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Louis Greenberg

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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

A Whirlwind of Waiting

Join me on a mystery tour. Experimental travel meets photo album meets moving installation, thirteen days only. Starts 18.9.2015

Follow @whirlwindwaiting on Instagram for the magic and the mundane, an obsessive cataloguing of ‪#‎transport‬ and ‪#‎waiting‬, very likely #art and #food and #beer, and unexpurgated pretty random #onthehour shots. I’ll be searching for fuel for big questions and the comfort of minutiae; we may find what I’m looking for along the way.

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My Book Dash Live Blog

9:04 a.m.
Right, wi-fi and coffee organised. I am here.
As the writer on my Book Dash team, I am the long-lead thinker. I have already spent weeks of night turning the story over in my head, brainstorming ideas with my wife Bronwyn (better known to my social media friends as DW or Delightful Wife), whose character she has agreed to share.

9:16 a.m.
Expected at the writers’ briefing now. BRB.

11:11 a.m.
Whoah! I went to Arthur Attwell’s writer and editor brief, chatted to Audrey Anderson, our illustrator, about the first images, and compared notes with Ester Levinrad, our editor, about the story’s direction and then looked up and it’s hours later! There’s a wonderful, calm, productive, collaborative vibe in here at the moment. As soon as I’ve finalised my story text I’m going to post some pictures of our ‘publishing company for a day’ and the work in progress, as well as wax meandery about our story and other background arcana.
See you soon!

12:46 p.m.
We have a title! Welcome to the world, Rafiki’s Style!

12:55 p.m.
Here are some pictures:

2:39 p.m.
Just back from the story read-through with all the writers and editors. You’re in for a treat — twelve wonderful stories in process. I note that my Instagram links aren’t showing up here. I’m going to work on that just as soon as I’ve presented Ester with my cleaned-up draft. Meanwhile, just click through to Instagram the captions to the non-displaying images at the bottom of this post to see the pictures. [I never came back to that, did I? Sorry, I know... life's becoming too short to fiddle with misbehaving embed codes.]

3:18 p.m.
Just Googled ‘jazzy porkpie hat’ for a last-minute amendment to a character. Rafiki’s grandfather is a cool dude. Walter White, anyone?

3:43 p.m.
The document, ‘Rafiki’s Style_nearly final’ has been generated and sent to Wesley. Time to paint!

4:38 p.m.
I’m very proud to announce that I won both the Earliest Draft Submitted award and co-won the Messiest Desk award! Progress!

Hey, while you’re here or if you can’t see this embedded tweet, check out the #BookDash hashtag on Twitter.

4:52 p.m.
I have been painting the football jerseys of Rafiki and the Cool Cat Crew – they are the most simple parts of Audrey’s illustrations that I might not actually mess up. Now that they’re done, though, poor Audrey is back on her own doing the fiddly bits. I am blogging so that I look busy, but I really must volunteer to do some more colouring.

5:05 p.m.
The wine has arrived, so while I am still compos mentis, I will tell you a bit of background about Rafiki’s Style. It started when my sons (aka Thing 1 and 2) and DW and I were watching football on TV. We recently subscribed to satellite TV and have become deeply drawn into Premier League football. Our family favourite team is Arsenal – initiated by Thing 2, the five-year-old, who wanted to change his surname to Arsenal. We were talking about footballers’ hairstyles. Thing 2 loves Calum Chambers, and his hairstyle, and DW likes Thomas Rosicky‘s hair best. But she couldn’t remember his name and referred to him as “Rafiki”. Next thing, Rafiki had made his way into her bedtime stories to the Things. DW is far more creative when it comes to storytime than I am; I love reading a well-written children’s book — Julia Donaldson is the most fun to read aloud — but DW comes up with original stories. So when we received the Book Dash brief, it was no surprise that I asked DW to brainstorm ideas with me. She helped me come up with the whole first draft.

While on the matter of Europe(an sport), it’s cool to be at the Goethe Institute in Parkwood. It’s architecturally a welcoming, open building and with airy, open facilities which they’re offering to Book Dash for nada. By the by, I’ve been teaching myself some basic German through the awesome language site Duolingo, so I felt qualified to come this morning. But it’s such an open-looking place, it seems you’d be welcome to come in even if you couldn’t speak German. They offer language course I may use to brush up. Why was I learning German, you may ask? I’m hoping to use Berlin as a setting for a future novel, but that’s still up to the publishing deities.

