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Slumming with Rappers at the Roxy

Hal Foster: Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture by John Seabrook, 21 September 2000

Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture 
by John Seabrook.
Methuen, 215 pp., £9.99, March 2000, 0 413 74470 1
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... industry. Born to the old world (‘taste was my cultural capital, boiled down to a syrup’), John Seabrook, a critic at large for the New Yorker, wanders in the new, but this desert of ‘Nobrow’ – where the old ‘brow’ distinctions no longer seem to apply – is not so arid to him. In fact he drinks more deeply at the oases of ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Matrix, 22 May 2003

... digitally rejigged versions were released in the late 1990s: in the merchandising of Star Wars, John Seabrook writes in NoBrow (2000), ‘dreams were being spun into desire, and desire into product.’ And then one day I got tired of it all and gave my toys away to a younger boy who lived down the road. A Galaxy Not So Far Away opens with a brilliant ...

The Coat in Question

Iain Sinclair: Margate, 20 March 2003

All the Devils Are Here 
by David Seabrook.
Granta, 192 pp., £7.99, March 2003, 9781862075597
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... is a traveller’s nightmare: Englishness lost, identity cancelled, fatal infection,’ David Seabrook writes of Thomas De Quincey. Of himself, the dole-queue De Quincey, making a high-velocity, long-term progress through the Isle of Thanet. More speed, less haste: Seabrook is a master of the throwaway put-down, a ...

The Thrill of It All

Michael Newton: Zombies, 18 February 2016

Zombies: A Cultural History 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Reaktion, 224 pp., £16, August 2015, 978 1 78023 528 8
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... of a number of bohemian writers and pulp fiction hacks, such as Lafcadio Hearn and William Seabrook, out to acquire exotic copy and local colour. Their tales are interestingly poised between genres, part Gothic, part anthropological reflection, part travel narrative with colonial pretensions. As part of a book deal, ...

Watercress

Patrick Parrinder, 20 August 1992

Past Tenses: Essays on Writing, Autobiography and History 
by Carolyn Steedman.
Rivers Oram, 224 pp., £22, June 1992, 1 85489 021 2
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... and moralistic pictures of working-class community associated with Richard Hoggart, Jeremy Seabrook and Steedman’s particular mentor, Raymond Williams. The childhood Steedman described was not cosy and hospitable but lonely, introverted and largely joyless. Her mother, a Lancashire weaver’s daughter, had fought against marginality and deprivation ...
... who once knew the Labour Party as inherently a coalition? I think of my late and lamented friend, John Mackintosh: he did not like talk of ‘alternative policies’ from the left of the party, but he knew and loved the party and would have stayed to fight within it had he lived. The party in Parliament elects Michael Foot leader as a political response to ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel, 22 June 1995

Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... apt to picture every form of mass consumption as degenerate. Here – as in the writings of Jeremy Seabrook – it is the prosperity of the working class, rather than, or as well as, the poverty, which is the focus of anxiety. In any of these literatures, the North of England is apt to fare badly. As the original home of many of this country’s staple ...

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