Flesh eggs, scarlet tracings

Bringing Iain Sinclair’s book of poems, ‘Buried at Sea’, into work this morning made me think about the impact his selected poems ‘Flesh Eggs and Scalp Metal’, and his novel ‘White Chappell Scarlet Tracings’, made on me when I first read them. I was at a very conservative boarding school in Dorset; every so often […]

Myths to a flame

In ‘Mythologies’, Barthes notes – ‘it is well known how often our ‘realistic’ literature is mythical (if only as a crude myth of realism) and how our ‘literature of the unreal’ has at least the merit of being only slightly so’. Elsewhere, M. John Harrison has pointed out that, as soon as you’ve got a […]

Scott of the Rantarctic

Well, despite a bacon, mushroom and brown sauce sandwich, and a rather nice cappuccino, I’m still hungover, so I’m just going to rant a bit, releasing my inner literary Richard Littlejohn (for non-UK readers, a noted right wing ranting journalist / loon) on the world. We’re going to hell in a handcart! If there’s one […]

Loving the Gerard

Returning to Gerard de Nerval briefly. I was obsessed by him while I was writing my book, and I think he’s someone that – if you’re fascinated by the fantastic – is well worth checking out. His work covers a very broad range, from vividly evocative reportage of nineteenth century Paris to (quite genuinely) unhinged […]