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It’s slippery in here

Christopher Tayler: ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’

20 September 2017
Twin Peaks: The Return 
created by Mark Frost and David Lynch.
Showtime/Sky Atlantic, 18 episodes, 21 May 2017 to 3 September 2017
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...  resented the Second World War for distracting readers from the newly published Finnegans Wake, and what with one thing and another I’ve sometimes felt the same way, on behalf of Mark Frost and DavidLynch, about the news environment that accompanied the broadcast of Twin Peaks: The Return. I say ‘on behalf of’ because I imagine that Lynch couldn’t care less. ‘It’s good to kind of go ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Mulholland Drive’

19 November 2015
Mulholland Drive 
directed by David Lynch.
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... There​ are some fine shots of the title thoroughfare in DavidLynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001), a new release from the Criterion Collection. It’s all bushes and darkness and bends in the road, various cars’ tail-lights appearing and disappearing. Anything could ...

At Victoria Miro

Peter Campbell: William Eggleston

25 February 2010
... badly? The camera surely doesn’t love them. The one face shown (‘Leigh in black top’) is miserably unhappy. The unexplained strangeness of the ordinary or tacky that has drawn film-makers like DavidLynch to Eggleston is evident, but the colour also registers at a different level. As in Van Gogh’s late paintings it has a life of its own. Purely as coloured objects, the photographs are rich ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Princess Di and Laura Palmer

22 January 2004
... this is a case for FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. I realise that I think this partly (oh all right, only) because I was given Twin Peaks Season One on DVD for Christmas. For those who’ve never seen DavidLynch and Mark Frost’s pioneering TV series of the early 1990s, Twin Peaks is a small town in Washington, five miles south of the Canadian border, 12 miles west of the state line. Laura Palmer, the ...

Between Two Deaths

Slavoj Žižek: The Culture of Torture

3 June 2004
... positions and costumes of the prisoners suggest a theatrical staging, a tableau vivant, which cannot but call to mind the ‘theatre of cruelty’, Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs, scenes from DavidLynch movies. This brings us to the crux of the matter. Anyone acquainted with the US way of life will have recognised in the photographs the obscene underside of US popular culture. You can find ...

Reality B

Christopher Tayler: Haruki Murakami’s ‘1Q84’

15 December 2011
1Q84: Book 1 and Book 2 
by Haruki Murakami, translated by Jay Rubin.
Harvill Secker, 623 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 1 84655 407 0
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1Q84: Book 3 
by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel.
Harvill Secker, 364 pp., £14.99, October 2011, 978 1 84655 405 6
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... as Joyce uses paralysis in Dubliners, while conjuring bizarre scenes which externalise more serious and worldly phenomena in ways that can’t easily be unscrambled. (In this respect he resembles DavidLynch, with whom he sometimes seems to have a doppelgänger-like relationship; six years before Twin Peaks he published a story beginning: ‘A dwarf came into my dream and asked me to dance ...
12 September 1991
Young Soul Rebels 
directed by Isaac Julien.
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Diary of a Young Soul Rebel 
by Isaac Julien and Colin MacCabe.
BFI, 218 pp., £10.95, September 1991, 0 85170 310 0
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... to the pirate soul station on his portable radio/cassette-recorder, smiling, his face and the whole park lit with a curious violet effect. An interviewer in Diary of a Young Soul Rebel thinks of DavidLynch and Hitchcock in relation to this scene, and certainly those names evoke the right sort of frozen ceriness. But there is excitement in the shot, too – a sense of sexual adventure. The mood is ...
9 March 2006
Seven Lies 
by James Lasdun.
Cape, 199 pp., £14.99, February 2006, 0 224 07592 6
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... plotted resolutions are usually the less successful ones. In the novels, there’s a palpable sense that the material is being stretched. His first, The Horned Man (2002), a campus novel as DavidLynch might have conceived it, was rightly praised: it charted a professor’s descent through paranoia into outright mania in a way that was neat, sharp, witty and intelligent. But it gave the sense of ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Upstream Colour’

26 September 2013
Upstream Colour 
directed by Shane Carruth.
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... but he himself has announced that he has given it up. You can see why a director working in his style might no longer want to be where he thought he was going. I don’t know whether Carruth regards DavidLynch as an influence, but Lynch’s name kept coming into my mind as I tried to find a temporary shorthand for the effect of Upstream Colour. The characters are quiet, self-contained, even self ...

