:: Buzzwords Archive: February 2011. Click here for the latest posts.

The Missing Links (published 13/02/2011)


London Weekend Television‘s legendary November 1976 punk documentary. * Malcolm McLaren on Serge Gainsbourg. * Chris Power on Boccaccio. * Jacques Derrida on photography. * Dirty Literature. * A Nathanael West gallery. * Geoff Ward on David Foster Wallace‘s legacy. * On Infinite Jest. * White Review co-founder Jacques Testard‘s Week in Culture in the Paris Review. * Blaise Cendrars perverted by language. * Stream Sonic Youth‘s soundtrack to Simon Werner‘s A disparu (Lights Out). * New York City in 1977. * Wake in Progress. * Book reviewers on reviewing. * A film adaptation of Ballard‘s Concrete Island. * Art inspired by Twin Peaks. * The growing threat to British universities. * Jonathan Safran Foer‘s visual literature. * On BBC Four’s Reggae Britannia. * Reggae Britannia (live review, Barbican). * Rastamouse. * Apathy is dead. * Attempt to kill Jules Verne, 1886. * The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator. * Listen to Gilles Deleuze‘s lectures at Paris VIII (1979-84). * The return of Adam Ant. * Dada and music. * Hans Richter‘s Ghosts Before Breakfast, 1927. * George Shaw‘s eerie paintings. * Sid Vicious‘s letter to Nancy Spungen in which he draws a list of all the things he likes about her (“Makes extremely interesting conversation”, “Great hustler”…). * How do you take a picture of an imaginary author? * France honours Mad Men creator. * New York Dolls documentary. * Tumbling Maîtresse. * The Parisienne. * “In Love with Raymond Chandler” by Margaret Atwood. * Londonist review Lee Rourke‘s The Canal. * Barry Miles on Britain’s counterculture of the 60s. * An interview with the late Tura Satana. * The cult of breasts. * The woman behind the beehive hairdo. * Shaved women. * Phil Spector on I Dream of Jeannie, 1967. * Zuckerberg’s next move. * A review of I Slept with Joey Ramone. * The Clash‘s 18 best songs? * Pictures of Joe Strummer. * Tom Stoppard on artists’ political impact. * The end of Kodachrome. * Living in the End Times. * The 1870 pocket guide to New York brothels. * Angelheaded Hipsters exhibition at the National Theatre. * William Burroughs home movie. * 50 William Burroughs MP3s. * Death of Daniel Vermeille, one of the co-founders of France’s Rock & Folk monthly, who had become a tramp. His body was found in a car park. He was 58. * Philip Pullman tears apart the Big Society. * Amazon‘s Kindle Singles. * Photos of bloggers, alone, illuminated by computer screens. * McCrum on the Brighton Rock remake. * Secrets of Paris. * A map of things invented in London. * Old London trams (film). * A short film about London markets narrated by Sid James. * London’s road to nowhere. * Modernism in Metroland. * Je me souviens: Paul Theroux looks back on his time in England: “The clearest memory I have of the whole nasty Ulster mess, of cruelty and bloody-mindedness, is a newspaper picture of a skinny teenaged Irish girl whose boyfriend was a British soldier: tarred and feathered, gleaming black, with white tufts stuck to her body, her head shaven, terrified, pushed along a street by a howling mob of Catholics. She looked like an alien to me, suffering the alien’s fate of rejection – in her case, extreme and humiliating”. * Japanese sexploitation of the 60s. * Terry Hall‘s tonic suit on eBay. * Submarine — The Movie. * Gerry Feehily on James Ellroy and Marianne Faithfull. * David Bowie does Bertolt Brecht. * Karen O‘s ad for Absolut. * On Coupland on McLuhan. * Where is poetry going?. * Steve Aylett’s The Man Whose Head Expanded animated. * Playmobil stop-motion version of Joy Division’s “Transmission”. * Punk William and Kate mural on London’s South Bank. * A library shouldn’t be a glorified Starbucks. * Best literary sex scenes not written by a great male novelist. * Barbed wire typography. * 3D typography. * Urban archeology. * Video nasties. * Jay McInerney on the Salinger biography. * Geezer Bandit. * US vs UK book jackets. * On the lost art of editing. * Live in your bookshelf. * Dr Marten’s.

