On Patrick Keiller

There’s a 4,000 word essay that Will Self has written about Patrick Keiller and his new book, The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes, at the London Review of Books website here. Will is going to be talking about Guy Debord with Patrick at the LRB bookshop in London tomorrow and there should be a podcast available soon after to listen to.

The Society of the Spectacle – introduction

Will Self has written a long introduction to Notting Hill Editions’ small and beautifully formed new hardback publication of Guy Debord’s Situationist masterpiece The Society of the Spectacle, originally published in 1967.

“Never before has Debord’s work seemed quite as relevant as it does now, in the permanent present that he so accurately foretold. Open it, read it, be amazed, pour yourself a glass of supermarket wine – as he would wish – and then forget all about it, which is what the Spectacle wants.”

You can buy a copy for £10 from the Notting Hill Edition website here.

The Drowned World introduction

“London has been flooded many times. Until the late 19th century, and the construction of the Thames embankments as part of Joseph Bazalgette’s grand sewerage works, the high-water mark of the tidal river was an arbitrary dividing line between liquid and solid. All along the river’s banks there was a fretwork of jetties and inlets, and when the waters rose too high they would inundate the streets.

Beyond Kafka’s Wound

Will Self discusses a range of issues provoked by his digital essay Kafka’s Wound at thespace.lrb.co.uk with Nicholas Spice and Helen Jeffrey from the London Review of Books, and Dan Franklin, Digital Publisher at Random House.

Is this unique digital essay a proto-form for a new type of deeper engagement with long form content on the web? What can modernism tell us about the digital storm sweeping through our world? How might collaborative digital authorship move forward? What next?

Digital essay on Kafka

Will Self’s “digital essay” on Kafka has been published in its entirety at the Space website, and includes an hour-long video of his trip to Prague and readings of Kafka’s “A Country Doctor”. For a short explanation of this unique London Review of Books commission, go here or visit thespace.org or @thespacearts for more details.

If I Ruled Television: Less is more

This is the speech that Will Self delivered at the Broadcast and Beyond conference on 19 May 2010 in which he addressed an audience of professional broadcasters and told them what he would do if he ruled television:

To me, if there’s a spirit of British television it’s this: a title sequence for a current affairs or news programme that unites the individual viewer with the commonality.