:: Buzzwords Archive: February 2009. Click here for the latest posts.

Weddings & Bar Mitzvahs (published 22/02/2009)

Tao Lin, 3:AMs former Poetry Editor, gives a “presentation at the Whitney Museum”. See also, Tao Lin Week on 3:AM [day one, two, three, four, five]

3:AM Reloaded (published 21/02/2009)


What you (may have) missed on 3:AM this week:

Fiction by Robb Todd, Nina Rapi and Alan McCormick & Jonny Voss

Poetry by Zachari J. Popour

Non-fiction: Andrew Stevens on Loop and Sophie Parkin‘s Sohoitis

Reviewed: Max Dunbar on Moral Relativism and Susan Tomaselli on The Kissing Bug

Interviewed: Sophie Erskine talks to Alice Notley and Lee Rourke blathers to Chris Killen:

Chris Killen: What do you think is the future of publishing/writing in Britain and elsewhere?

Lee Rourke: The future has got to be with the independents, hasn’t it? They’re the only people taking risks, publishing work that matters. I mean, the big conglomerate houses aren’t interested in the continuation of Literature, or culture, that’s how I see it; they just want to sell trash to people who have become mollified by a culture of quick-fix explications; resulting in a brash insistence to disengage from the obscure, a collective escape towards a vapid, homogenised cultural void where celebrity, with its myriad fads, has become a way of finding validity. We are wheeling within a sanitised epoch that is told to shun anything difficult; anything ‘different’… It’s a sad state of affairs, really.

The Missing Links (published 20/02/2009)

3An Asger Jorn exhibition at Pompidou. * Ben Myers on morris dancing and Alfred Wainwright: “Regardless of his foibles, I’m pleased to see Wainwright is going to be honoured by Kendal, not only because his drawing style was as inspiring to me as a child as Raymond Briggs’s or Quentin Blake’s, or because I got to tread in his footsteps, but because more statues should be erected for writers across Britain”. * When is the world going to wake up to the genius of Tom Bradley (interviewed here in Word Riot)?: “This familiarized me with some of the prerogatives of the writer. To thumb one’s nose at authority and lay the lofty low, and simultaneously to enjoy the single experience that Freud considered better than unmetaphorical sex: feeling the superego reach down and pat the ego on the head for a job well done. And all this when you’ve been having fun lying through your teeth”. (See our interview with the great man here.) * Stewart Home on Nicolas Bourriaud: “The art itself doesn’t really matter, it is there to illustrate a thesis. The thesis doesn’t matter either since it exists to facilitate Bourriaud’s career; and Bourriaud certainly doesn’t matter because he is simply yet another dim-witted cultural bureaucrat thrown up by the institution of art”. * Photographers not terrorists. * There’s a beautifully-written review of the INS‘s Tate Declaration in Triple Canopy (courtesy of Ben Street): “The two actors slip out of character and profess not to know very much about the whole thing. The real Tom McCarthy is beaming with delight, having watched from backstage. ‘We could franchise this,’ he tells me. ‘Imagine Keanu Reeves and Brad Pitt standing in for us!’ Everyone is relieved; it all worked out. The press people, the technical staff, and the rest of the INS staff slope off to the pub. In the emptying lobby, a spray of crumbs and crushed cups coat the floor and the sofas, like a punch line: ‘the brute materiality of the external world,’ waiting around for the cleaners to turn up”. * Arletty reading Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Mort à crédit). * Living life in real time: Slow Down London. * The Specials (almost) reunited: “[I]t gradually became apparent that nothing they did for the rest of their lives would ever quite measure up to what they had achieved for two years in their early 20s.’We’ve all done good stuff individually, but we’ve never done anything as good individually as we did collectively,’ says Bradbury”. * Charles Thomson on Tate Cruises. * An interview with Richard Milward. * Sam Jordison on self-help books: “It [The Secret] pertains to “The Law Of Attraction” and the fact that positive thinking can change real life events. Just thinking about things you want intently enough will make them happen. Which is odd, because in two years of intense wishful thinking, I still haven’t managed to make The Secret disappear“. * Peter Ackroyd reviews Iain Sinclair‘s latest. * Mian-Mian interviewed (videos). * Eloise Millar on Verily Anderson. * A public reading of La Princesse de Clèves to protest against the Sarkozy government’s higher education reforms. Related: some 200 protesters occupied the Sorbonne last night. * Kink work goes mainstream. * John Betjeman in Leeds.

Animals and Men (published )


Tom McCarthy and Roberta Cremoncini discussed the enduring influence of Futurism on modern art and fiction on this morning’s Today programme (BBC Radio 4). You can listen to the segment here. You can also watch a video of the Tate Declaration here.

(Pic: Andrew Gallix.)

Weekender (published 19/02/2009)


Curious given the downturn in the fortunes of publishing, but after years of relatively nothing (save for the Clerkenwell Literary Festival) there’s now a plethora of decent literary festivals in London each year. The latest addition to the calendar is the London School of Economics’ ‘Space for Thought’ Literary Weekend which runs 27 February to 1 March and features, among others, Iain Sinclair, Martin Rowson, Tim Parks and Will Self (pictured), as well as a discussion on literary defamation in the age of the Rushdie fatwa. The full programme is here and is all free but ticketed.