‘Not a day goes by without further frontline despatches from the war between our established liberal ideology and the strange new realities that body-forth from the future. Taking today — the one on which I sat down to write this article — as representative, I found in my morning bulletins a report about how the US Constitution’s vaunted separation of powers — personified by Special Counsel Robert Mueller — was leading inexorably to the indictment, and hence removal, of “rogue” President Donald Trump. Then there was an item about the minister for women, whose public musings about the rise in the numbers of young people applying for gender-reassignment therapies were being taken as prima facie evidence that she doubted the authenticity of trans people’s claims to be gender dysphoric.
You can listen to Will’s recent Point of View on Radio 4 here, in which he talks about the disturbing story of what happened to a friend, recently detained in a London psychiatric hospital.
Will Self has written the introduction to the forthcoming Portrait Of Britain, “200 photographs that capture the face of a changing nation”. The book is published on September 6th. You can see preview images, read an excerpt of Will’s introduction and pre-order on the website of the book’s publisher, Hoxton Mini Press.
Will is giving a Funzing talk entitled “Is the left dead?” at The Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, London, SW1P 3DW on Tuesday 31 July, from 6.45pm to 8.45pm. “With the far-right on the rise and the left in disarray, what does the future hold for socialism?” For more details and to book tickets, visit uk.funzing.com.
On Wednesday 11 July there is a very rare opportunity to learn about psychogeography and how to enact the dérive (drift) – the Situationist’s method for creatively remaking the world – with Will, starting at the Chandos House Treatment for Addiction in Bristol.
The morning session will be for Chandos House residents, as part of their ongoing therapy – and the second will be open to those who’d like to contribute something to support the work of the facility and learn something about this technique. Will stresses that you don’t have to be an artist or writer to gain from the dérive, but that people who work creatively may well find it extremely helpful.
“Sitting at a bar, dabbling with a digital map on his phone, the man is approached by another. He ignores him but later discovers the stranger is connected to this phone map. Connected in a disturbing way …” Listen to Will reading his short story at the Radio 4 website here (available for 19 days).
Listen to Will Self reading his short story “The North London Book of the Dead” on Radio 4 here until 9 May. It was first broadcast in 1995.
An Intelligence Squared debate from 1 December 2017 between Will, advocating for Huxley’s novel, and Adam Gopnik for Orwell’s.