Robert Hanks

Robert Hanks is considering his options.

From The Blog
3 September 2020

I’m old-fashioned enough to think that for something to count as a cult, it should be dark, subterranean and bound up with sacred mysteries. On that definition, Penda’s Fen (1974) may be the only authentic cult TV I’ve come across.

On Putting Things Off

Robert Hanks, 10 September 2015

When I hear​ other people talking about procrastination, I find myself getting proprietorial: surely their fleeting pauses are as nothing to mine. Procrastination is the main way I express anxiety and depression, if I can use these medicalised, dignifying terms. It’s franker to say that I put things off because much of the time I’m frightened and sad (too frightened and sad for...

In 1975, when he was 78, Dennis Wheatley finally achieved his long-held ambition of being elected to a really smart gentlemen’s club, White’s. On entering the building, so he told a friend, his first objective was to consult the membership book to find out how many had supported his candidacy – a gratifying 35. ‘Not bad for the Streatham born son of a...

Pay Attention, Class: Giles Foden

Robert Hanks, 10 September 2009

Much has been written about the potentially stultifying effects of creative writing courses on novelists, usually on the assumption that it’s the students who are going to feel these effects. But what about the teachers: is there a danger that too much time spent trying to pin down what constitutes Good Writing (and not enough time spent on the writing itself) might be bad for them?...

From The Blog
12 September 2018

Fascism in fiction has been in vogue for a while now: the television versions of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Man in the High Castle, Penguin’s republication (on the day of Trump’s inauguration) of Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here, people scurrying to the bookshelves to note all the pre-echoes of Steve Bannon’s politics in Philip Roth’s The Plot against America. I don’t know what emotional need these might-have-beens and could-it-yet-bes serve, unless it’s a version of ferreting around in Nostradamus for strings of words that might be contorted into a prediction of something that’s just happened: things feel more manageable when you can tell yourself that someone saw this coming.

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