I wrote it in 1989 and so it was actually written 27 years ago, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good I found the book when I reread it. I didn’t discuss it with anyone at the time, and got various friends of mine to pose as me for press interviews. I didn’t do any readings from it until 1993 either. I knew the scene in which the main character Terry Blake recites Abiezer Coppe was a groove sensation because I still read it. Well recite it, I got the idea to recite my work live in part from that passage, since I wanted to mirror what the narrator was doing, although generally I’m not also getting a blow job while I’m reciting that piece in public.
Bridget Penney interviews Stewart Home.
On the one we may be wrecking our relationship simply because we can’t trust each other. But on the other hand, maybe we are just too fundamentally different – she with her jaguar’s sense of beauty and narcissism and me with my utilitarian grind it out ways — maybe there never was any hope for us. But the third moral was the one that really had me thinking. Was Penny a natural danger to me? Was she taking advantage of me?
Chapter 21 of EJ Spode‘s The Oddity.
It wouldn’t be bad to ban the American cinema for a while. Three-quarters of the planet considers cinema from the angle and according to the criteria of American cinema… People must become aware that there are other ways to make films than the American way. Moreover this would force filmmakers in the United States to revise their conceptions. It would be a good thing.
– Jean-Luc Godard
Louis Armand on avoiding American cinema.
If you calculate a tip when you’re drunk, you should think of yourself as taking a belief-gamble – you’re forming a belief in a way that gives you a 50% shot at getting things right and a 50% shot at getting things wrong. This is the equivalent of guessing. Since the way in which we care about the accuracy of our beliefs prohibits guessing, this way of caring about accuracy also prohibits forming beliefs while drunk. A really interesting question is why we don’t like gambling on our beliefs, when we’re happy gambling on all sorts of other things.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Miriam Schoenfield.
All of a sudden, however, everyone’s a fucking expert on fucking everything. Twenty year old kids coming across like they’ve been up against the political rockface all their lives, loving the sound of their own voices on YouTube, as they put the world to rights, eulogising away in their irritating, squeaky, upspeak manner, telling us what ‘the thing’ is, and letting us know how messed up the rest of us really are. This supposedly well meaning movement, peopled almost exclusively by the pampered middle classes of all ages, and their whiny offspring, are bound together in their utter hatred of Brexit and Donald Trump.
By Andy Blade.
Williams’ USP (even, at times, brilliance), is to drop us in on lives at seemingly innocuous moments—and then wrong-foot the reader, contort the unfolding story, and ultimately distil something elemental from the seemingly banal.
Tamim Sadikali review Attrib. and other stories by Eley Williams.
I wasn’t going to smoke a cigarette. I’m sitting, just got home, in for the evening, my eyes soft on the books and ornaments around me, not looking at them but letting my gaze pass over them, the manifold textures and warm colours such a relief after the glare of the day, but I’m not thinking about them, no, I’m flushed and full of the love song that I’m going to write to you. There’s an idea of a song and I feel it completely. A love song to you and for you. I’m full of the pleasure of what will have been written, something to you and for you that isn’t me any longer, something admirable and complete in itself… And I feel it in my chest, an ache, a slight tightness of breath, a yen contracting around the shape of a song but there’s something else there, another ache there, two aches there.
By Michael Reid.
A billionaire has offered to give you a million dollars if, at midnight tonight, you intend to drink a toxin tomorrow afternoon. The toxin will make you sick, but it won’t kill you, so you wouldn’t mind drinking it for a million dollars. But there is one catch: the money will be deposited in your account (or not) before noon. So here is the problem: you have no reason to drink the toxin (and the billionaire has told you as much), since he isn’t paying you to do so. By the time tomorrow afternoon arrives, you will either be a millionaire or you won’t be, but you will have no reason to drink the toxin and a strong reason not to. Since you know this, it seems that forming an intention to drink the toxin will be difficult or even impossible without finding some way to trick yourself into drinking.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Roman Altshuler.
The first Riot Stories publication to host Weller’s poetry would be the first issue of December’s Child. Weller had already utilised the back pages of the songbook for All Mod Cons to host some of his poetry, and with the burgeoning market for poetry fanzines in an ascendancy, he’d already contributed a few poems to several publications. While adept in imbuing his songs with his poetic words, it was clear that a lot of his verse would benefit from a far wider canvas.
Simon Wells on the literary influences of Paul Weller and The Jam.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I could see the red glow of the stones. It was hotter than the actual Hades is alleged to be. Uncle straddled a water bucket as he sat, and then he splashed water on the stones four times – once for each of the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west) creating some fierce and angry steam. It was unquestionably hotter than I was used to from European saunas. When the hiss of the steam subsided, I wasn’t sure, but I thought I could hear the rocks humming. Is that possible?
Chapter 20 of EJ Spode‘s The Oddity.