Watch Will Self tonight on BBC4 talking about the history of British landscape painting at 9pm.
“I’m still not convinced creative writing can be taught. Perhaps you can take a mediocre novelist and make them into a slightly better one, but a course can’t make someone into a good writer. Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguru both did the UEA MA, but they were both innately good anyway. Some people swear by creative-writing courses. I say, go and get a job, a fairly menial one, instead. Otherwise, what are you going to write about? Writing is about expressing something new and exploring the form in new ways. So unless you want to churn out thrillers or misery memoirs, you can’t work from a pattern book. You need to autodidact.”
Will Self asks “Is the internet inherently psychotic?” in this short interview recorded for insideopera.com.
Listen to Will Self in recent conversation with Dr Sebastian Groes at the Museum of London talking about the psychogeography of London here.
Watch Will Self on Newsnight last night in discussion with Polly Toynbee and Jacob Rees-Mogg about the financial squeeze, a little after the seven-minute mark here.
And a longer one too is available to listen to – Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place at the Los Angeles Public Library – here.
Self recently wrote about a trip to the remote Orkney island of Rousay “fleeing a broken marriage and the physical objects of my addiction – if not the psychic furies that screamed attendance on them” and how he ended up reading Montaigne’s Essays for the first time. Here’s a little peak over the Times paywall:
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.