inadvertent prophecies

Shifnal, Ercall, Gnosall, Wergs. It’s all too Viriconium for me. If I hadn’t stolen those West Midlands place names in the 1970s, I wouldn’t be living surrounded by my own fictions now. “Be careful what you write,” Hilary Bailey once warned me, “in case it comes true.” Did I pay any attention then? No. Will I pay any now, even though I know she was right & that you are making some unpredictable, oblique, weirdly successful guess at your own future every time you write up a dream, or tinker with the implications of someone else’s relationships, or push their character until it falls over an edge you believe only you can see? No. But I might soft pedal a little on the kinds of objects people discover in a roof void last opened up during the Victorian period. & at least I never called anywhere Great Bolus.

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Filed under predicting the present

matchbox toy

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Christina Scholz found the Light matchbox, @reventrope photoshopped it.

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April 21, 2014 · 9:52 am

the view from miller

A record of several decades spent successfully deranging a willing audience, The Art of Ian Miller features all the images you remember & some you don’t–

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And here’s Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber, talking about Ian’s strong vision of Mammy Vooley as a politically-exhausted Maggie Thatcher.

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covering policies

British book covers are improving at last. But they could improve further. Bluemoose Books shows the way with this gorgeous example by Andrew Bannerman Bayles, who can be found here.
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Beastings, by Ben Myers: available now from Bluemoose Books.

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lug butter

I enjoyed this, so here it is again–

    Lug butter is retrieved by a new process, from the ears of drowning men. Lug butter: lardy, creamy & relaxed about being rich. Lug butter’s everywhere this season. It seeps out while you sleep. Interesting facts about lug butter: it was originally used to make crosses on top of Hot Cross Buns! What’s the better bit of butter that leaves everything looking new? Many answer, “Lug butter’s all we need to know.” Remember our slogan: “Guv loves lug butter.” We all eat lug butter. Eat lug butter now.

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April 8, 2014 · 9:33 am

anti surrealism

The naive, the unconstructed, the accidental ghost. The ghost from the faded polaroid found in a shoebox of letters from someone else’s life. Things that might not be there; things that have no existence other than possibly not being there; things that can only have your attention drawn to them. Reading should be as close as possible to discovering those letters and seeing something in them that might not be there. The writer should offer the shoebox, or better still the stall at the flea market on which the shoebox might be found. I’m not interested in any other way of writing anyway.

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