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Buzzwords » Vertical: Stephen Graham in conversation with Iain Sinclair (published 07/02/2017)

23 February 2017 – 7pm to 9pm 68 Hanbury Street London E1 5JL £3 entry (non-members) Stephen Graham is Professor of Cities and Society at Newcastle University. His most recent book is Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers. Iain Sinclair is a Welsh writer and filmmaker on psychogeography, and author of acclaimed book Orbital. […]

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.

Essays » Lumpenproletariat. Writing Attack/Antisystem/Subliterature (published 03/01/2017)

These are properly “deconstructive texts” in the sense that they burlesque rather than conventionally critique: they occupy the very language of disenfranchisement that is otherwise employed to demonstrate that they do not really exist. There is nothing of a Foucauldian paradigm here: this is not some pretence to an authentic voice of the excluded, a critique of the history of reason from the POV of the madwoman in the attic. The truly subversive character of the sublit project is that it is first and foremost a “locus” of détourning action – a radical poetics – a tropism. While the theorisers of the recuperated avantgarde toil to contain and expropriate the thing they imagine subliterature to be, their grasp necessarily comes up empty: there’s nothing to grasp, in any case, but a hologram of their own transgressed image, which they are more than adept at attending to.

Louis Armand on the Sublit Project.

Buzzwords » Top Reads of 2016: Andrew Gallix (published 18/12/2016)

  My book of the year was Claire-Louise Bennett’s Pond, which, technically, came out in 2015, but has haunted me ever since first reading it. This is where the future of fiction in English is being written. Joanna Walsh is also pushing back boundaries in both fiction (Vertigo) and nonfiction (Hotel). With Hot Milk, Deborah Levy produced […]

Interviews » A Conversation on M.R. James (published 18/11/2016)

Because of the writer that James was, his prose come across as very conversational. The criticism often suggested of him is that it’s rambling and dusty but I don’t think that myself. When you have to start breaking that down, fitting his text into boxes, there’s actually no fat on his writing at all. The aspects you might think of as extraneous are actually an important part of how these texts work; the everyday setting, the ordinary people venturing into extraordinary situations.

Leah Moore and John Reppion in conversation with Adam Scovell.

Interviews » The Other London Perambulator: John Rogers (published 26/09/2016)

There were a few cases of consciously not recreating things in the book. For example, there’s a wonderful section in the book about Iain’s relationship with Angela Carter. She’s great. When I interviewed Iain about the book, I was really curious about that because that is another London that doesn’t quite exist anymore, a literary London. It’s kind of dead really, at least in that form. So he’s still book dealing, and she can do a profile on him in the LRB and that can have transformative effects. What I loved about it is that there’s a lunch in Bloomsbury to celebrate an article in the LRB and that just doesn’t happen now.

Adam Scovell interviews John Rogers about his recent London Overground film with Iain Sinclair.

Reviews » 600 Years Of Defiant Pose (published 27/08/2016)

At the fag-end of the 1980’s … writing’s anti-authorial, anti-purist, anti-linear, anti-referential and deeply linguistic character was something in the air then. It was an update of Joyce’s ‘polyglottal’ ‘Wake’ project, a sexier, more chic version … that works with and through language, a clash of two codes, textual and bibliographic, but with a further density to the polysemy and plurivocity added, that of a fragmented elucidation. Acker and others – Bill Burroughs was another clear example – were writing monsters of subversion where theme, narrative, character and plot were their targets. Words were no longer subject to the equation that they meant just one thing, or even one cluster of things. Meaning was now just an effect of language not of anything lying within or behind it. Authorial intention and determination was eroded and instead labyrinths of possibility and acrostic sampling were being produced in a kind of hip, punk slippage to indeterminancy. The improvisory, intermedial experience of reading became a biological-emotional state of hyper-real decision making and play.

Richard Marshall reviews the 25th Anniversary Edition of Stewart Home‘s Defiant Pose.

Reviews » Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London (published 15/08/2016)

The flâneur has been a liberal-creative archetype almost as long as there have been cities – what Lauren Elkin describes as ‘a 19th-century phenomenon – the flâneur, a figure of privilege and leisure, with the time and money to amble around the city at will.’ Origins of the phenomenon were romantic and delirious: however, British contemporary literature can make anything dull and these days flâneuring consists of Iain Sinclair or Will Self, picking endlessly around a London orbital – or some young man of the Brutalist movement, blinking in rapture at tower blocks.

Max Dunbar reviews Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London by Lauren Elkin.