Rambler

Awanturnik
To be honest I haven't seen much of Petit's stuff, but I thought his film of the M25 (which ran as a backdrop throughout the entire show) was the strongest part of that whole thing.
 

Melmoth

Bruxist
I don't think Sinclair can write at all. He's not capable of constructing a sentence beyond one or two clauses composed mostly of adjectives: when he does it his prose loses any power and distinction it might have. The same goes for the overall architecture of his books - there isn't one - there's just the rubble of his own ranting nerdy obsessions (eg Jack the Ripper. Need I say more?). And I see he has once again wheeled out the tiredest of postmodernist tropes - a book about someone writing a book - in his latest novel, How many times has he done that now? He thinks he is a satirist but his books have no ethical weight. Its all sub-sub-sub Burroughs laced with some incredibly dubious politics (check Downriver's description of Banglatown for example).
 

craner

Beast of Burden
He's not capable of constructing a sentence beyond one or two clauses composed mostly of adjectives

Yes indeed!
 

xero

was minusone
jenks said:
those petit films though - robinson and robinson in space
I think you might be confusing Petit with Patrick Keillor who made Robinson in Space & London. I caught some of Petit & Sinclair's film 'The falconer' on TV once and didn't realise that that was what it was at first, just thought what is this pretentious crap - but I found a lot of Lights Out pretty interesting and it has opened up interest in a broader range of aspects of the city than Peter Ackroyd. I've only tried his fiction once and judging by the comments upthread made the wrong choice in Radon Daughters, it's almost comically unreadable & dense. I also find it annoying that he has co-opted the term psychogeography (and this has been further diluted by will self) such that it now is taken to mean a kind of literary-historical reading of urban areas which seems so much more mundane than the possibilities suggested by the situationists
 

jenks

thread death
minusone said:
I think you might be confusing Petit with Patrick Keillor who made Robinson in Space & London.
yes you're right minusone - don't know what came over me - schoolboy error, shan't happen again (mutter, mutter, credibility in tatters.....) :eek:
 

k-punk

Spectres of Mark
I want to like Sinclair, but I can't, except in patches. His description of Bluewater in London Orbital, for instance, is wonderful.

But, in general, his writing is not only obscure, it is obscurantist - deliberately making an equivalence between 'poetic' and 'difficult'. For me, the most poetic writing is always the most lucid, and if I have to try hard to read something - whether it be theory or literature - I want some reward. With Sinclair, I just feel frustrated and bored - out of the know. You can rarely settle into the writing; you're always being ushered off to the next unexplained allusion, always left with the impression that there must be something more here than you are ever seeing. I like the connections he makes (but the people he links together - Moorcock, Ballard, Ackroyd, even Alan fucking Moore - are infinitely better writers than him, precisely because they retain a pulp narrative engine), I like the walking methodology, I like the idea of it: but the writing itself always disappoints.

Heronbone is much better, I really mean that.
 

soup

New member
Anyone who has a problem with Sinclair's style, but is nevertheless interested in the stuff he writes about, might like to hunt down 'A Journey Through Ruins : The Last Days of London' by Patrick Wright. Wright, I gather, is a buddy of Sinclair's, and I've always considered his book as being a more sober companion to 'Lights Out'.
 

henrymiller

New member
i saw 'from hell' (the movie) at the weekend. i think sinclair had hated on it because it wasn't filmed in london and was made by americans (oh no!). it was a great film, one of the best about victorian london i've ever seen.
 

mms

sometimes
henrymiller said:
i saw 'from hell' (the movie) at the weekend. i think sinclair had hated on it because it wasn't filmed in london and was made by americans (oh no!). it was a great film, one of the best about victorian london i've ever seen.
have you read the book tho?
it's fascinating. esp the pages and pages of insightful references , like a dvd extra with legs.
 

henrymiller

New member
no, i'd like to, but it's not really relevant to the film. i re-read sinclair's piece and it only convinced me that he's totally parochial, and i was a bit dismayed by the general reaction to the fact that it was made by the dirtectors of 'menace II society' -- sinclair just assumed they were working in bad faith.
 

xero

was minusone
thanks for the link hm - it's vintage sinclair really isn't it? evoking all sorts of things without ever really bothering to make a cogent critique of the film but sporadically interesting and informative nonetheless - I reckon he actually quite liked it
 

worrior

Member
Sinclair apparently spends most of his time in Hastings nowadays - moving out from the centre as London expands to fill a post-M25 concentric circle including places in commuter reach, such as Hastings. What I'd like to do is get a crack team together and go round Hastings cleverly inserting symbols/writings mysteriously on walls and buildings, recognising ley-lines and manipulating local urban stories/myths. Then wait for his new book on the area... :p
 

jenks

thread death
Hackney alert

Sinclair has a new one out - based on Hackney.

Here's the opening para:L


We are the rubbish. Outmoded and unrequired. Dumped on wet
pavings and left there for weeks, in the expectation of becoming
art objects, a baleful warning. Nobody pays me to do this. It is my
own choice, to identify with detritus in a place that has declared
war on unconvinced recyclers while erecting expensive memorials
to the absence of memory. This is a borough that has dedicated
itself to obliterating the meaning of shame.


you can downlaod the whole chapter via the LRB
 

D84

New member
thanks for the link hm - it's vintage sinclair really isn't it? evoking all sorts of things without ever really bothering to make a cogent critique of the film but sporadically interesting and informative nonetheless - I reckon he actually quite liked it
You reckon? That last paragraph seem quite trenchant:

Where Alan Moore can float Kelly's escape as a wistful potentiality, Hollywood needs a clear finish. An up-beat resolution. From Hell returns to source, as a penny-dreadful, a shocker; a distortion of place and time. An industrial product crafted to stand alongside the wave of predatory development that maligns history and treats the past as the final colony in the American world empire.

Great review though - I didn't like From Hell fwiw
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I was re-reading bits of London Orbital recently. This book is still firmly locked in 2003 for me, it gave me flaskbacks! I find his style even more transparent and limited now (know more, write better, than before etc), but these books are still magic. Especially if you have spent any time traversing East London canals and wastelands and rivers with insane and talented friends.

The first page of this thread is just ridiculous, by the way.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Downriver and White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings both appear to be out of print. Those guys at Penguin are so slack!
 
Especially if you have spent any time traversing East London canals and wastelands and rivers with insane and talented friends.
Yes isn't life in your 20s exceptional- a filmic sequence of seratoninotinous polaroid snapshots, budding intellects at full throttle...

a desperate kind of groovy!

As pornography is to erotica, so life in your 20s is to reality.

All of which reminds me "craner"- I saw your uncle yesterday- he was pushing a pram full of greasy old newspapers round Catford in lederhosen.

The first page of this thread is just ridiculous, by the way.
it seems to be getting more ridiculous by the post.
I saw the London Orbital video just recently, worth a look, though unfortunately now tainted by the Audi advert Sinclair did- I kept on expecting him to say, "Especially in a car as comfortable as this one". But he didn't.
Nonetheless there is the notion of ecstasy as a third of Thatcherisms' invisible triangle, with attendant interviews...

Lud Heat really is very good as well. It has the quality of channeling. One of those books you can have around and open at random.

& you only have to write one book after all.
 
Top