5:55 p.m.
It’s official. I’ve been banned from painting duty. There are only fiddly bits left. Audrey is on her own. Will she manage in the time allotted? We will see, while we drink wine.

7:07 p.m.
Here’s an insight into the edit of Rafiki’s Style earlier today:
Rafiki's Style edit

Meanwhile, Audrey’s nearly done with her illustrations; she’s on eleven of twelve. Here are a few:
Rafiki's Style illustrations

7:53 p.m.
Superhero Audrey has finished the last illustration! Seven minutes to go… cruised it!

8:11 p.m.
And … I’ve written the blurb; Wesley has laid out the layout. We are just waiting for PDFs to be processed, and ….

8:29 p.m.
Team 1 is showing showing their gorgeous story. Just realised I have to stand on the stage and read the blimmin’ thing!

9:12 p.m.
After an amazing show and tell of twelve newborn books, and an invitation to finish the wine, that’s a wrap. I’ll follow up with some spreads and pictures of what we’ve all done.
Good night!

@arthurattwell briefing writers and editors in the gorgeous Goethe institute library. #bookdash

A photo posted by Louis Greenberg (@louisgreenberg) on

Beautiful pre-project sketches for our book by @andersonaudrey. #BookDash

A photo posted by Louis Greenberg (@louisgreenberg) on

Designer @liquidtype hard at work on Rafiki's layout. #BookDash

A photo posted by Louis Greenberg (@louisgreenberg) on

I'm also getting the chance to help colour @andersonaudrey's illustrations. #BookDash

A photo posted by Louis Greenberg (@louisgreenberg) on

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Prawn Apocalypse

This story first appeared in the Sunday Times Lifestyle on 14 September 2014

Granma Vito talks like she’s a hundred years old, but she’s only been alive for seven summers. Don’t get me wrong, that’s pretty ancient for a Parktown Prawn, but sometimes she spins her tales a little fuzzy.
       ‘Give me some of the sweet stuff,’ she says, her broken left mandible clutching uselessly at the air in front of her mouth.
       I spear a bit of moist dog pellet from the pile and approach her, trying not to inhale her stink as I point the mush into her mouth. ‘Mmm …’ Her jaw clatters and scrapes as she guzzles. ‘Have some,’ she says.
       ‘No, thanks, Granma.’ I’ve never developed a taste for dog food. I prefer fruit, worms, carrion. Anything natural. Once, I ate a snail.
       Granma Vito shrugs, her hinges creaking. ‘Come closer then, little grub, and I’ll tell you the truth.’
       That’s another thing about Granma Vito: calling me a grub. I know she does it to annoy me, to get some response. I’ve moulted four times since I hatched – as a newt, Granma Vito, not a grub! – and I’m almost an adult. But I’ve seen two summers now, and I refuse to rise to the bait.
       The fact is, I love Granma Vito. I love her stories, whether they’re fact or fantasy. Frankly, they’re the only bit of light down here as we huddle in ever-diminishing numbers against the terrible siege from beyond the burrow.
       It wasn’t always like this, I know. And Granma Vito’s tales remind me of a glorious time before I was an egg.
       ‘What’s your name?’
       ‘Excuse me, Granma?’
       ‘I said: What’s your name?’
       ‘I don’t have a name. I’m just a …. Just a …’
       ‘Just nothing!’ Granma Vito croaks with such vehemence that mucus shoots out of three of her spiracles. ‘You are Libanasidus vittatus!’ she annunciates. ‘Never forget your name. It is all that will be left of us.’
       ‘I thought we were Parktown Prawns –’
       ‘Prawns! Prawns? Have you ever seen a prawn? How on earth humans can think we have anything in common with those sodden, bottom-feeding, ten-legged freaks is beyond me. So typical of their arrogance and ignorance.’ She puts on a slow, deep, stupid accent: ‘Oh, all arthropods look the same.’
       It was also humans who named us Libanasidus vittatus, I don’t remind Granma Vito; she looks angry enough to soil her burrow. ‘Can I get you more food, Granma?’ I say, soothingly.
       She takes a few breaths and calms down. ‘I’m all right. It’s just that it …’ She rubs the stump of her right-hand antenna with her claw. ‘Where was I?’
       ‘You were going to tell me the truth?’
       ‘Yes. That’s right. The truth. Go fetch me that snail shell. On that shelf.’ I try not to laugh at her humanesque vocabulary; her shelf is nothing but a dank hole in the burrow’s wall.
       I scan across her collection of surface memorabilia: a hunk of squeegee mop, a twist of lint from inside a schoolgirl’s shoe, the nozzle from a can of Doom.
       ‘No, not there,’ she fusses. ‘The next one. Yes, there.’ I’ve heard stories about all the objects in Granma’s gallery except for this one. It’s a beautiful specimen and reminds me of the best meal I ever had.
       ‘Bring it to me.’ I place the delicate spiral bowl by her feet. ‘You don’t remember when we ruled the surface, grub. By night we’d forage in force. The humans loved us so much for eating all the snails in their gardens that they left food out for us and let us sleep under their pillows.’ Suddenly, she lashes her good mandible a hair’s width from my face. ‘Then it all ended.’
       ‘I wish I had lived back then,’ I tell her. I sometimes dream of the moonlight on my back.
       ‘I am growing old, grub, and I will not see another summer.’
       ‘Don’t speak like that, Granma,’ I say. ‘You’re …’ But I say no more. I know she’s right. I creep closer. ‘What is the truth, Granma?’
       ‘Tell me why are we vanishing.’
       I know the answer to this. It’s common wisdom, passed from newt to newt in every nursery. ‘Because of the hadedas, Granma. They followed us to the suburbs and will not stop until they have picked every last one of us out of the ground. We must hide from them and move – very carefully – only on the darkest nights.’
       I finish my recitation and look into her face, expecting approval. Although I know nothing about the ways of the surface, about history, politics or genocide, I have said what was expected of me.
       But Granma Vito bursts out with a joint-freezing hiss. ‘Wrong!’ she says. ‘So, so wrong. That is what you are forced to think. But the truth is,’ – now she turns with horrifying speed and stamps her massive rear leg onto the delicate snail shell – ‘it was them! The snails!’
       She smashes the shell into small pieces, convulsively flicking the shards around her burrow, a manic, shrill tinge to her voice as she begins to mutter: ‘Them! All along! A ghastly revenge. They hid it in their blood. A biological agent that rendered us infertile. When last did you see an egg, when last did you … Them, all along. The hadedas … just a smokescreen. They are our –’
       Then I hear it: a rustling scrape from up above, a pounding thud, a shearing scrape, and the rustle. A sound of threat I’ve never heard, that makes my body instinctively curl and tense, ready to leap, makes me push back into the walls in terror.
       I let go a bloom of black odour.
       It’s coming.
       The scimitar-shaped thing thrusts down through the ceiling. It’s awesome, massive. Clods of earth rain into the burrow as my body stops.
       The scimitar opens, clamps Granma Vito and pulls her up and away, into the glare above.
       She’s dead already.
       When it’s over, I hurry back to my tunnel and begin to moult again.

