Will’s latest column for The New European on his memories of interviewing the late designer.
Here’s Will’s latest column for The New European.
For his latest A Point of View on BBC Radio 4, Will Self discusses how the pandemic has affected our views of inheritance. Listen here.
“It’s usually a mistake for a fiction writer to rush into print with a story that takes flight, imaginatively, from events that are still underway, and which are affecting large numbers of people. In the case of the Covid-19 pandemic, this injunction to keep out would seem to be as strident as the black-and-yellow striped tape swagged about a crime scene.
“What moved me to nonetheless ignore all warnings and respond fictionally was twofold: an editor who I deeply respect – Alex Bilmes at British Esquire – asked me to; and I already had an embryonic tale, which, once I began considering the matter, extended into my fervid psyche, like the lengthening protein ‘spike’ on a coronavirus virion.
“‘All Actors Have Died’ existed in my mind in the form of this title alone – and trailing behind it came a half-formed set of ideas about the relation between mediatisation and dissimulation which were brought into the sharpest of focus by the pandemic. So it is, that I can imagine having written the story even if the pandemic hadn’t been underway at the time – although I worry, if I had, it would’ve been a fiction that might’ve summoned this reality …”
Read Will’s short story ‘All Actors Have Died’, published in Esquire‘s Summer Fiction issue and read by James Nesbitt here.
Will has written about walking to Paris for his latest New European column, which can be read here.
Will’s latest New European column can be found here.
‘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.
‘Also trending was an opinion piece bemoaning the fake polarisation of British politics. The writer pointed out that the issues surrounding our imminent departure from the EU are being inadequately debated by our main political parties. Both Labour and the Tories, argued the writer, would prefer to concentrate on internal power struggles as different factions attempt to tar each other with illiberalism, whether that be anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.
‘As for news of liberalism that could be summarised without the prefix “ill”, there was little that was reassuring. Only an item suggesting that the Liberal Democrats’ revolving-door leader, Vince Cable, would probably exit for good once the UK had left the EU, given that the party’s commitment to remain — its sole raison d’être since the 2016 referendum — will no longer be relevant.’
Read the rest of Will Self’s article at Prospect magazine.
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.