When no listening to the phone messages of recently deceased children or smearing those killed in stadium disasters, journalists at Britain's largest-selling newspaper, The Sun, may find time to pen light-hearted satires of modern life. One such piece was published in January 2003, depicing a new cast of "Mr Men" characters that best reflect twenty-first century Britain. After a handful of readers went to the press complaints commission, failing to see the funny side to "Mr Asylum seeker", "Mr Yardie, and "Mr Albanian Gangster", a new figure was created just for them, "Mr Guardianista".
Comment is fraught : A polemic
Art & Interview
The present hour
Traduction : Beverley Bie Brahic
On the exaggerated reports of the decline of British fiction
"The special fate of the novel" Frank Kermo de was written, "is always to be dying". In Britain, the terminal state seems indigenous to the culture. Beating our chests about the lassitude of novel writing appears to be a critical tradition in its own right. Our last literary season has long passed, it's generally agreed. Whatever happened to the British novel ?
Children of God
Fiction. Traduction : Michael Hoffmann
Said by the New Statesman to be "at the forefront of the experimental movement in ontemporary british poetry", Keston Sutherland's poetic and critical works is a headrush. High on its own sensitivity, his writings explode the familair modes of poetruy, fusing the lyric tradition with the high-octane languages of orotest, stock market exchange and onformation, technology, with the individuated vocabularies of biochemistry, geology and neurology. A sardonic yet rhapsodic disdain for high-capitalist consumerism and yappy for news neo-conservatism has won him international acclaim, and has given rise to six collections of poetry, numerous essays on poetics, politics and philosophy, his critical journal Quid and the co-founding of "nonconformist poetry" publisher Barque press.
By Oli Hazzard, Joe Luna and Keston Sutherland
Pyramid schemes : reading the shard
These sketches were created to illustrate an essay by Lawrence Lek in The White Review No. 7, ‘Pyramid Schemes: Reading the Shard’. ‘Architecture is prosthetic memory,’ writes Lek, ‘a way for society to write without words.’
Interview & art
Bracketing the World: Reading Poetry through Neuroscience
The anechoic chamber at University College London has the clutter of a space shared by many people: styrofoam cups, defunct pieces of equipment in the long purgatory between the days of their use and their removal to the skip, and an accretion of still-living technical apparatus – amps, speakers and laptops – perched on narrow shelves. The inner, soundproof room is sparser, with a long-barrelled microphone and wedges of foam jagging out from every wall; these severe surfaces are counterpoised by an old wingback chair that sags as you sit in it. When the experimenter settles you and leaves, shutting the double doors firmly behind her, a feeling of numbness grows with the silence. When the lights are turned out, a thick skin of darkness settles.