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Bye bye buy links : buy local

I’ve just removed all the ‘Buy’ links from my website and S.L. Grey’s website and replaced them with this simple line: “If you love reading, help defend the book trade around the world by buying local, independent or national before supporting multinational retail conglomerates.”

Amazon’s latest round of bullying, this time against Hachette, hardly a lightweight corporation itself, has proven to be the last straw for me. Amazon won’t stop until it has a monopoly and then it can entirely control what is published and what it costs. This article by Jay Kristoff describes why Amazon getting their way is not a good thing for readers or writers, and this article in The New York Times indicates just how little Amazon cares about our complaints.

Instead of deleting only the Amazon ‘Buy’ links in protest, I decided to remove all the buy links, knowing that if you’re interested in buying a book, you’re quite capable of typing the title into an e-retailer’s search box or asking a bookseller whether they have it. The one-click utopia is what’s got us to this stage.

I’ve kept the Bookfinder links up on the Books Live pages because they link to a choice of four South African e-retailers, much better for your soul.

Personally, I’m not going to buy any more e-books from Amazon, the only things I’ve bought from them. If I want an e-book, I’d prefer to download an ePUB version from a South African bookstore and convert it to use on my possibly-soon-to-be-redundant Kindle. Some publishers’ digital rights management currently makes that impossible without illegal processes, and I hope that they’ll change their minds about DRM. In the meanwhile, I’ll just order the hard copy, which, again, I find better for my soul. The last ten books I’ve bought have been made of paper and I’m enjoying reading them. I’ve made space on my bookshelf for them by giving a couple of piles of paper books to my local library so that others can enjoy them. There’s something quaint about that.

