Thursday, September 03, 2009


reading Iain Sinclair's White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings, a kind of dark delirium of late Victorian London, counterpointed against the sordid adventures of contemporary rare book dealers: Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, Jekyll & Hyde, all as imagined by Blake or Beddoes. Has anyone written a continuous study of postwar English "psychogeographies" (Sinclair's term, no?) of London – Sinclair's various books, fiction & non-, Moorcock's Mother London, Peter Ackroyd, Allen Fisher's Place, etc.?* Something I'd love to do; but I've only been in London twice in my life, & I suspect it's one of those places one can exhaust a lifetime learning.

*I'm convinced one should add China MiƩville's Perdido Street Station as well, as dystopic fantasy reimagining of London.


Vance Maverick said...

S uses the term psychogeography, but Wikipedia says it's from Debord.

I haven't heard of such a book, but I would read it. I don't have much interest in the real, physical London, but as an imaginary city it's extraordinary. I've inflicted Lights Out for the Territory on several friends, without success.

Pierre Joris said...

Yes, an excellent idea, Mark. I often think of it as "psychotopography" — lived in London during seventies & remember many walks with Allen & Iain tracing Allen's ley-lines and Iain's Kraig-lines...Still think that Lud Heat, IS's first book, is the best of his various workings of that dark psychotopography. AF's Place, one of my favorite poems, a more shiny, light/lit map of Blakean energy.— Pierre

Ed Baker said...

check out this movie:

Hangover Square, 1945

some terrific sets re: "turn-of-the-century (1899)

and the story ain't half-bad, either!

or the novel ...

(ain't this internet phun?

one can google anything... and filch a paper or dissertation or book

nearly instantaneously... I betcha pretty soon one can get a college degree via on-line!

without so much knowin a fuc'ing thing!

zimdog said...

Damn. I looked up the title you mentioned because your description intrigued me. Does unavailable or fairly expensive just about sum up my options? Or do I have any other options?

Vance Maverick said...

Looks like the Sinclair is pretty easily available used, e.g. via

zimdog said...

Wow. How have I never heard of Thanks for the advice.