I was asked recently to write an essay on my favourite writer, Jorge Luis Borges (who, as it happens, inspired my forthcoming book with Influx Press, Imaginary Cities). If you know Borges’ writing (and if you don’t, I envy you for being able to read it for the first time), you’ll know that a conventional essay wouldn’t quite suffice. The following is my attempt to write an essay on Borges through what is not expressly said but instead hinted at or pointed to. It’s the only fitting way, I think, to begin to do him justice (if you haven’t read Borges, start with Labyrinths and you’ll soon find, in a strange way, you already have). Continue reading
3:AM Press have kindly published the chapbook A Hubristic Flea extracted from an unpublishable non-fiction book I wrote in Cambodia, The Torrid Zone. It was my attempt to write something along the lines of Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin books. I’m not sure how successful that was but I met interesting characters, heard interesting stories and avoided being killed, which is all we can really hope for. The larger book is going into a time capsule for the next ten years but rereading it, it seems to be about Phnom Penh city as a living thing and the ability of friendship to bring you back from self-destruction, without the sentimentality that might imply. If you’re interested in cities, melancholy and the idea of the writer as camera, you might like it. It’s only £4 via Galley Beggar Press. Thanks to Christiana Spens for the beautiful artwork, Susan Tomaselli for the typesetting and Jenni Fagan for the title.
The Guardian are featuring a stunning film, Tindog Tacloban, by my good friends Chris and William Kelly, and Kate Hodal on the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest and most violent storm in recorded history, in the Philippines and what happens when the world’s attention moves on.
Photograph courtesy and copyright of Chris Kelly.
Posted in Uncategorized
From my favourite album of last year (thanks Chris) and a timely reminder that it’s a lousy, beautiful old life.
While every country, and indeed every citizen, had unique and multifaceted reactions to overarching military and economic events, the common trials faced give the collection a sense of a narrative thread. What unites them is not necessarily some order or unity we impose after the fact, but merely, and profoundly, that line that adorns one of Goya’s Disasters of War prints. “Yo lo vi.” (“I saw it.”) Each, in their radically different way, say to those in the future: “This happened.”
A review of the América Latina 1960-2013 photography exhibition at Fondation Cartier, Paris.
William S. Burroughs was 100 yesterday, despite being dead. Quite a feat. To mark the occasion, I wrote a piece for The Quietus, which some of you kind degenerates may enjoy.
“I don’t think that people accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable.” – David Lynch
“Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.” – Special Agent Dale Cooper.
I’ve just reviewed David Lynch’s photography exhibition ‘Small Stories’, which is showing at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, for Studio International. It gave me a bit of scope to talk about Lynch who has been one of the architects of my dreams and nightmares, and I’m sure yours, since chancing upon Twin Peaks as an impressionable child. After writing it, I remembered some notes I’d scribbled down about cryptids, Tesla taking photos of dreams, Lynch’s use of sound in his films, his eye of the duck theory and the speeds of rooms but we’ll save those, and other incoherences, for another day.
I recommend you watch the video above from the man himself as an introduction (and check out the exhibition if you can) while I get back to this damn good coffee.