Jake Goldsmith is an author with cystic fibrosis and a list of other chronic health conditions. He lives in Suffolk, England.
His writing mainly focuses on the phenomenology of illness, philosophy, and how illness defines one’s experiences.
His memoir Neither Weak Nor Obtuse was originally published in 2019, and explores Jake's literary and philosophical influences, as well as the perceptions and realities of living with a life-limiting chronic illness.
The title of the book comes from a phrase within a letter that Boris Pasternak sent to Albert Camus in 1957, stating that while there may not be anything beyond ‘sensualism’, a sensualism that is completely naked and extreme becomes weak and obtuse. This limitation is explored in Jake’s work.
A new edition of Neither Weak Nor Obtuse was published by Sagging Meniscus Press in July 2022. You can order it here.
Jake's main intellectual influences include Svetlana Alexievich, Raymond Aron, W.N.P. Barbellion, Albert Camus, Manès Sperber, and Simone Weil.
Jake is the founder and director of The Barbellion Prize, an international book prize for ill and disabled authors.
More From Jake:
Jake wrote an epistolary essay while admitted to Royal Papworth Hospital in May 2021 - published in Issue No. 2 of the quarterly magazine Exacting Clam.
Jake's brief essay On Illness and Possibility is published in Issue No. 3 of Exacting Clam, Winter 2021.
Disabled Thoughts is published in Issue No. 5 of Exacting Clam.
Spurious Thoughts is published in Issue No. 7 of Exacting Clam.