Browsing All Posts published on »November, 2007«

Worth a million in prizes

November 18, 2007

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In A Room Darkened reaches its political apex in its assertions of Scottish independence, dusting down the other culture of the land, beyond the kilts and jimmy hat legacy of that wolf in sheep’s clothing Scott, the other histories, the buried ones. In ‘Pages Torn From A History Denied’ Williamson presents an overview of Scottish rebel history and an exorcism of Sir Walter’s attempts to turn the Scot into the “happy slave,” “the Englishman abroad” (there’s a reason Walter Scott has the biggest monument to any writer in the world and it’s little to do with his writing). Illuminating a counterculture with a more valid claim to the nation’s soul, his is a reverberating voice in favour of freedom and independence. The poem makes clear, in no uncertain terms, that Scotland has a fiery apostle in Williamson. Darran Anderson reviews Kevin Williamson's In A Room Darkened.

Forty Turns for Poems

November 7, 2007

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Twenty six of them describing the day, at last terminated, day shot up around a boy who drinks from the plastic, the glass, and the carton. By Ray Succre.

Stuart Christie / What a Howler

November 7, 2007

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which only left Burroughs: an octogenarian stew at 82 and still sharp as a tack and all I can think is: you should have stuck with the drugs Jack Kerouac. By Kevin Williamson.

Paint A Vulgar Picture

November 7, 2007

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She mounted an exhibition, ArtKlass, at the ICA in which the entrance to the main room was all but blocked by an enormous floor to ceiling oil painting of a cock and balls. I say, all but blocked. There was a gap of six inches to the left and to the right. If you were to lean over and glimpse along said gap – many did not dare – you would see that the gap stretched the length of the gallery. To enter involved sliding between the oil painting and the wall, involved covering yourself in oil paint, involved smearing the bottom of the gigantic shaft about your person. But that was only the beginning. The exhibition was labyrinthine, like a country maze. To make it from one side to another, you had to smear yourself along every wall, smearing naked figures and castrated horses and all manner of wounds and extrusions about your person. By Peter Wild

Everyone’s a flasher at heart

November 3, 2007

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I think I got a royal kicking for Perverted By Language. It seemed to me that people were reacting both to the stories (which is fine, like ‘em or dislike ‘em, it’s your prerogative) and the idea (which I think a lot of reviewers misunderstood). The idea was to take a band, mix in a bunch of writers who like the band, get them to pick a song and then use it as the basis (the inspiration) for a short story. Like it said on the front cover, it was fiction INSPIRED BY The Fall. Not fiction ABOUT The Fall. There were reviews that rated the stories and there were reviews that seemed to harp on about the fact that the short stories weren’t Fall songs. Which strikes me as a little bit like complaining about wardrobes for not being cream cakes. Susan Tomaselli interviews Peter Wild.

This is a rebel song

November 2, 2007

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From the beginning of recorded history, music has told the story of a peoples oppression. You may not be tuned into it, but it’s there. Like the vibration from a coming freight train a long way off, the songs are felt before they are heard. In the US in particular, popular music kept pace with sweeping social movements: the abolition of slavery, the rise of organised labour, the civil rights struggle, women’s rights and opposition to war. Blunt, often angry and powerful, and questioning authority and the status quo, songs of protest stirred the masses, and in the Sixties and early Seventies affected the way people thought, acted and dressed. With the re-release of the God Save the Queen, Susan Tomaselli offers a guide to protest music, from Woody Guthrie to the Sex Pistols (and back again).