Joe Moran

If You Should Fail
  • If You Should Fail

  • 'Joe Moran is the most perceptive and original observer of British life that we have' Matthew Engel

    Do you ever feel like a failure?

    Enter widely acclaimed observer of daily life Professor Joe Moran, not to tell you that everything will be all right in the end, but to reassure you that failure is an occupational hazard of being human. It's the small print in life's terms and conditions.

    Covering everything from examination dreams to fourth-placed Olympians, If You Should Fail is about how modern life, in a world of self-advertised success, makes us feel like failures, frauds and imposters. We need more narratives of failure, and to see that not every failure can be made into a success - and that's OK.

    As Moran shows, even the supremely gifted Leonardo da Vinci could be seen as a failure. Most artists, writers, sports stars and business people face failure. We all will, and can learn how to live with it. To echo Virginia Woolf, beauty "is only got by the failure to get it . . . by facing what must be humiliation - the things one can't do."

    Combining philosophy, psychology, history and literature, Moran's ultimately upbeat reflections on being human, and his critique of how we live now, offers comfort, hope - and solace.

Joe Moran is Professor of English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University and is the author of seven books, including Queuing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime, Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV, Shrinking Violets: The Secret Life of Shyness and First You Write a Sentence. He writes for, among others, the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Times Literary Supplement.


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