Following is the text of a keynote talk I gave at an event organised by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication in Paris last week, also cross-posted on the Ministry’s Culture Blog. After the event, Aurélie Filippetti, the French Minister for Culture and Communication, announced a new partnership to begin to map the public […]
Category Archives: culture
In a recently published video clip of W. G. Sebald reading at 92nd Street Y in New York, he explains why he puts pictures in his books: I put these pictures in in the first instance for my own satisfaction. But as I kept doing this I realised that conceivably they had other functions in […]
The following article was originally published in the April-May 2013 edition of Red Pepper (Issue 189). Who can share what on the internet? There is an increasing awareness of debates around illegal sharing through high profile court cases and controversies in the news – through things like the Pirate Bay, Wikileaks, or the recent tragic […]
From Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi’s The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (New York: Macmillan, 1980): SLEEPLESS CITY, in northern Nigeria. The inhabitants have the singular habit of never sleeping, and have therefore no idea of what sleep is. The city is a particularly dangerous place for strangers. If a traveller should happen to overlook the […]
The following is a short piece on “The Future of Memory” written for The Junket, an online literary quarterly edited by actor and Man Booker Prize judge Dan Stevens. In his À la recherche du temps perdu Marcel Proust writes of memories unfurling and unfolding like Japanese paper flowers suspended in water – from small […]
Earlier this week the Guardian, Forbes and others covered the discovery of 500 fairy tales collected by 19th century folklorist Franz Xaver von Schönwerth. I sent a note about this to Professor Jack Zipes, who promptly replied urging caution about the discovery and pointing to many other (in his view more interesting) 19th century collections […]
Swedenborg’s system of the world wants central spontaneity; it is dynamic, not vital, and lacks power to generate life. There is no individual in it. The universe is a gigantic crystal, all whose atoms and laminae lie in uninterrupted order and with unbroken unity, but cold and still. What seems an individual and a will, […]
Brain Activity at the Hayward Gallery is one of David Shrigley’s biggest exhibitions to date. If you’ve seen Shrigley’s drawings or books before, you’ll immediately recognise the world that the exhibition exhibits, with its roughly scrawled figures and thinly underlined block capitals.
An impromptu St. Valentine’s day inspired group missive from my friend Alex Pickup inspired its impromptu spirited republication.
Today Google marks the 112th birthday of Jorge Luis Borges with this colourful sketch.