipulative wife. Tony Phillips's subterrainean Kensington flat is the setting for 'Birdy Num Num', where obsessives spend their days in a crepscular realm of cocaine and heroin. Finally, in 'Leberknodel', a terminal liver cancer patient travels to Zurich to commit assisted suicide. When she arrives, however, the cancer mysteriously goes into remission.