“Obviously, written words are received in a different context to spoken ones – but both allow for discursive explanation. If I teach Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, I give a trigger warning to students about the ten instances of the n-word in the text, but I also reserve the right – should we be discussing one of the relevant passages – to utter the word. In practice, I don’t think that has ever occurred (Huckleberry Finn might prove more problematic, since it’s bedizened with n-words), but the principle remains that to render any word unspeakable and un-writable, is to impose totalitarian double-think rather than advance the cause of racial justice.”
A Point of View on cannabis on Radio 4 can be heard here.
Will’s latest New European column has landed.
Will is going to be performing at The Poetry Shack at the Candid Arts Centre in London at 7pm on 31 May, along with Stewart Home and others. To book tickets, visit candidartslondon.com.
Will is going to be in conversation with Steven Gale at the fragments festival in London on Sunday April 10, celebrating 100 years of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land. “These will be short, 15-minute events in 22 of London’s most beautiful churches. It takes place in the City of London in the actual geography of the poem’s setting and where Eliot worked at Lloyds Bank when writing the poem.” Here’s the full programme.
Will is going to discuss the Modernist approach, the inheritors of Eliot, and the fraught relationship between content and form.
A rather good article in the Tablet by Mardean Isaac, who uses a walk with Will in London as a way of investigating the psychogeography of the old Jewish East End.
Listen to Will’s A Point of View tonight at 8.50pm on Radio 4, The Bomb Makes a Comeback. “Many people think of this as the two thousand and twenty-second year of the Christian era – I’m more inclined to view it as the sixtieth of the Arkhipov one …”