Again, I find myself walking down that particular stretch of pavement. It leads vaguely towards the centre of town. A place I haven’t been for many years. Not if I can help it in any case. Too many dangers. Too many triggers. Out here, the air is somewhat fresher. I tell myself that’s the reason. I check the clock on my mobile again but it is still far too early. A dog barks three times. Its owner no doubt still asleep. As are most people out here. Sleeping, dreaming. A man appears from a doorway.
Let me help you he says.
I back off, irritated, telling him I don’t need any help. He stops, respectfully. Smiling very slightly with the corners of his mouth.
I am just out for a walk, enjoying the morning air, I say.
He sniffs the air suspiciously, as if detecting a bad odour. I shuffle awkwardly, indicating the long pavement ahead with a nod. He just smiles his tired smile again, a slight frown furrowing his brow at the same time.
I don’t need any assistance, I repeat.
The man moves to one side. The pavement stretches out into the distance and I find myself sniffing at the bad smelling air. I long to be back in the city. It has been a long time. Too long really, when I think about it. All the circumstances in between. Piled up on top of each other like disused garden furniture in winter. And what is life other than a series of circumstances, one after the other, in any case? The dog again barks three times. His frown has gone now as he towers over me.
If we can’t help each other what then, the man says, what then.
So it seems I’ve not posted on here for a while and having made it halfway through 2020 and finally managed to log back in it seems a good time to share a couple of pieces of news.
First up, I’m delighted to have a short piece featured in Prototype 2, the second issue of the annual anthology from Prototype Publishing.
Founded in East London in 2019, Protoype is a multi-disciplinary press that publishes poetry / prose / interdisciplinary projects run by Jess Chandler. It was established to continue and develop the work begun by art press Test Centre. Check out their catalogue here: https://prototypepublishing.co.uk/shop/
Unsound Methods Ep 32
We have reached episode 32 of Unsound Methods already and this month it was a pleasure to chat with Anakana Schofield. Anakana spoke to us remotely from Vancouver and we had a great discussion about working through Christmas, the agony of the cereal packet copy-writer, and the right to life amongst other things
We have some exciting partnership news from Unsound Methods coming soon so stay tuned for more.
It feels surreal to be halfway through 2020 already but fingers-crossed that Part II of the year is a little brighter.
The first episode of Unsound Methods in 2019 is up now and this month we are delighted to be joined for a second time by Eimear McBride.
In episode 12 we spoke to Eimear alongside Noémi Lefebvre but we didn’t have much time to speak to them before that evening’s event, so Eimear was kind enough to come to the studio for a more extended chat.
Among other subjects in this episode we discuss Eimear’s process, experimental fiction and the role of the novel in modern life.
Eimear’s debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, won the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize in 2013 and the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Thanks again to Eimear for her generosity with her time.
If you enjoy listening do add a review on iTunes. Find us on twitter @UnsoundMethods
After a bit of a break over the summer Unsound Methods is back with a couple of bonus episodes, recorded at the Beyond Words Festival at the Institut Francais earlier in the year.
We sat down with Noémi Lefebvre, the author of ‘Blue Self-Portrait’ and Eimear McBride, author of ‘A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing’ and ‘The Lesser Bohemians’. It was hot, and there was a lot of noise in the street, so the sound is not 100%, but we found it very interesting to speak to both writers about the similarities and differences in their approaches.
We caught Noémi and Eimear just before they went on stage, so this is a brief chat. At times Noémi preferred to speak in French, so we have included the translations from her interpreter Axelle Oxborrow in this audio.
The Institut Francais have kindly shared the audio of the event that followed, which will be released a few days after this one as a bonus episode.
Thanks to: Nicci Praca, Cecile Menon, Sophie Lewis (who hosted the event), Axelle Oxborrow (translation) and Lucie Campos.
In the latest episode of Unsound Methods we speak to the winner of the Man Booker International prize 2018 Olga Tokarczuk and her translator Jennifer Croft.
Olga and Jennifer were joint winners of the prize for the translated version of Olga’s book Bieguni (Flights) and we caught up with them two days after their win to discuss the whirlwind of literary prize-winning, composing constellation novels, suppressing your first published book, and the challenges of translating fiction.
A quick update with some of the most recent episodes of Unsound Methods. We are now approaching episode 10 so thought it was time for a quick round-up of the last few…
Ep 06 Alex Pheby
Alex Pheby is author of ‘Grace’ (Two Ravens Press), ‘Playthings’ and the forthcoming ‘Lucia. We talk about having different editing and writing persona, blending fiction with historical research when you are writing about real characters, hitting 3,000 words a day and whether it’s rational to have any faith in an external reality.
Ep 07 Daniel Levin Becker
Daniel Levin Becker is a member of the OuLiPo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or ‘Workshop for potential literature’). Daniel talks to us about the attraction of writing with constraints, his journey to France and the Oulipo and gives us a flavour of how the group operates (including a membership cancellation policy that Mark Zuckerberg can only dream of).
Ep 08 Will Eaves
Will was Arts Editor of TheTimes Literary Supplement from 1995 to 2011 and his work has been short-listed for the Goldsmiths Prize, the Ted Hughes Award for Poetry and the BBC National Short Story Award. We discuss his approach to structuring a novel, turning notes into a finished work, working with a small press and capturing the dream-like state of the unconscious in prose.
Ep 09 Paddy Langley
Patrick Langley is the author of Arkady from Fitzcarraldo Editions.With a background in art criticism and radio production, Paddy talks to us about drafting and structuring a work, finding inspiration from the urban backwaters of London and the problem with building elaborate memory palaces…
As always head over to https://unsoundmethods.co.uk to subscribe and get the latest episodes as they come out.
This week we speak to Esther Kinsky, recent winner of the Leipziger Buchmesse Prize and author of River from Fitzcarraldo Editions.
We talk about the interplay between memory and writing, turning notes into art, the linguistic acrobatics of multilingualism and trying to apprehend the gap between sensation and the experience of language.
*** To enter this giveaway to win a free copy of The Open Cage simply follow this blog and then send an email with the subject GIVEAWAYTOC and your name, email and postal address ***
About the book
When an expedition encounters a gigantic iron cage, lying open, in the depths of the jungle their leader is forced to question not only what it once contained but also those forces buried deep within him.
The Open Cage is published by Melbourne-based InShort Publishing as one of a set of limited-edition chapbooks.
Each book measures 140 x 90mm and the distinctive yellow covers are each inlaid with a geometric design unique to the book.