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23/10/14: Lars Iyer and David Winters in conversation: Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge, 30th October

If you’re in (or near!) Cambridge on 30th October, do come along to Heffers Bookshop and see Lars Iyer discuss his new novel, Wittgenstein Jr., with 3:AM’s co-editor in chief, David Winters. Tickets for the event can be bought here. More info from Heffers:

Lars Iyer, in conversation with literary critic David Winters, will discuss Lars’ latest novel Wittgenstein Jr, which concerns the academic career of a group of Cambridge philosophy students, deeply under the influence of their supervisor, whom they nickname Wittgenstein Jr.

Wittgenstein Jr’s austere, exacting philosophy provides a tragicomic counterpoint to the chemical excesses of a student life that takes place in Cambridge locations that will having Cambridge inhabitants laughing out loud in recognition: the college backs, the Maypole, the Copper Kettle, the weekend tourists on King’s Parade…With the wit and linguistic playfulness of Evelyn Waugh and the experimentation of Beckett, the novel moves towards an unexpectedly hopeful and touching conclusion.

“Iyer is an author who rejects the parochialism and timidity we often associate with British novelists in favour of an ugly grapple with the big themes” —The Spectator

“Lars Iyer…has been redefining the existential anti-hero for several years now, combining fiction and philosophy with great wit and invention.” —TLS

: The Cenotaph Project

This panel revisits Stuart Brisley and Maya Balcioglu’s Cenotaph Project (1987-91). The British painter, sculptor and performance artist Stuart Brisley is widely regarded as a key figure in British art. Along with his frequent collaborator, Maya Balcioglu, he has unflinchingly probed the political, cultural and social mores of his time in a career now spanning its sixth decade.

Cenotaph literally means an empty tomb (from the Greek kenos, empty and taphos, tomb.) It both conceals remains that are lost or buried elsewhere, and serves as a powerful signifier of military and state power. It thus raises questions about the relation between what is ‘above ground’, state-sanctioned, revealed and what remains underground, buried and concealed.

For this project the artists exhibited replicas of the Whitehall Cenotaph, scaled down to match the typical height of a council flat ceiling, in six locations across the country. From a mute signifier of ‘official history’ the various, smaller cenotaphs opened a space for a critique of history and the possibility of change. The discussion concludes with a reading by author Tony White from a new work of critical prose fiction, which uses the figure of the cenotaph to focus on revolutionary aspects of Stuart Brisley’s work since the early 1970s.

This event results from a loose collaboration between Balcioglu, Brisley, Sanja Perovic (Lecturer in French, King’s College London) and Tony White that has been made possible by White’s appointment as creative entrepreneur in residence at King’s College, London, supported by CreativeWorks London.

A cenotaph will be on display in the Chapel for the duration of the festival and can be viewed 10am-10pm weekdays, except while Chaplaincy or Festival events are taking place.

20/10/14: The Missing Links

Knausgaard on Peter Handke. * Remembering Christine Brooke-Rose. * Lars Iyer in The Quietus: “A kitschified realism mirrors the old stabilities, an older world, now disappearing. A kitschified modernism mirrors the old instabilities, the cracks in the old bowl of culture. But the bowl has shattered… So what does that mean for our arts? What would a genuine post-modernism look like? Can there be such thing?”. * Donald Antrim and the art of anxiety. * Donald Antrim interviewed. * Ben Lerner and Ariana Reines in conversation. * Tim Parks on reality fiction. * On Simon Critchley‘s Memory Theatre. * Simon Critchley and Rick Moody on Bowie. * The radical classicism of Fitzcarraldo Editions. * Mathias Enard‘s Zone reviewed. * Jorge Luis Borges: The Mirror Man. * Joshua Cohen on A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing: “What all that praise had in common, besides that it was deserved, was the sad sense that the English-language novel had matured from modernism, and that in maturing its spirit was lost: It was now gray, shaky, timid, compromised by publicity and money, the realisms of survival”. * Stream of pre-consciousness. * Francesca Woodman at Victoria Miro. * Iris Murdoch. * Rachel Kushner on cinema. * An interview with Lynne Tillman. * Sam Mills on gender and the avant-garde artist. * Regarding Susan Sontag: “All she wanted was everything: to see every film, read every book, have every experience; to understand civilization, to understand war, and fall in love. To talk to everyone interesting, to stay up all night”. * The idea of a Critical Theory. * The pitfalls of speculative realism. * Heidegger in black. * The double life of Paul de Man. * Remembering Derrida. * Brigitte Bardot. * Will Self at Shakespeare and Company. * Will Self: “All serious readers of serious literature have had this experience: time, space, and all the workaday contingencies of their identity – sex, age, class, heritage — are forgotten; the mind cleaves to the page, matching it point-for-point; the mind is the text, and in the act of reading it is you who are revealed to the impersonal writer, quite as much as her imaginings and inventions are rendered unto you”. * An interview with Blake Butler. * Chris Stein (Blondie) on his pictures from the 70s and 80s. * Vintage Viv Albertine and Paul Simonon from the fabled Laura Ashley shoot. * Sid and Nancy. * Anger is an Energy. * Chas Smash. * Northern Soul. * Bad Brains live in Florida, 1987. * 20,000 Days on Earth reviewed. * Robert Young R.I.P. * Georges Bataille‘s “The Solar Anus“. * Cocteau in London. * There’s a great review of the great Tom Bradley‘s great Elmer Crowley: a Katabasic Nekyia in the current Fortean Times: “Crowley, Fudd, Buddha, Yeats, Heliopolitan hierophants, the Goddess Baubo, assorted ‘Nilotic dream despots’, a carrot-eating Madame Blavatsky, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and their Warner Brothers producer, Leon Schlesinger, bounce and boing their way across human history. These are the launch points for Bradley’s inquiries into questions of meta-ethics and truth against a background of Esoteric Hitlerists”. * Mercedes Helnwein‘s videos.  * Emmanuel Carrère on Eduard Limonov: “He says to me, ‘We are not on the same side of the barricades. You are a bourgeois. I am a revolutionary. You are the kind of guy I would like to send to the gulag’”. * An interview with Sheila Heti. * The brilliance of Richard Brautigan. * Mike Leigh on Turner. * The new issue of Five Dials includes Deborah Levy and former 3:AMer Christiana Spens. * Five questions for Rachel Kushner. * Going viral. * The ethics of using location data. * Werner Herzog (video). * Parisian bookshops. * What We Wore (there’s a photobooth pic of me on the cover). * Skinheads. * Books written by computers. * Everything and Moore. * BS Johnson in the digital age. * Pic: Hurricane Watch by Jane Wilson.

