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Interviews » The Total City: An Interview with Will Self (published 30/05/2015)

If people really, really are deciding to do whatever the hell they want to at any moment of the day, why does the city run with such regularity? And the answer is that people aren’t autonomous. It’s back to flow dynamics. We’re always trying to keep at bay the fact that we know that the city, by definition, deprives us of our autonomy. So once you’re deprived of your autonomy, you relocate your feeling body in the city itself. Since you’ve been annulled, you’re just part of this flow — what are you flowing through? So the way to humanise the fact that you’re dehumanised is to infuse the city with corporeality. I don’t think anybody does it at a conscious level. If you stopped somebody in the Metro, in the rush hour, and said, ‘Do you realise you haven’t chosen to go down here? You haven’t chosen to go to work, and you’re not even choosing to go home now, you’re not acting out of free will. You have no more free will than a drop of water,’ they’d look at you like you were completely mad, right? Nobody wants to be conscious of that fact.

Jo Mortimer interviews Will Self in Paris.

Interviews » A Pulpy Eyeless Balaclava: Will Self Interviewed (published 07/10/2008)

wp.jpg“Well the avant garde in Britain is just dead to the extent that it ever existed. But if you look at the Colony Club (the Soho drinking club which appears as the Plantation in Liver) at the time it was founded in the 1940’s you had a kind of time capsule of the future: it facilitated all day drinking, there was open display and acceptance of homosexuality, there was no taboo at all about swearing. None of this is transgressive anymore. It’s just modern life in Britain. And while things like homosexual liberation were needed and very much worth having, the same can’t really be said for saying ‘fuck’ in public or drinking all day.”

Jamie Kenny interviews Will Self for 3:AM.

Essays » The Death of “the Death of” (published 08/01/2019)

If we truly are witnessing the novel in its death throes, it is but one casualty among many in an accelerating age of cognitive stratification, increased specialization, fish tank communities, and proliferating aesthetic niches. The internet has made so much of this possible, and it’s hard not to see every art form going the same way. No taste is triumphant anymore. This is to say that the mainstream is itself in peril as much as the domination of any narrative art within it. Indeed, the very notion of a mainstream seems to be perishing in overproduction and disaffection with the cultural gatekeepers.

Jared Marcel Pollen on the death of the mainstream.

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 03/08/2018)

Deborah Levy and Olivia Laing in conversation. * Olivia Laing and Ali Smith in conversation. * David Hayden on the women who influenced his writing. * On Eugene Thacker‘s Infinite Resignation. * For Saul Leiter, “simply looking at the world was enough”. * Lauren Elkin on the new motherhood books. * How auto is autofiction? […]

Reviews » The Texture of an Edge (published 22/05/2018)

Kinsky is an heir to Thoreau (she has translated his work into German) and River is shaped by his thought in important ways. The book is an entrancing example of Thoreau’s “discipline of looking always at what is to be seen”. And the unnamed narrator’s “slow and haphazard” walks by the River Lea, her dedication to “walking and looking” as a way of being and belonging in the world recall Thoreau’s 1861 essay, ‘Walking’, in which he describes this “art”, best realised in sauntering, as the ability to be “equally at home everywhere”.

Anna MacDonald reviews River by Esther Kinsky, translated by Iain Galbraith.

Interviews » Writing On Squared Paper (published 20/02/2018)

Writing fiction, I want the audience Jane Austen has, or any of the rest of them. I don’t believe we have to give up on wide appeal, even if — indeed, least of all if — we’re writing outside the conventions. Otherwise we’re heading towards a population whose intellectual space is in the nineteenth century.

James Tookey interviews Paul Griffiths and brings us two extracts from unpublished works.

Buzzwords » The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online (published 06/01/2018)

’The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online’ with Houman Barekat, Joanna Walsh and Robert Barry Wednesday 10th January, 7pm Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase Our guests take stock of the so-called Literary Internet up to the present moment, and considers the future of criticism: its promise, its threats of decline, and its potential mutation, in […]

Reviews » More 3:AM Books of the Year (published 20/12/2017)

When the last Woolworth’s finally closed, the sexual playground of a haunted English eroticism was lost forever. Glen Zipes’s urgent little book recalls the misery of the strange pathologies of the grim mauve sadness and holiness of these sacrilegious shopping emporia. Zipes writes badly, and there are moments when it isn’t easy to separate his own state of mind from the worlds he describes. But there is a seedy love here, somewhere between murder and onanism, and we all know that that is the exact territory of our lonely essential significance.

More Books of the Year from 3:AM Magazine.

Buzzwords » The Digital Critic (published 01/08/2017)

A new book about online literary culture, co-edited by 3:AM’s David Winters. What do we think of when we think of literary critics? Enlightenment snobs in powdered wigs? Professional experts? Cloistered academics? Through the end of the 20th century, book review columns and literary magazines held onto an evolving but stable critical paradigm, premised on […]

Reviews » Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish… and Women (published 09/05/2017)

Written in the wake of post-history and post-theory, McCarthy’s essays think through the ways—and this is going to sound very old-fashioned—we might re-inject meaning and a sense of shape to many of the movements and writers that postmodernism has written off. If catastrophic event-scenes like 9/11 reintroduced the Real into an intellectual landscape where it seemed to have been extinguished in the void of non-history, then the works of McCarthy and, though their lines of approach are various and toggle through various genres, Deborah Levy, McKenzie Wark, Will Self, and Rachel Kushner, do a strange turnabout, gazing back at the super-structures of Modernism—fragmentation, alienation, temporal dislocation—that the postmodernists thought they had ironized out of meaning.

Nicholas Rombes reviews Bombs, Typewriters, Jellyfish by Tom McCarthy.