The Secret Knowledge

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The Secret Knowledge
Author Andrew Crumey
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Historical Fiction
Published 2013
Publisher Dedalus Books
Media type Paperback, e-book
ISBN 9781909232563

The Secret Knowledge (2013) is the seventh novel by Scottish writer Andrew Crumey. it is his first since returning to his original UK publisher Dedalus Books, and was awarded a grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.[1] Part of the writing was done while the author was visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study (Durham).[2][3]


In 1913 composer Pierre Klauer envisages marriage to his sweetheart and fame for his new work, The Secret Knowledge. Then tragedy strikes. A century later, concert pianist David Conroy hopes the rediscovered score might revive his own flagging career. Music, history, politics and philosophy become intertwined in a multi-layered story that spans a century. Revolutionary agitators, Holocaust refugees and sixties’ student protesters are counterpointed with artists and entrepreneurs in our own age of austerity. All play their part in revealing the shocking truth that Conroy must finally face – the real meaning of The Secret Knowledge.[4]


The novel is in part concerned with the concepts of the multiverse and quantum suicide, which have featured in previous novels by Crumey, and in articles and conference talks.[5][6] Specific reference is made to the anarchist Louis-Auguste Blanqui, and the philosophers Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, both of whom appear as characters in the novel. Reference is made to motifs from Crumey's earlier novels, particularly the Rosier Corporation which appeared in Mobius Dick. The missing wife of pianist David Conroy (called Laura) appears to be the same character of that name who appears in Mobius Dick.


  1. ^ Acknowledgement in book.
  2. ^ Acknowledgement in book.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Book cover description.
  5. ^ Essay in Aeon magazine
  6. ^ Talk given at "Literature and Mathematics: figures, topoi and transferences across the disciplines", Aberdeen University Centre for Modern Thought, June 11, 2010

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