ampere’s and (published )


This week’s visuals:

Caustic Cover Critic on Edward Gorey‘s Henry Jameses

& Tom Gauld‘s favourite maps

& The specimen jars of Frederik Ruysch

& Steve Heller on a Nazi graphics standards manual

& Frédéric Chaubin’s subversive Soviet superstructures

& Chuck Palahniuk book covers from around the globe

& Peter P. Plasencia‘s illustrations for Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented the Future (1964)

[Image: Alexander Surikov‘s illustrations for Dostoyevsky‘s A Gentle Creature (1931)]

Tandeta: Kill Author, Bishop, Johnson, Twain, Self (published 11/02/2011)


Issue 11 of > kill author (3:AM Website of the Year 2010) is named for Raymond Carver / Poets always seem to prefer Elizabeth Bishop / Denis Johnson reads ‘The Starlight On Idaho’ / Mark Twain & the fortune-teller / Will Self on the Coen brothers.

Nothing holds like Hamilton’s Rope (published 09/02/2011)


Black Spring Press and the Society Film Club celebrate the dark world of Patrick Hamilton with a screening of Hitchcock’s Rope. The evening is introduced by Hamilton’s biographer Nigel Jones, who will explore the links between Hitchcock’s “experiment that didn’t work out” and Hamilton’s Gorse Trilogy. From Roger Ebert‘s review of the film:

Alfred Hitchcock called “Rope” an “experiment that didn’t work out,” and he was happy to see it kept out of release for most of three decades. He was correct that it didn’t work out, but “Rope” remains one of the most interesting experiments ever attempted by a major director working with big box-office names.


The play depended, for its effect, on the fact that it was one continuous series of actions. Once the characters have entered the room, there can’t be any jumps in time, or the suspense will be lost. The audience must know that the body is always right there in the trunk.

The play appealed to Hitchcock’s sense of the macabre and his fascination with situations involving the inconvenience of dead bodies. But in translating the play to the screen, he had to deal with that unity of time and space. All of the events had to take place in one uninterrupted act, and he arrived at the novel idea of shooting the movie without any visible cuts, so that it would look like one continuous shot.

He built elaborate sets with movable walls on wheels. He choreographed his actors so that they and the camera could perform intricate ballets without interrupting the action. He loaded his camera with 10-¬minute magazines of film, he arranged the screenplay in 10-minute sections, and at the end of each section he used an “invisible wipe” to get to the next magazine: The camera, for example, would move behind a chair at the end of one shot, and seem to be moving out from behind it in the next.


Patrick Hamilton on page and screen,
Sanctum Soho Hotel,
Monday 21 February, 7.00pm.
Admission £5 (£7.50 for non-members), includes a copy of the Black Spring edition of Gorse Trilogy.

The Not-Oyster Bit (published 08/02/2011)


Tom McCarthy interviewed about Tristram Shandy in Henry HitchingsBirth of the British Novel broadcast, yesterday, on BBC Four:

TMC: The experience of reading Tristram Shandy is beautifully frustrating, right? He never gets to the point, he’s continually interrupting himself and digressing, and digressing from the digression. But what’s really interesting is that this doesn’t result in some kind of chaos. It’s actually a very, very carefully constructed book.

In a way, it kind of anticipates — almost 3 centuries early — what Joyce will do with Ulysses. In its ellipses and blank pages, it anticipates lots of what Beckett will do: his attempts to make language finally disappear. In its incredibly before-its-time understanding of our psychic activities, which is just way off the map of anything that had been proposed then. This is the mark of a really, really good novel. It’s one of those books for which the theory doesn’t yet exist to explain it.

HH: Does that feed into your idea of what a novel should be?

TMC: Yes.

HH: What is a novel?

(Tom McCarthy laughs.)

TMC: A novel is something that contains its own negation, right? So a novel is not a novel without an anti-novel lodged in it. It’s like an oyster: it isn’t interesting unless it has got a bit of grit in it as well — that not-oyster bit that kind of produces the pearl. In Tristram Shandy, this is precisely what produces the drama: the central drama of that book is its own undermining. And I think, in a way, this is what every book should be, in one way or another.

[Pic: Tom McCarthy and Daniel Defoe, Bunhill Fields, London, August 2010 by Andrew Gallix.]