Watch a live stream of Will Self’s lecture discussing the themes of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Royal Opera House tonight at 7.30pm here. For more details, visit their website here.
Watch Will Self talking about a care home for the novel, rather than death, the meaning of his novella Leberknödel and much more:
Also, Will gave a reading from his latest novel, Shark, which is published in paperback on 5 March by Penguin:
I once ate in a revolving restaurant in Minneapolis but only because it was midwinter, too frigid to venture out, and the spinning eatery was atop the hotel I was staying in. Anyway, I alighted from the lift and stood gawping, awed, as empty tables and rigid napery sped along a horizon snaggle-toothed with high-rises and swollen over by snow clouds. Once seated, I could observe the rather skilled footwork required by the waiters as they moved from orbiting table to focal servery and back, incorporating the revolution into their parabolic course calculations. I put it to mine that the restaurant was really, um, going a bit fast; and he said that the management sped it up from time to time to keep everyone on their toes.
Listen to this Radio 4 Archive on 4 programme where Will Self visits “an out-of-town mall of the mind”.
To listen to Will Self talking about the power of fiction on Radio 4’s A Point of View, go here.
Dubai, 1.30am. I totter, unsteady as a newborn foal, along the gantry from the Emirates Airbus that drove me here. In the curvilinear spaces, the potted palms and the glass booths full of cigarette smoke I see this: the topological analogue of international jet travel. Here, time, which has been smeared across the heavens, is once more balled up into the simulacrum of place. I note this: the trail, waymarked by cairns of Johnnie Walker Black Label and Dior Addict,which S-bends its way through the duty free, has been designed purposively so that at any point during his journey, the passenger in transit will be able to view the greatest possible amount of merchandise.
To paraphrase Eighties art-rockers Talking Heads’ immortal lyrics: “And you may find yourself, staying in a 15-star hotel… And you may find yourself, horning cocaine from the jewelled navel of a nubile… And you may find yourself, in the most dramatic landscape in the world… And you may find yourself, behind the wheel of a high-performance automobile that’s just slain a deer… And you may find yourself, about to tuck into a dish of the potentially poisonous piscine delicacy, fugu… And you may well ask yourself… well, how did I get here?”
Amy Fellows, a final-year student in Illustration at Norwich NUA, was inspired by Will Self’s short story iAnna – which was written to mark the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 – to create a set of Russian Dolls looking at “themes of madness, technology and internal incarceration”. Here, she gives a brief description of what the piece is about:
Listen to Will Self’s latest A Point of View on Radio 4 at 8.50pm tonight here.
You can listen to Will Self’s latest A Point of View on Radio 4 tonight at 8.50pm.