13/10/14: Save the Horse Hospital!

On 19 October, Joanna Walsh, 3:AM‘s Fiction Editor, will be reading and talking about short stories with Chris Power. This event is a benefit in support of the Horse Hospital, which is sadly threatened with closure. Some of you may remember 3:AM‘s first live event, which took place there back on 26 July 2003. All details here.

02/10/14: A triumph!

The mighty Paul Ewen reading from his celebrated new novel Francis Plug – How to Be A Public Author at Piccadilly Waterstones last Friday, while Galley Beggar Press’ Sam Jordison looks on. (image @isabelcostello)

18/09/14: Be There or be Sober

Vim Cortez, fronted by 3:AM‘s former music editor, are playing Le Bus Palladium (Paris) on Friday night.

07/09/14: The Missing Links

Brian Dillon on his Curiosity exhibition: “I think of essay writing as a kind of collage or curating of various kinds of knowledge, narrative, etc. One of the things that Cabinet does in its written contributions as well as its design, its curation of exhibitions, its presentation of images is to give this sense that the essay as a form has a material and curating element about it”. * Lee Rourke discusses Vulgar Things and Southend (audio). * Lee Rourke and Eimear McBride in conversation. * On Didier Bay’s photographic sociology of post-1968 Paris. * “The world needs its Artauds more than ever”: unhappy birthday, Antonin Artaud. * The art of distraction. * Creativity creep. * 50 years of Entertaining Mr Sloane. * Wonderful 60s snapshots of London. * The Bechers’ industrial photographs. * Paul Jasmin‘s photographs. * The history of Leica. * Updating Ways of Seeing. * Deleuze and Plato. * Kenneth Goldsmith interviewed by Sheila Heti. * Will Self in conversation with Will Self. * Shark reviewed. * Frank Auerbach, a painter’s painter. * On plotless novels. * When Ginsberg met Michaux. * Judith Wolfe on Heidegger‘s Black Notebooks. * Untranslatable words. * Conversations with Werner Herzog. * A celebration of Robert Walser. * “Full” by Robert Walser. * W. G. Sebald: a German genius in Britain. * The shock of the new (audio). * On Boyhood. * Why shorter can be better. * Douglas Coupland in London on 23 September. * Get Carter and the birth of British noir. * The art of spam in The Paris Review (my 2008 Guardian piece on spam lit is referenced). * Thomas Pynchon‘s script edits for The Simpsons. * Umberto Eco on Peanuts. * “Why I write” by Barry Hannah. * Nick Lezard reviews Boy About Town by Tony Fletcher (of Jamming fame). * Punk poster collection at Stanford. * Richard Hell and punk (audio). * Noise and power. * Are today’s intellectuals too obedient? * “The Adolescents” by Rachel Kushner. * Ben Lerner interviewed by Tao Lin: “…the nonfiction kid is waking up. And it’s my turn to change her”. * The New York Times on Ben Lerner‘s 10/04“Formally “10:04” belongs to an emerging genre, the novel after Sebald, its 19th-century furniture of plot and character dissolved into a series of passages, held together by occasional photographs and a subjectivity that hovers close to (but is never quite identical with) the subjectivity of the writer. Its nearest relative is the work of Teju Cole, with whom Lerner shares an interest in art and the social fabric of cities. More confessional than Cole, it also shares much with Chris Kraus’s “I Love Dick” and Sheila Heti’s “How Should a Person Be,” and it is occasionally reminiscent of the work of Geoff Dyer, who will turn an essay on D. H. Lawrence or Tarkovsky into an occasion to dissect the oddities of his own personality”. * More here.

