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Interviews » The estate agent’s guide to artisan baking: Iain Sinclair interviewed (published 28/07/2015)

We find a bench that allows me to have the station sign in frame. I go to reference my two pages of typed notes, carefully assembled from a binge back-to-back reading of London Overground and Black Apples of Gower but an easterly gust of wind hoists them into the sky and over the high wall into the garden of the Geffrye Museum. Iain laughs. Don’t worry I assure him, the impressions of both books are firmly stamped on my mind, I probably had too many questions anyway – we’d freewheel it, follow the drift of conversation.

Iain Sinclair returns to 3:AM while John Rogers keeps the camera running.

Interviews » “an accidental novel”: Iain Sinclair interviewed (published 26/11/2014)

The 70 x 70 book is more than just a record of this filmic dérive around London, it is a repertory cinema season on paper, the SCALA brought back to life in print; a revival of the world of wall-charts peppered with classics by Fritz Lang, Douglas Sirk, Godard, unheralded oddities, all-nighters interrupted at 4am by a punk band to keep you awake. But it is also a form of autobiography, weaving a path through Sinclair’s life and work as he discusses the background to each selection, or “an accidental novel”, as he describes it.

John Rogers interviews Iain Sinclair on his 70×70 book.

Interviews » Free-Thinking London Babble: My Fucked Interview With Iain Sinclair (published 11/11/2006)

An easy interview. Iain Sinclair sits genially and talks into the recorder for over an hour, and there’s the sly undercurrent in this of a benign Sir William Gull instructing the ignorant Netley of the ventricles of London, England’s heart, as they turn down Greenwood Road as far as Albion Drive to survey London Fields and the suburb of Hackney containing the overspill of the East End. I’m the duff Netley, the stuttering ignoramus, wrestling with the recording machine and then failing to register its weird failure. Two hours later, speeding away in an unwashed van cluttered with dead paperbacks, used up Costa paper cups and rotten apple cores, I’m clicking the corpse button trying for the replay and finding nothing but white noise.

By Richard Marshall.

Interviews » Further Conversations: an Interview with Ramsey Campbell (published 09/10/2017)

There’s the antiquarian tale of the supernatural, but for me, the most significant Jamesian writers take his sense of the supernatural and his techniques and develop them in more contemporary settings. L.T.C. Rolt uses industrial landscapes for instance, very much in the James tradition of landscape but simply in a more modern setting. Fritz Lieber uses the contemporary US landscape of Chicago and San Francisco, in Smoke Ghost for example.  Kingsley Amis in The Green Man too, uses Jamesian techniques, that accretion of suggestive detail to convey and unnerve. But, ultimately, the key writers learn that terseness of statement and his sense of the crystallised uncanny.

By Adam Scovell.

Buzzwords » Artists Against Overdevelopment (published 07/10/2017)

Bowater House, Golden Lane Estate, London EC1Y 0RJ. View from Fann Street, EC1. October 5 – December 10. Spectres of Modernism is an installation of protest art banners emblazoned with slogans dreamt up by leading artists and writers including Turner Prize winners Jeremy Deller and Elizabeth Price and Booker Prize nominated author Tom McCarthy. The […]

Reviews » Last Exit to Beckton (published 23/09/2017)

The style aims for T. S. Eliot, recounting lost souls going about their hollow lives in the unreal city, but reads more like J. R. Hartley, betraying his befuddlement at the modern world. And we don’t stop there. Shared desk spaces, that most benign of office space management innovations, are a repeated cause of anger beyond all reason. Yet even worse than the “shared desk digital zombies” are the “phone addicts” with their “smart electronic devices” who are most guilty for the snuffing out of London’s soul. How, why, is never quite made clear.

John P. Houghton reviews Iain Sinclair‘s The Last London.

Reviews » Men and Women Who Will Not Grow Up (published 25/07/2017)

The novel’s topography is unmistakably London, though it’s difficult to pin down. The Bacchus Bar where the bohemian characters gather is reminiscent of Soho; the nearby school less so. There are echoes of Peter Ackroyd’s theory that holds the place itself, with its demands for sacrificial offerings, responsible for the crimes it attracts. Kersh, however, puts emphasis on ‘a certain midnight’ rather than the place, estimating the balance of probabilities thus: ‘God, as a gentleman, tries to think well of the watchful enemy, but Evil knows all the tricks.’

Anna Aslanyan reviews the reissue of Gerald Kersh‘s Prelude to a Certain Midnight.

Interviews » Bookshops — An interview with Jorge Carrión (published 07/04/2017)

The bibliography about libraries is abundant: that of bookshops, in turn, is minimal. Departing from this fundamental difference, between their importance within academic tradition, one can establish many other contrapositions. Libraries are almost always public; the bookshops, private. Libraries hardly change site; bookshops are more nomadic, they are constantly on the move.

Jorge Carrión and Carlos Fonseca on the nature of bookshops and much more.

Interviews » Defiant Pose Revisited: An Interview with Stewart Home (published 24/03/2017)

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.

Essays » Der Amerikanische Freund: Petit/Wenders/Jarmusch (published 18/03/2017)

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.