Tickets are available for Will’s talk and Q&A this Saturday online at 2-3.30pm at Ports Fest. The talk “will explore ways in which we remember the fiction we read during childhood and youth, the role of memory, and our views of facticity” and Will will also read from his latest book, Will: A Memoir.
How to be Creative
From an online talk for the How to Academy.
The empty theatre of Boris Johnson
“There’s something curiously out-of-focus about the Prime Minister, isn’t there? I mean, I’ve been up close and pretty personal with him on a number of occasions, and I still can’t help seeing him with a sort of fuzzy nimbus surrounding his roly-poly outline – as if he were one of those newborn babies covered with a lot of vernix. It’s widely bruited about that his dishabille is a deliberate affectation – like Harold Wilson’s pipe-smoking. In private the Labour premier and soi-disant ‘socialist’ smoked Havanas – but can we really believe that left to his own devices Johnson’s coif becomes immaculate and his clothing sharp? Of course, Tony Blair was beautifully groomed, but it didn’t stop him trashing his entire record by getting involved in a quixotic and criminal foreign jaunt.”
Read the rest of Will’s New European column here.
Littérature Live Festival
Will in conversation with Sylvain Bourmeau about his latest book, Will, and many other things at Villa Gillet for the recent Littérature Live Festival (translated in French).
The end of London’s vintage Routemaster buses
“So, farewell then to the Routemaster bus – and while I fully appreciate that those of my readers who live elsewhere than the corporate death star formerly known as ‘London’, the fact remains that these vehicles were symbolic not just of the city but an entire culture. That this culture was largely bogus is neither here nor there – because let’s face it, most culture begins with fakery of one sort or another that once entrenched becomes indisputably real. Transport for London were operating a ‘heritage service’, the 15H, that ran from Tower Hill to Trafalgar Square, but what with the emissions issue and the lack of step-free access – plus the pesky pandemic – there was no longer any economic justification for a seasonal service aimed mostly at the tourist trade.”
Read the rest of Will’s piece on the Routemaster buses in The New European here.
The future of tourism after the pandemic
“There’s been a great deal of guff expelled over the past year or so about how the pandemic will make us rethink our lifestyles going forward: no longer will we sacrifice our souls on the altar of consumerism – no longer will we leave huge and sooty carbon footprints all over the place, and no longer will we treat other cultures as if they were a form, of exotic wallpaper, to be hung for a couple of weeks then stripped.”
Read Will’s latest New European column here.
Boris Johnson and Mexican Coke
Two new columns for The New European, on Boris Johnson’s reported disdain for John Lewis and on the arrival of Mexican Coke.
Why should you read?
Another essay for the Literary Hub, this time asking “Why should you read?”
The Vanuatu tribe who worshipped the Duke of Edinburgh
Will on the death of Prince Philip.
Why the world’s largest painting is a prodigal waste of paint
Will’s New European column on Sacha Jafri’s The Journey of Humanity, which sold for $62m.
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