Will Self asks “Is the internet inherently psychotic?” in this short interview recorded for insideopera.com.
Pretty much a verbatim transcript of Self’s recent British Library conversation with Russell Hoban about his 1980 masterpiece Riddley Walker, for which Self wrote an introduction to the 20th anniversary edition, can be found here.
Watch Laurie Taylor interviewing Will Self on the Sky Arts series In Confidence, posted on You Tube in various parts beginning here.
Listen to Will Self talking about Pauline Réage’s cult book Story of O on Mark and Lard’s Radio 1 show from the 1990s:
Will Self in conversation with Martin Rowson on the subject of the Power of the Political Cartoon at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce here.
Bloomsbury filmed Will Self in a teaser for Walking to Hollywood – a mixture of fact, fancy, memoir and invention – which was published on September 6 2010.
“Walking to Hollywood is an extraordinary triptych in which Will Self burrows down through the intersections of time, place and psyche to explore some of our deepest fears and anxieties with his characteristic fearlessness and edgy humour.
“In the autumn of 2007, Self became ill with an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The first part of the book is ostensibly the account of a curative journey to Canada and the USA, but in fact the record of a nematode’s progress, as the worm of obsession – with scale and packing and the ‘stuff’ of our lives – bores through a mind in extremesis. It is a journey that leads to three suicide attempts.
“On his return to England, Self put himself in the care of Dr Zack Busner, one of the originators of The Quantity Theory of Insanity. As the symptoms of OCD diminish, the obsession with his own inability to suspend disbelief in narrative art forms takes over. Self convinces himself that film itself is dead and becomes determined to find the murderer of the medium he once loved. ‘Walking to Hollywood’ is the story of his week-long 120-mile circumambulation of Los Angeles which led to his abduction by members of the Church of Scientology, a passionate affair with Bret Easton Ellis, and mortal combat with the reanimated corpse of Walt Disney.
“Back in London, the writer recovers from his flamboyant psychosis of the summer, only to become aware of a new malaise. Prey for some years to ordinary amnesia, Self now realises he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. However, remembering that Holderness in East Yorkshire has the fastest-eroding coastline in Europe, the writer decides to take a 40-mile walk over a weekend in late July, a walk akin to a magical rite and one that no one would ever be able to replicate.”
Spotted — an oddly geeky-looking Will, propping up the bar in Cave’s video filling in a crossword, though, according to this account, he was filling it in using his own answers: “Later, while I was aimlessly wandering around waiting for the lighting to be set-up or some such technical detail I took a look at Self’s crossword. He had filled it all in but with words that bore no relation to the clues. These were all proper words. In fact they were proper Selfian, or is it Self-ish words like: perfidy, carillon, phylum and quincunx. And they all slotted into the crossword grid perfectly. It was a revelation to me. Nobody I have now asked has ever seen a crossword done like this before.”