“Arguably, never in the decline and fall of the avant-garde had so few sold out for so much so quickly. From 1997, when the Royal Academy daringly mounted the Sensation exhibition, in less than five years, the likes of Hirst, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn et al., went from maybe scandalising to definitely cashing in: far more than the Britpop bands, it’s these lite – and often quite high – artists who personified the Blair era, with its serious comfort when it came to being seriously rich sugar-wrapped in social conscience.”
Will’s latest New European column takes aim at “that Kumbh Mela of the British bourgeoisie”.
Will is going to be exploring the ways we remember the fiction we read in our youth, the role of memory, and our views of facticity at Ports Fest in Portsmouth on Thursday 30 June from 7.30pm till 9.20pm. He will also read from his latest book, Will: A Memoir. For tickets, go here.
Will is going to be performing as part of the line-up at the Roughler Club at the Playground Theatre, Latimer Road London W10 6RQ on Thursday June 2 from 7pm, a showcase for established and emerging artists of acoustic music, poetry and story telling. For more details and to buy tickets, visit the Playground Theatre website.
“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.