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Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 14/09/2017)

On Kate Briggs‘s This Little Art. * Emily LaBarge on Mireille Gansel’s Translation as Transhumance. * Brian Dillon on what the essay does. * Brian Dillon reviews Susan Sontag‘s Debriefing: “Proximity to the essay form turns out not to be a failing in fiction, but one of its possible, experimental, tendencies”. * Kate Briggs on […]

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.

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.


 

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