If you study Literature at some point in your life you will discover this: existentialism is a movement in literature most ably demonstrated by a book called, in English, The Outsider. You will, if you study Literature, learn this maybe 12 or 13 times. You cannot, apparently, know it enough.


In one of the 12 or 13 essays I wrote about The Outsider, in one of which I seem to recall I claimed that existentialism was a state of being usually only experienced by male protagonists in rich white countries (I did an arts degree) I focused on a segment in the book where the protagonist shoots somebody. In this segment of the book, pretty much the entire point of the narrative so I hope you enjoyed the spoiler, our protagonist pulls the trigger because of a number of factors, none of which has to do with morality. It's noisy, he's uncomfortable, and most of all: it's hot.


As we enter our second day of record hot temperatures in Melbourne today (the hottest in over 100 years) it strikes me that an unexamined element in The Outsider is that it's actually an ecological horror novel before its time. Heat killed a man dead. Heat can do that.


Heat stops trains - anyone 5ks out of Melbourne knows that. It also stops brains. Dear everyone I have to submit something to this week: please be thankful I haven't killed anyone and let me off the hook. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to stick my head in the freezer.