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Thread: Iain Sinclair

  1. #1
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    Default Iain Sinclair

    well?

    (don't neglect my saul bellow thread though)

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    it seems it is my job to be the first to respond to yr lit qs.
    i started reading sinclair when i lived in grays - all that downriver stuff just seemed to fit perfectly - the opening chapter set in the world's end pub in tilbury, conrad obsessions etc. i have read pretty much his complete oevre and think he is one of our great prose stylists. at his best he nails the nowness of now - london orbital and parts of dining on stones for example. however there are times when the reader is led into a dense thicket of words where meaning seems to have been lost - radon daughters for example. i still think his best book is lights out for the territory as he somehow manages to maintain hardcore psychgeography with reader friendly prose - his account of the krays funeral really lays that old 'they were goood to their mums' myth once and for all.
    also his poetry is very good - lud heat and white chappel are electric and his collection flesh eggs and scapl metal is worth a look. finally he edited a very good anthology of modern poetry - prynne etal - conductors of chaos.
    i have seen a few readings he has done and is very engaging and entertaining - very self-deprecating

  3. #3
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    i think one problem with sinclair is his 'outsider' stance: throughout 'lights out' he's bitching and pissing about channel 4 commissioning policy ect ect, which is okay as far as it goes, but now that sinclair is a penguin author and fairly well treated by television and press, the pose looks a bit lame. he's a bit like an mc, using his nonfiction to boost all his mates (ahoy! kevin jackson!) which is a bit cliquey, especially since he's so keen on trashing amis, mcewan, et al -- note that his criticism of these guys is often about their connections and success and gang-ness rather than their stuff as such. sometimes his prose is a bit indigestible, but it's really about sharing his obsessions with london arcana. if you're not taken in, then he's not for you. ie not for me.

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    and he calls the A13 a celestial highway

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    Radons Daughter was hard work but I finished it, a bit like eating spinach. I did come away with a vague sense of what happend, you know colors, fragments of memory and stuff.

    I think if you live in the area that he writes about it helps you see it in a different light, i.e. not completley grey and shit; in that respect I.S. is a fantastic writer and one that has inspired me into some uncharterd backwaters. Big up yourself Mr Sinclair, haven't read any of his very latest work though, any good?

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    I'm a fan, though I think he's better at paragraphs than books.

    I think I like all the things that irritate Henry Miller -- what he calls "clique-y-ness", I call "bigging up Stewart Home" -- which is alright by me!
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    very keen on the unashamedness of stuff like eg describing the A13 as a celestial highway. there's no cop-out or metaphor.

    he can tend towards jeremiads (like the little book about the dome, 'sorry meniscus' which is just brilliant apocalyptic polemic) but i LIKE jeremiads....there's a sense with his recent stuff (especially in 'london orbital') that britain is becoming an extremely unpleasant place....that bit in the film of london orbital on bluewater, just chills the fucking blood.

    but yeah he can be pompous and overly self-referential but if its him vs mcewan and amis, well.....

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    Everyone I like (Moorcock, Gibson...) loves him, but I find his fiction dull and unreadable and pompous. Lights Out has some great stuff, but even there I dunno; I've walked around the East End for weeks on end myself, so what, y'know? I don't buy his mythos, is the thing.

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    i like him a lot by the way. i cant be fucke defending him a the moment though, maybe later when i get more bored

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    i think that what he is good at is flaying the city - peeling its skin off to reveal the gore underneath - i don't necessarily buy into his mythos but i do love the idea of his continuation of a blakean visionary lineage- someone who sees his writing as prophecy (there's an excellent review in an angela carter collection btw). also he can be so fucking right so often - his description of ukip as 'asylum deniers' is both funny and apt as a collolory of 'asylum seekers'
    could go on but in the end he is a marmite writer

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    Saul Bellow vs. F Scott Fitgerald.

    Shapiro says that Augie March smashes The Great Gatsby.

  12. #12
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    this is the sinclair thread craner, bloody hell! the bellow thread is to be found under the heading 'Saul Bellow' I've got Augie March waiting for you. I'm reading Humboldts Gift.

  13. #13

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    Oh yeah! Ha! Typical!

    I was just reading all this stuff and dreaming aloud.

    Darn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oliver craner
    Saul Bellow vs. F Scott Fitgerald.

    Shapiro says that Augie March smashes The Great Gatsby.
    if that's the case i'm going to have to put down my current read and hit augie straight away - though i can't quite see the point of comparision between fitz and saul but i'm willing to be proved wrong
    ps who is shapiro?

  15. #15
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    shapiro, may or may not exist. i suspect its a fictional charcter craner has invented for his own amusement. he's a militant zionist from hendon who rots craners brain by forcing him to work his way through absurd reading lists, strauss, bloom, neo-con screeds, sub machievellian rants etc

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