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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.

Buzzwords » London Overground World Premiere (published 22/06/2016)

By John Rogers. London Overground retraces Iain Sinclair’s journey with film-maker Andrew Kötting around the Overground railway for the book of the same name. The film covers the ground over the course of a year rather than the day’s walk of the book. Iain is once again joined by Kötting in parts, along with Chris […]

Reviews » Enthusiasm (published 23/12/2015)

He works in the limits of what he calls, as an abbreviation for the complexities, ‘enthusiasm.’ Of course there’s not a single proposition attached to that label. But it is something ‘not limited by anything & the imagination of flight is apparently a mild head cold to the viral germ warfare we ought suddenly employ when thinking about what we might do with our future time…’. That is the ultimate focus. No summarized norms, epistemic stances calibrated to measure the dreamed metaphysical ghouls, maybe even harness them, or drive a stake through to a heart, or a yacht to navigate territories. ‘Water/ doesn’t need a boat you arrogant fuck.

Richard Marshall reviews S.J. Fowler‘s ‘Enthusiasm.’

Interviews » A Radical Homosexual Refutes the Implicit Sexuality of a Young Woman in Appalling Black Glasses: M. Kitchell on the Topics of Solar Luxuriance and Publishing in the Twenty-First Century (published 03/11/2015)

I’m much more interested in publishing works that fit the idea of what I think books should do. I believe that the function of books lies beyond representational language, beyond being an easy way to encounter language, and there aren’t many presses doing anything interesting with that. But then again, there don’t seem to be many writers doing things like that.

Jarett Kobek interviews M. Kitchell from Solar Luxuriance.

Interviews » The Indie Press Interviews 1: Charles Boyle (published 14/10/2015)

If you’ve got an office with the water-coolers and the sofas, and have staff, you have to sell a heck of a lot of books to maintain that situation. I’m not paying staff, I don’t work from an office: I have almost no overheads. My expenses are printing bills and small author advances, usually around £200 against 10% royalties, sometimes a little more. Small presses don’t have big risks. If a mainstream publisher publishes a book and it doesn’t sell, it’s considered a mistake. If I publish a book and it doesn’t sell, hey, nobody’s lost their livliehood, nobody’s drowned. It was something I thought was worth doing. You see, I don’t see it as my business to sell thousands of books. It sounds a bit naive, but I see publishing as a continuation of my reading and writing. They blur into one another. I am just sharing what I enthuse about.

James Tookey interviews Charles Boyle, author and founder of CB Editions.