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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.

Criticism » Tara Morgana (published 26/10/2014)

As ever, Holman is asking that we recognize those deeper, magical roots of writing that modern poetic literature has always recognized – think of Yeats, mystical Eliot, Ted Hughes. He’s working to unfreeze a secular cultural cringe that blushes embarrassment at the supernatural, mystical, occult elements and can’t engage with that vast content… Holman is working to receive occult forces where ‘… each dreamed text is a terma in the mind, treasure best left to be forgotten and then discovered anew.’

Richard Marshall reviews Paul Holman’s Tara Morgana.

Nonfiction » The Artist Pioneer: East London and the ‘Stripped-Pine Pioneers’ (published 25/10/2014)

Since the 1960s a picture has emerged. A collective language of urban development, which paints artists – to use a generic conglomeration of fine artists, writers, architects, photographers and filmmakers – as urban pioneers. It would seem this has become the portrait of urban renewal. Artists as what Jonathan Raban so cuttingly called the ‘stripped-pine pioneers’. First-wave foot soldiers of gentrification. Boldly marching beyond the frontiers of well-trod quartiers, in search of new, cheap, interesting spaces to live and work.

Bea Moyes on the development of the East End.

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 18/05/2014)

The Invisible Book. * On Francesca Woodman. * Ben Lerner: “I came here tonight to open you up / To interference heard as music”. * Ben Lerner on Knausgaard. * Karl Ove Knausgaard on spring. * Out to where storytelling does not reach. * Art does not know a beyond. * The Absolution of Roberto [...]

Interviews » Edgeland: Marshland (published 20/03/2014)

Language and writing often tries to appropriate places and make them understandable. Take the Romantics as an example. Before the Romantics, hills, the Lake District and the countryside were just a wilderness, it was ugly, no one wanted to go there because there were bandits and wolves there. Why would you want to leave the triumph of the Enlightenment in the cities? But the Romantics came along and said, ‘That’s quite pretty’. So for a while language became about describing this exciting new place. Then it got into the Gothic and it became clichéd and all the rest of it, to the point where you couldn’t write about it anymore.

Kit Caless records Simon Spanton in conversation with Gareth E Rees.

Interviews » debunking the anxiety of influence (published 04/12/2013)

Red Tales was fundamentally about the image; entering ideas through the image. I wanted to push the story into a different direction. I had this idea of interweaving fragments and narrative; of poetry and narrative and the image coming to the forefront. I was fascinated by art and installations and even saw writing as a cheaper way of building these spaces. It was also very much about processing experiences.

Joanna Pocock in conversation with Susana Medina .

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 01/12/2013)

Saul Leiter, in memoriam (see picture). * Teju Cole on the late Saul Leiter. * A bibliography of boredom. * Borges as professor. * A library of the mind. *  Nicholas Roeg in conversation. * Cézanne: “The artist must avoid thinking like a writer”. So should the writer. * Tom McCarthy on the quasi-religious fethishism [...]

Criticism » Writing in Built Up Areas (published 11/11/2013)

In contrast to the pictures, the text is full of details, both visible and invisible to the eye; there are plenty of historical facts and everyday trivia unearthed by Rogers as he plans and goes on his expeditions that take him as far as Erith Pier in the east and Hounslow Heath in the west. Some of this information comes from books whose titles range from the esoteric The 21 Lessons of Merlin: A Study in Druid Magic & Lore to the practical County of London Plan, 1943; the rest is obtained through fieldwork. On one such occasion, eager to find out what wassailing is, Rogers joins a group of locals in Hackney for this fertility ritual, which involves singing and drinking to fruit trees, an unorthodox way to explore the Lea Valley on a cold January day.

Anna Aslanyan reviews John RogersThis Other London.

Buzzwords » Enemies (published 04/11/2013)

Penned in the Margins have just brought out a new book by SJ Fowler, 3:AM‘s extraordinary poetry editor. Iain Sinclair lui-même describes Enemies as an “overwhelming assault. The geography is unnerving, almost familiar, then stinging in its estrangement. Intensity crackles. Tension teases. At what point does collision become collaboration? When do the bandages come off?” [...]

Poetry » from Suicide Bridge: Book Four (published 07/10/2013)

Bowen understands text as
annotated suicide note. He looks
not unlike R.L. Stevenson. Consumption
written into the contract. Unnatural
fires of collapsed lungs.
Said to be an Aitu, a white ghost.
He haunts 16 Chepstow Place he haunts
the Suicide Club he raises all the demons
of this town.

By Iain Sinclair.