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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 ...

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 IainSinclair’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 ...
7 March 1991
Downriver 
by Iain Sinclair.
Paladin, 407 pp., £14.99, March 1991, 0 586 09074 6
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... IainSinclair, 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 ...

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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... Indian sub-continent’, the Prince should evidently have learned the real lesson of Brick Lane: in the urban economy as much as in any flourishing Indian restaurant, variety is the spice of life. IainSinclair 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 ...
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 ...

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. John Healy arrived there, without papers ...

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. He wants me ...

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. Roaming bands of survivors ...
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. He couldn’t ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: The Peruvian Corporation of London

10 October 2019
... that they were sparing them the indignities of civilisation.’ This observation brings me to the 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 ...

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 IainSinclair, 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 ...
27 February 1992
Class War: A Decade of Disorder 
edited by Ian Bone, Alan Pullen and Tim Scargill.
Verso, 113 pp., £7.95, November 1991, 0 86091 558 1
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... A year ago, made tame by viral invasion, I wandered listlessly through the arctic wilderness of the Stonebridge Estate in Haggerston, in the company of a strategically-bearded photographer sent by this journal He had recently returned from a sharp-eyed raid on Eastern Europe and was enjoying the sense of recognition, the familiar after-images, triggered by these survivals. In a dream, the cancelled ...

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 ...

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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... Separate,​ within his glass-enclosed elevation, the riverboat pilot glances wearily at the undramatic shoreline, and spins the wheel to bring us closer to the west bank. His rapid spiel picks out, for the benefit of tourists ploughing resignedly from Totnes to Dartmouth, the celebrities who have made their homes, or pitched their weekend cottages, within sight of the Dart. His list climbs, in order ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: Ronnie Kray bows out

8 June 1995
... A crisp, clear morning, bright and fresh and cold enough to make the flaunting of black anklelength crombies no burden: the perfect day for a funeral. Walking down towards Bethnal Green, through Haggerston Park and over Hackney Road, I appreciate the unnatural, expectant stillness – dispersed by the fretting of traffic that is already beginning to snag up. Outsiders, transients, put it down to road ...

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