The Matterhorn: truth in fiction
The Matterhorn with Dr. Kathleen Waller
The Pharmakon in Fiction | Episode 39

The Pharmakon in Fiction | Episode 39

How to layer fiction with ideas from Plato's Pharmacy by Jacques Derrida [+ HK neighborhood Sheung Wan]

You can alternatively listen to this podcast on Apple or Spotify.
a group of people walking down a street next to tall buildings
Photo of Sheung Wan by Yue WU on Unsplash
Each week on The Matterhorn podcast, I discuss a way to layer fictions and discover the nuances of truth, using my novel as a catalyst but looking at other works of fiction as well as theory and interdisciplinary ideas. Each week, I also spend a little time on places & spaces, as part of a continued discourse on these ideas.
Thursday, I’ll be back with a 5-minute actionable version of today’s show, and Saturday I’ll share the next chapter of A Hong Kong Story. If you want to choose which posts you receive via email, please visit this page.
I’m keeping all of this completely free for listeners/readers with the option of patronage and support through my affiliate page. Thanks for joining us today!


Today’s episode links to “Part I: Sheung Wan ii” in A Hong Kong Story.

A full AI-created transcript can be accessed on the web version.


  • Derrida – Plato’s Pharmacy (in Dissemination) & the Pharmakon [ φάρμακον ]

    o   Remedy & Poison (also scapegoat, etc.)

    o   Plato on the Pharmakon – Truth within and exterior to philosophy (truth)

    o   Mis-readings / translations

    o   Doubling of writing  indeterminacy

    o   Dichotomies

    o   Speech vs Writing

    o   Self / ontology

  • Tensions in philosophy

  • Playing with the concept in fictions – Eileen Chang Lust, Caution

  • Place & Space focus - Sheung Wan


Books are linked to my affiliate page on where I receive 10% of profits on any purchase. 80% of their profits go to independent bookstores. This helps to keep all my work paywall-free. Thanks for your support!

The Matterhorn: truth in fiction is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

The Matterhorn: truth in fiction
The Matterhorn with Dr. Kathleen Waller
The Matterhorn is for writers and curious minds from author and academic Dr. Kathleen Waller.
Each week in this new season, Kathleen shares a chapter of her serialized novels - A Hong Kong Story & An Interpreter in Vienna - and uses it as a catalyst to discuss the layers of literature and how you can use these in your own writing.
The Matterhorn mission is to bring books and texts to life through an interdisciplinary and international approach as well as help writers take risks and create from knowledge.
Follow on Substack to receive posts with links, extra media & transcripts as well as to join the conversation -