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At Annely Juda

Iain Sinclair: Leon Kossoff, London Landscapes, 6 June 2013

... Silent, heavy doors open on a line of dense and minatory charcoal drawings, linked like coal trucks, and arranged on the floor in a provisional order – I visited before the all-encompassing Leon Kossoff show, London Landscapes, opened last month (it closes on 6 July). Tolerated afternoon light insinuated from a west-facing window, to be swallowed in that privileged and subtle incandescence they finesse in these off-Bond Street galleries ...

Pods and Peds

Caroline Maclean: Iain Sinclair, 18 November 2004

Dining on Stones, or, The Middle Ground 
by Iain Sinclair.
Hamish Hamilton, 449 pp., £16.99, April 2004, 0 241 14236 9
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... It is best to read Iain Sinclair’s work out of the corner of your eye. The action takes place on the peripheries; it disintegrates if you concentrate too hard on the middle. Dining on Stones, a postmodern thriller for geeky pedestrians, doesn’t really have a story; Sinclair’s idea of a plot is a walk ...

Adventures at the End of Time

Angela Carter, 7 March 1991

Downriver 
by Iain Sinclair.
Paladin, 407 pp., £14.99, March 1991, 0 586 09074 6
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... Iain Sinclair, in the profane spirit of Surrealism, has chosen to decorate the endpapers of his new work of fiction with a dozen unutterably strange picture-postcards. They show scenes such as that of six men, heavily veiled, veils held down by brimmed hats, posed with long-barrelled rifles. And two men in grass skirts, with feathers in their hair, intent on a game of billiards ...

Rodinsky’s Place

Patrick Wright, 29 October 1987

White Chappell: Scarlet Tracings 
by Iain Sinclair.
Goldmark, 210 pp., £12.50, October 1987, 1 870507 00 2
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... the urban economy as much as in any flourishing Indian restaurant, variety is the spice of life. Iain Sinclair is himself no stranger to marginal commerce, but his route into Spitalfields is different. A glance at his early writings reveals that he started out in the ‘Poundian revolution’. Here are ample signs of American contamination: the ...

The Opposite of a Dog

Jenny Turner, 6 October 1994

Radon Daughters 
by Iain Sinclair.
Cape, 458 pp., £15.99, August 1994, 0 224 03887 7
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... I’m so glad to hear that your son is having some success at last, Mrs Sinclair,’ said the Queen Mother. ‘We all follow his career with the greatest interest.’ Downriver XII, ‘The Sexing of Stones’ The other week, I went up to the Compendium bookshop in Camden Town, London NW1, to hear Iain Sinclair read from his latest novel ...

Monster Doss House

Iain Sinclair, 24 November 1988

The Grass Arena 
by John Healy.
Faber, 194 pp., £9.95, October 1988, 0 571 15170 1
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... Suddenly a hand wrenched my neck back. Others grabbed my arms, my legs ... One of them squeezed my balls so hard. I got a pain in my guts making me dizzy.’ Brooding malign silences wind the tension to breaking point, and are punctuated by sudden eruptions of violence: it is a survivalist world, bleak and uncompromising – the world of competitive chess ...

Mysteries of Kings Cross

Iain Sinclair, 5 October 1995

Vale Royal 
by Aidan Dun.
Goldmark, 130 pp., £22.50, July 1995
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... A senior lecturer in English and American studies at one of our livelier universities, himself a fine poet, was talking to me on the telephone. A student had decided to write something about London poetry – was there any? He’d toyed with David Gascoyne’s A Vagrant (‘They’re much the same in most ways, these great cities’), but decided that Paris was the principal focus there ...

In Hackney

Iain Sinclair: Steve Dilworth, 15 November 2001

... London: chaos. The Isle of Harris: rock. Visual and auditory interference on all sides. You hear the radio even when it isn’t playing. The shocked and affronted voices. Our eyes are scratched by bad loops of illegitimate videotape. But the voice of the sculptor Steve Dilworth, who lives out there, between road and sea, might be coming from a chair on the other side of my Hackney room ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: At Bluewater, 3 January 2002

... In The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells’s Martians had the good sense to make landfall near Woking. ‘Hundreds of observers saw the flame that night and the night after, about midnight, and again the night after; and so for ten nights, a flame each night.’ Technologically primitive Surrey suburbanites were zapped by future war weaponry; it was a horribly unequal contest ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: The Peruvian Corporation of London, 10 October 2019

... prompt for my own back-country tourism. I was in pursuit of my Scottish great-grandfather Arthur Sinclair, from Turriff in Aberdeenshire. In a chapbook, The Story of His Life and Times as Told by Himself, published in Colombo in 1900, Sinclair briskly sketches a career that had some parallels with John Clare (an elective ...

Elective Outsiders

Jeremy Harding, 3 July 1997

Conductors of Chaos: A Poetry Anthology 
edited by Iain Sinclair.
Picador, 488 pp., £9.99, June 1996, 0 330 33135 3
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Nearly Too Much: The Poetry of J.H. Prynne 
by N.H. Reeve and Richard Kerridge.
Liverpool, 196 pp., £25, April 1996, 0 85323 840 5
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Carl Rakosi: Poems 1923-41 
edited by Andrew Crozier.
Sun & Moon, 209 pp., $12.99, August 1995, 1 55713 185 6
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The Objectivists 
edited by Andrew McAllister.
Bloodaxe, 156 pp., £8.95, May 1996, 1 85224 341 4
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... That Iain Sinclair, poet, essayist, impresario and weaver of arcane fictions, is one of the more generous spirits around is obvious from this brave, demanding and often flummoxing anthology. Thirty or forty poets are represented; most have remained in relative obscurity, partly because their work fell on deaf ears, partly because they believed in the notion of a mainstream which intellectual loyalties led them to disparage quicker than it could disparage them ...

On Lee Harwood

August Kleinzahler: Lee Harwood, 8 April 2015

TheOrchid Boat 
by Lee Harwood.
Enitharmon, 48 pp., £8.99, July 2014, 978 1 907587 53 5
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... historical incident, all of which freely, and somehow effortlessly, intermingle. His poetry, Iain Sinclair once suggested, resembles ‘floating translucent landscape (much of it out there underwater, a distance we can’t quite reach)’. Harwood’s influences have by now been so thoroughly assimilated that on first encountering the poetry one ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: London’s Lost Cinemas, 6 November 2014

... by a regime of ice-cold baths. Part of the workhouse was now the Cinema Museum. My companion, Anna Sinclair, was due to introduce a double bill of Henry Hathaway’s Niagara and Polanski’s Cul-de-Sac, films illuminated by the best of bad girls, Marilyn Monroe and Françoise Dorléac. If the Ambulance Service was in trouble in Wales, reduced to issuing ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: In Guy Vaes’s Footsteps, 21 May 2020

... I found a faint, pencilled inscription. Inspected with a magnifying glass, it appeared to say: ‘Iain de ...

Isle of Dogs

Iain Sinclair, 10 May 1990

Pit Bull 
by Scott Ely.
Penguin, 218 pp., £4.99, March 1990, 0 14 012033 5
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... This small-brained animal, primed to hate, straining at the end of a short leash, is universally recognised as bad news. And the dog, his yellow-eyed, short-eared familiar, the killing machine, is not much better. The whole relationship is a mistake, a dangerous misconception, a perversion of actual needs. The dog as protector becomes the very thing that must be protected against: squat embodiment of threat ...

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