02/09/14: The Missing Links

Two Clarice Lispector stories translated by Elizabeth Bishop. * Blake Butler on thirty years of Dalkey Archive. * Lars Iyer interviewed: “Black comedy, goes the definition, refuses to treat tragic materials tragically. It makes us laugh at tragic things. But I would go further, and say that black comedy refuses to treat comic materials solely comically, or satirical materials solely satirically“. * Beckett‘s role in the French Resistance. * Ben Lerner at the Met. * Brian Dillon on the prose of psychoanalysis: “The essay is a monologue pursued to the extent that we start to hear other voices, notice the undercurrents taking over”.  * Tom McCarthy on cartography. * Tim Parks on reading upward and meditation. * Karl Whitney‘s Hidden City reviewed in the Telegraph (Karl is a former 3:AM editor and contributor). * On Ray Johnson. * Teju Cole: The Atlas of Affect. * Teju Cole, Tao Lin, and others on their Twitter use. * An interview with Robert Coover (video). * Geoff Dyer on the “Oh, shit!” moment. * Great interview with Lee Rourke. * Kazimir Malevich, the man who liberated painting. * Two stories by Diane Williams, followed by an interview.  * Zadie Smith on JG Ballard’s Crash. * Kierkegaard and Regine Olsen. * Darran Anderson on experimental literature. * ‘Alt lit‘. * Jacques Rancière‘s lecture on cinema and the frontiers of art. * Detroit and art. * Viv Albertine. * Joanna Hogg at Artforum. * The all-American road trip. * On translating Raymond Roussel. * 11-year-old illustrates Infinite Jest using Lego. * Sean O’Hagan on Nick Cave. * The Paranoia Machine. * Scrapbooking. * Will Self talks about death (video). * Will Self: “I had planned to write Jaws without the shark”. * Shark reviewed. * Self on Orwell: “[A]ny insistence on a particular way of stating things is an ideological act, whether performed by George Orwell or the Ministry of Truth”. Will Self on the digital essay (audio). * Will Self and John Banville on Dubliners. * The battle for Ulysses. * Illustrating the impossible: Stephen Crowe. * Knausgaard, Lydia Davis, and Kraznahorkai on Bookworm. * Knausgaard on Ben Marcus (audio). * Knausgaard interview (video). * Arthur Symons‘s The Symbolist Movement in Literature. * Hugo Ball. * Tom Vague. * Hipster neighbourhoods. * Ten Parisian artists beyond the Périphérique. * On Leos Carax‘s Boy Meets Girl (1984). * Adrian West‘s superb piece on Edouard Levé. * Marie Laurencin. * In-flight science. * The fairy tale continues. * An interview with Paul Weller. * The cliché expert’s guide to the cinema by Gilbert Adair. * Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood. * Absolutely brilliant review of Boyhood by Peter Bradshaw: “In some ways, the movie invites us to see Mason from an estranged-dad’s-eye-view, alert to sudden little changes and leaps in height. As an unestranged dad myself, I scrutinised Coltrane at the beginning of each scene, fascinated and weirdly anxious to see if and how he’d grown. But the point is that all parents are estranged, continually and suddenly waking up to how their children are growing, progressively assuming the separateness and privacy of adulthood. Part of this film’s triumph is how it depicts the enigma of what Mason is thinking and feeling”.  * Welcome again to the Pleasuredome. * DC punk history. * Would the real Francesca Woodman please stand up? * What kind of worker is a writer? * On paying writers.

25/08/14: Monoskop launch a guide to 150+ Avant-Garde and Modernist Journals Online

Monoskop, the collaborative research platform for art history, culture and media technology, have recently published an expansive archive of over one hundred and fifty avant-garde and modernist magazines, all to enjoy online for free.  Check them out here.


What is the relevance of avant-garde magazines printed on aging paper to a society which views the world in real time and through networked digital lenses? There are two common answers. Regardless of their age, the art they carry can be looked at anew since it is only its techniques that pale, and on the other hand, they provide us with a historical record of several generations of artists and writers. Although what strikes the eye first is a variety of their fabrics and of workings of the page, something estranged from the relentless linearity of digital bits and the UX of the glowing screen. Here, they also remind us that our lenses matter as well, their properties are variables.


19/08/14: Auld Enemies: a poetry documentary

3:AM Magazine’s SJ Fowler travels with his Enemies Project and other poets on a collaborative poetic voyage across Scotland, documented by Ross Sutherland.


The Enemies project: Auld Enemies was a transnational poetry collaboration where six poets worked in rolling paired to produce original works for readings across the breadth of Scotland and where in each event also featured numerous pairs of writers from the region, who also presented brand new poetry collaborations. Beginning on July 9th and finishing on July 27th, the project visited Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Lerwick and Kirkwall, before a wrapping up in London. Auld Enemies was a groundbreaking exploration of contemporary Scottish poetics through the potential of collaboration.