Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It may look to the untrained eye



Another apologies and links post. Normal service will not be resumed for some time - aside from doing lots of paid work, the need to actually finish my sodding thesis has sharply intervened. Anyone who wants some idea of what that is about should obtain a copy of the current (ie, number 62, colour pink) AA Files, which has an extended essay on the Gosprom building in Kharkov, taking in Eisenstein, mammoths, Felix Dzherzhinsky, Robert Byron and other such delights. Most of it is in the thesis, or at least the current draft of it. Some killing-2-birds-with-one-stone: I also give a short precis of what the building is and why it's important as the 20th Century Society Building of the Month.


Some other similarly short things: in Socialist Review on Arts Council cuts and collectivity; a rewrite of previous notes on Dublin for Ireland's CrisisJam; something on Matthew Darbyshire for the catalogue of this exhibition; a paragraph on BDP's website, of all things, on their best building (there's more on this to come, incidentally), and a couple of Trawls I don't think I've linked to here yet. I've also, in order to stop my computer from dying, uploaded lots of things onto Flickr. Some rather better pictures accompany some short New Ruins extracts at the new The London Column, for whom I did something else that I'll flag when it's up...


Further details about the Pulp book were promised. It will be out in the last week of June, just after the reformation entirely non-accidentally; it's not in any way a biography of Pulp, but an extended essay on class, mainly, through Pulp records. Given that it was his 1989 that I had in my head as a model when writing it, I cajoled Joshua Clover into blurbing it. It's nowhere near as good, but thankfully he does not say so. It is as follows:

This book is a small marvel. Even within the most ambiguous cultural flowering, something transcendent is cached. Owen Hatherley knows this. Possessed of an architect's clarity and a modernist's astringent vision, he draws forth the the paradoxical and brilliant core of Britpop, and restores Pulp's contradictory genius to its proper place in history. Behind the Blairite swagger of Cool Britannia and the spackle of commercial spectacle, Hatherley finds the truth of pop culture and social antagonism, entangled with the glory and oddity of Pulp's musical career and evanescent fame. Elegant about the songs, lucid about the band's warped trajectory, and incisive about the politics of daily life coiled within the sound and lyrics and moment, Hatherley chronicles the adventures of the Sheffield gang and their "class war casanova" who came forth as the truth of a deeply false moment, bad faith you could dance to, a dialectical verdict on a singular passage in time.


It can be purchased here, already, on discount and everything. Am planning to put a little bit online soon enough. Other than that, the pile of unwritten posts currently consists entirely of several city essays which I will probably write all in one binge in the summer, as well as a more general thing on the delights of chronic autoimmune disease called Flanerie with Crohn's, or something. In the meantime, those looking for bloggery that isn't on indefinite hiatus would be well advised to go here, here, here and here.