Monthly Archives: November 2012

Currently Reading…

Another review by the lovely C. Psycogeography is fascinating and there will be more of it in this blog as soon as possible. Enjoy 🙂

Writing the Long Way Around

…Scarp by Nick Papadimitriou

I saw Nick at the Edinburgh Book Festival and it was the link to psychogeography – and the presence of Will Self as the chair – that convinced me to attend his event. Nick is an unassuming, ordinary looking chap. The kind of chap who might be in front of you ordering coffee, the kind of chap who might pick up your discarded newspaper to read on the bus. Except it would seem Nick rarely uses the bus or any other form of transport other than his legs.

Although I have only started Scarp, Nick’s reportage of what he thinks and what he feels is honest and far-reaching, even though it comes in the thinnest wrapping of personal context. Reading, I felt a  renewed sense of confidence of how to locate myself in my own scarp. I suddenly felt my flights of fancy – not just…

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Review: Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis

Definitely on my To Read list, although at some point I’ll have to prioritize it. Thanks to Ever for the review 🙂

blood on forgotten walls


After immersing myself in the wonderful prose and brilliantly perverse dialogue of Cosmopolis I’m convinced my reading and writing life will be clearly demarcated as pre-DeLillo and post-DeLillo.

Packer, an asset manager billionaire living in Manhattan, crawls through the gridlocked streets in his white sound-proofed technology-laden stretch-limo. He’s going to get a haircut at his childhood barbers, and on the way he has various encounters. His interactions with other characters can hardly even be called that; it is as if there’s a glass wall between them, as if they’re talking to and for themselves and not with anyone else. It’s also a coded, insular, language – the language of capitalism, that of big business and bankers. The dialogue comes in short bursts, precise sentences that almost seem cut off, as if the remaining words were edited out. I’m convinced DeLillo had a dominatrix standing over him to hand out full…

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Steampunk Fashion, Orientalism & the Ethics of Art on the Steampunk Chronicle

I’m very keen in discovering alternative views on orientalism and steampunk. When I went to the Historical Novel Conference in London, I did bring (and wear) my first attempt at an Oriental (Far East) inspired steampunk costume (photo incoming). Interesting article:)

Beyond Victoriana

Wilhemina Frame posts the second half of our interview at the Steampunk Chronicle

An excerpt:

WF: That brings up to me the whole Victorian concept of Orientalism, which was an art concept, a popular fashion concept, and a fascination that was held in the Victorian period especially in England but in Europe in general. Orientalism as I interpret it now, and this is my own personal interpretation, goes back to the concept of “The Other”. It has no foundation in reality. In Steampunk, if people are using that, but not being “travelers”, and they’re not trying to present an accurate viewpoint of a certain culture at that time — but they are referencing the historical aesthetics of Orientalism — how do you feel about that?

DP: (Laughs) Sorry, I’m laughing because you just asked a very long version of “Is this offensive if I do X, Y or Z?”


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Note of (short ) Absence

Hello 🙂

Just to let you know, I  won’t be able to post for a few days (again!I know!), but only for a few days. Regular posting will resume Friday at the latest.

The second module of the Relational Dynamics coaching course was even more intense and challenging than the first one, and yet three days felt like a short afternoon.

I’m in London right now, so if I have more urban London adventures I’ll let you know 🙂

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Steampunk Carousel | Brussels

I’d love to get a ride on one of these! Brussels is not that far away…*ponders*

Mesmerizing images (and a video) of steampunk carousels, in this blog:

Steampunk Carousel | Brussels.

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Too much or too little?

In the spirit of presenting diverse and varied points of view, I’d like to link a New York Times article titled A Short Defense of Literary Excess.

The contemporary preference seems to be for the economical, the efficient, for simple precision (though there is of course such a thing as complex precision). Books, it appears, should be neat and streamlined. Language shouldn’t be allowed to obscure a good story. There is a craving for easily relatable and sympathetic characters. Among critics and reviewers, the plain style is more likely to be praised than the elaborate or sprawling. Embellished prose is treated with suspicion, if not dismissed outright as overwritten, pretentious or self-indulgent. Drab prose is everywhere.

Yes, adjectives and all those ending in -ly should be exterminated…or at least cautiously sprinkled on our pages. Or not? Raymond Carver and Angela Carter: what a meeting! I love Cormac McCarthy’s sparse prose, but equally long for vertiginous sentences to sweep me away with them.

I don’t want to be suffocated, over-told, but neither I want to walk on shard-like words for too long. It’s so subjective, at times, and yet, when it works, scarcity or richness, it doesn’t matter.

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From Lancaster: Relational Dynamics couching course module 2

In Lancaster now for the second module of my coaching course. I’m looking forward to it, and after having done several hours of practical experience, I’ve focused on areas of strength and weakness.

Working on one self, whether is your writing, your attitude, your knowledge, is the best tool we have to live a better life, with ourselves and with others. Uh, that does sound like a platitude! Sorry about that 😉

But truly, this course is highly challenging but highly rewarding.

More interesting posts will follow, this is just a personal update. However, on the writing front, I’ve almost develop a structure for a short stories series, and I’m very excited about it. Not because I prefer short stories to novels or novellas (as I said before, each story needs its space/length), but because I love writing and new opportunities to challenge myself are welcome.

Challenge yourself now and then, the results will please you!



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