:: Buzzwords

18/11/14: Alexander Baron Night

24th November, 7.30 pm
Wheatsheaf Pub, Rathbone Place, North Soho, W1
Admission £4

Sean Longden & John Williams
with readings by Callum Coates

Alexander Baron was a commanding author of post-war London, renowned above all for The Lowlife, and also one of the most compelling novelists of the infantry man’s experience of the Second World War. His first novel, From the City, From the Plough, sold massively on its publication in 1948. It was based on his own war service, fighting across France from the Normandy D-Day beaches, and won acclaim for depicting both the boredom and the brutality of the battlefield, and for its account of the strong sense of camaraderie among those brought together by combat. Baron’s London novels based largely on personal experience and observation. The Lowlife harked back to the street where he grew up on the cusp of Stoke Newington and Dalston — Rosie Hogarth is a compassionate evocation of a working class back street near Chapel Market in Islington — and King Dido, set in the early years of last century, recalled visits to grandparents in Spitalfields and Bethnal Green.

(h/t: The Sohemians)

: Novel of the Year?

Kafka directed by David Lynch doesn’t even come close. It is the most hauntingly original book I’ve read in a very long time. Nicholas RombesThe Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing is a strong contender for novel of the year.





14/11/14: Kakania

Thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum, Steven J. Fowler is delighted to announce a new project that celebrates the culture of Habsburg Vienna a century ago, with commissions of contemporary artists from 21st century London. Kakania — over four events, each in different venues, 4 original publications and an array of contemporary artists working in poetry, visual art, sound and conceptual art — aims to not just to evoke the Habsburg era, but to envelope it, to transpose it, to avoid nostalgia and in its stead bring the intensity and innovation that marked the last days of the Habsburg era.

Each artist is creating new work based on one specific figure from that time. The website features an artists section where you can see the full list of commissions, which include Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud, Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka, Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt, and George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler, amongst many others, including, in time, works on Stefan Zweig, Robert Musil, Egon Schiele, Gustav Mahler, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alma Mahler, Joseph Roth and many others.

The first event takes place in just over two weeks and is completely free to attend.

November Tuesday 25th – 7.30pm
the Rich Mix Arts Centre – Main space – Free Entry
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Sharon Gal on Anton Webern
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ariadne Radi Cor & Diane Silverthorne on Alma Mahler
Dylan Nyoukis on Raoul Hausmann
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas-Salome

The following three events will take place on:

January Thurs 22nd at the Freud Museum
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
& many more

February Thurs 19th at TBC
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Tom Jenks on Otto Gross
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka
Martin Bakero on TBC
Morten Sondergaard on TBC

March Thurs 26th at the Austrian Cultural Forum
Featuring brand new commissions from:
George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler
Joshua Alexander on Paul Wittgenstein
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke

Kakania is an ambitious project which explores the legacy of the Habsburg past through decidedly contemporary, original works of text and art, which will attempt to be as complex and genre testing as the works, and the people, they are responsive to. Please come out to support the endeavour.

Kakania is also partnered by Pushkin Press, who will have books to sell at the events and who publish vital Habsburg figures like Stefan Zweig.

03/11/14: Hot on the Heels of Lunch

Following on from Lydia Lunch‘s recent reading in the series at the University of Chicago Center in Paris, on November 25 Jack Sargeant will talk about William Burroughs in the World Beyond Literature and screen Andre Perkowski’s Nova Express. Based on William S. Burroughs’ quasi-science fiction cut-up novel of the same name, the film is a remarkable cinematic realisation of the cult book. More details here.

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)