There are still some tickets to see Will Self introducing Tarkovsky’s Solaris tonight at the Curzon Renoir at 7.30pm here.
Will has written before about the time he spent living with Matthew De Abaitua – his “live-in amanuensis” – in the 1990s, most notably in the Independent in 2008:
“Thirteen years ago, Matthew – who is now a talented novelist in his own right – spent a six-month sojourn as my live-in amanuensis and secretary. It was a thankless task: so far as I can remember I was completely spark-a-loco. We were living in a tiny cottage in Suffolk, and I was given to harvesting opium from the poppies that grew wild in the field margins, then driving my Citreon deux-chevaux across the same fields, solely by the light of a horned moon, Matthew placidly crammed into the passenger seat.
Will Self’s Wreford Watson lecture, Decontaminating the Union: Post-Industrial Landscapes and the British Psyche, given at the University of Edinburgh last September, is now available to watch.
I was in Basel so I thought I’d check out some raclette, a melted-cheese experience that defines Switzerland as surely as the hollowed-out Alps full of Nazi gelt and aggressively policed recycling schemes (in Zurich, you are fined for using the wrong bag). Yes, yes – I know, it was fondue that was once promoted as the Swiss national dish but that was before the 1970s, when the runny gloop flowed into the interstices of the British class system. Raclette sounded a bit more real to me: I liked the idea of shepherds slapping the cheese round down on a griddle by the fire, then scraping off successive wedges of golden deliquescence.
Introducing Ivan Self’s heavy metal blog (“A young rock music fan seeking his place in the world”) – ivanself.tumblr.com.
Will Self is one of the contributors to Extreme Metaphors: Interviews with JG Ballard: 1967-2008, recently published by Fourth Estate. The author Ian Thomson chose it as his book of the year in the Observer: “Impeccably edited, the book serves as a valuable coda to the work of one of the strangest and most haunted imaginations in English literature.”
To buy a copy of Extreme Metaphors for £15 (RRP £25) at Amazon, go here.