Man-Eating Philosophers

Will Self: David​ Cronenberg

17 June 2015
Consumed 
by David​ Cronenberg.
Fourth Estate, 288 pp., £18.99, October 2014, 978 0 00 729915 7
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... After working​ on his film adaptation of William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch (1991), David Cronenberg apotheosised both the writer and himself by claiming his screenwriting and Burroughs’s literary style had synergised. Cronenberg apparently mused that were Burroughs to die he might ...

Zeitgeist Man

Jenny Diski: Dennis Hopper

22 March 2012
Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel 
by Peter Winkler.
Robson, 376 pp., £18.99, November 2011, 978 1 84954 165 7
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... wasn’t helping me create.’ It turned out that he only had to be himself. A couple of months after coming out of rehab, he got the part of Frank Booth in Blue Velvet (1986). Straightaway he called DavidLynch to reassure him: ‘David, don’t even worry about casting me in this. You did the right thing because I am Frank Booth.’ Lynch turned to his lunch companions, Isabella Rossellini, Kyle ...

Strangers

John Lanchester

11 July 1991
Serial Murder: An Elusive Phenomenon 
edited by Stephen Egger.
Praeger, 250 pp., £33.50, October 1990, 0 275 92986 8
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Serial Killers 
by Joel Norris.
Arrow, 333 pp., £4.99, July 1990, 0 09 971750 6
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Life after Life 
by Tony Parker.
Pan, 256 pp., £4.50, May 1991, 0 330 31528 5
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American Psycho 
by Bret Easton Ellis.
Picador, 399 pp., £6.99, April 1991, 0 330 31992 2
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Dirty Weekend 
by Helen Zahavi.
Macmillan, 185 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 333 54723 3
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Silence of the Lambs 
by Thomas Harris.
Mandarin, 366 pp., £4.99, April 1991, 0 7493 0942 3
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... has had the top box-office receipts on both sides of the Atlantic, have recently provided the material for works by artists as different from each other as P.D. James, DV8 Physical Dance Theatre and DavidLynch. Stephen Egger, an American academic and former policeman who wrote the first doctoral dissertation on the phenomenon, gives a definition/description of serial murder in Serial Murder: An ...

Allergic to Depths

Terry Eagleton: Gothic

18 March 1999
Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil and Ruin 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Fourth Estate, 438 pp., £20, December 1998, 1 85702 498 2
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... worth raising. Davenport-Hines’s Goths are an oddly assorted bunch, including among others Goya, Piranesi, Fuseli, William Shenstone, Byron, Hawthorne, Faulkner, Evelyn Waugh, Poppy Z. Brite and DavidLynch. ‘Gothic’ is no doubt as variable in definition as it is in quality, but one can’t avoid the sense of a certain arbitrariness of selection. It is not so much that any obvious authors have ...

Bad News

Iain Sinclair

6 December 1990
Weather 
by John Farrand.
Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 239 pp., $40, June 1990, 1 55670 134 9
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Weather Watch 
by Dick File.
Fourth Estate, 299 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 1 872180 12 4
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Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment 
edited by J.T. Houghton, G.J. Jenkins and J.J. Ephraums.
Cambridge, 365 pp., £40, September 1990, 9780521403603
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Crop Circles: The Latest Evidence 
by Pat Delgado and Colin Andrews.
Bloomsbury, 80 pp., £5.99, October 1990, 0 7475 0843 7
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The Stumbling Block, Its Index 
by B. Catling.
Book Works, £22, October 1990, 9781870699051
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... lightning tongues scribbling electric graffiti above bland cityscapes have to be excepted from the accusation of academic complacency. ‘Lightning, Phoenix, Arizona’ has the abrupt menace of a DavidLynch dream sequence, the cardiac arrest when a previously straightforward narrative crosses the line and touches a vertiginous post-mortem truth. We need to be reminded of the ugly, petrol-breathed ...

Straight to the Multiplex

Tom McCarthy: Steven Hall’s ‘The Raw Shark Texts’

1 November 2007
The Raw Shark Texts 
by Steven Hall.
Canongate, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2007, 978 1 84195 902 3
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... territory, and textbook literary alienation. The necessity – and impossibility – of watching yourself from the outside is what drives The Picture of Dorian Gray, or Frankenstein, or the films of DavidLynch. To watch yourself from outside is, according to the textbook, to watch yourself as dead – and both Hall and his hero understand this all too well. Holed up in his flat, Eric Sanderson reads ...

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