My new plan is a little more expensive, yes, but so is the food and drink I select because I’ve been trying to choose ethical, world-friendly products. It was a surprisingly difficult cognitive bridge for me to build between buying indie beer and organic coffee and not necessarily choosing the cheapest, greediest book retailer, but I’ve made it now. The same applies to ordering CDs from a local outlet instead of one-clicking them at iTunes. And I remember that when Amazon is a monopoly, it will charge whatever it wants, and I’m guessing it won’t be discounted quite as heavily then.

This is my little way of spitting into the wind.

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Writing Process Blog Tour

Robert Sharp tagged me in the latest self-promotional Ponzi scheme, The Writing Process Blog Tour. He has a novella being published by Jurassic London, the imprint run by Jared Shurin that’s become a serious talent-sniffer-outer and a huge supporter and advancer of South African writing and art. They’ve published my work along with that of Sarah Lotz, Lauren Beukes, Joey Hi-Fi (before they were internationally known), S.A. Partridge, Charlie Human, Richard de Nooy, Vincent Sammy and S.L. Grey along with several other multinational genre writers and LASIGs*.

The best part of the invitation for me has been reading about Robert‘s work in London. He’s a political writer and the Head of Communications at English PEN: someone with well considered opinions and interesting to follow.

The answers to the questions in the Blog Tour are kinda incidental, but here they are:

What am I working on?
I’m currently deep the redrafting phases of Underground, the next S.L. Grey novel. It’s not my favourite part. There’s none of the fun discovery of a first draft and none of the nitpicking pleasures of technical last drafts and proofs, but it’s probably the most essential stage, turning the rough splodge of brain-happy into something that others can understand and enjoy.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I thought about this for a long while and came to the conclusion that it’s a kak question.

Why do I write what I do?
There are two alternative answers to this. The pious, stock response: I always start off writing the book I like to read. You’ve read that before somewhere, haven’t you?
OR, because I have a demon “avalanche of ponies”** crashing through my head relentlessly, leaving my synapses clogged with an avalanche of pony crap until I write what they what they want me to.

How does my writing process work?
It works when I am relatively well rested and have a good cup of coffee and four hours to switch off the internet and not to blog. It’s ideal if I have a decent stretch of time in a row to concentrate and I try to manage my distractions (read: paying jobs and blog tours) into the afternoon when my creative brain has gone to sleep. I similarly try to block out a week or two in a row – that way, if I have a bad day, I know I can always make it up later in the week. I’ve also quite successfully managed to alienate everyone who used to email me, so I only get a message every few days.

Next up, I’m tagging the genre-defying South African writers Sarah Lotz (because I know just how much she loves blogging), Savannah Lotz and Charlie Human. We were recently on a festival panel together and had a great exchange.

* Literary Authors Slumming in Genre, a term I saw in a discussion piece on Pornokitsch.
** Part of a metaphor Lauren Beukes wrote into her new novel, which her editor demanded she cut. Frankly I think it’s too good not to live on somewhere.

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“here is Jane sed Ann”: a critical analysis

I recently posted a picture of some writing by my son on Facebook. Some literary discussion ensued:

Guido Vittorio Salamdien
Oh dear, Louis, a realist in your midsts.
3 hours ago · Unlike · 2

Louis Greenberg
I’m struggling to pinpoint the influence, actually. It could be a McCarthyesque post-causal inductive style. Perhaps mid-career Coetzee? Or it could be a simple homage to Hemingway with updated universal masculinist tropes (note where the power of the remote control lies – squarely with the patriarchy; but at the same time the protagonists, passive though they are, are notably weighted towards the presumably female. What does it mean?). I’ll ask the author at the next Q&A.
3 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3

Guido Vittorio Salamdien
Ask about Beckett as well.
3 hours ago · Unlike · 2

Louis Greenberg
Good point. Though I suspect that the concept of ‘trooth’ is deployed post-ironically.
3 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1

Guido Vittorio Salamdien
That opening anti-flourish: “Here is Jane sed Ann” is stylistically strikingly (sorry) Beckett.
3 hours ago · Unlike · 2

Louis Greenberg
And, of course, just as we wait indefinitely for closure (what do they see on the television? what is their reaction? what happens afterwards? we are left devastingly in a condition of unalleviated pending), the protagonists are waiting for the Patriarch to broadcast something worthwhile over the public broadcast system. They could have chosen a YouTube video or DVD of their own choosing, been participants in their own meaning-making, but instead they (prepare to) watch television. Is it a comment on the limits of the putative “choice” offered by the tyranny of the new media?
2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3

Louis Greenberg
Even though “Here is Jane sed Ann” seems definitive and declarative, I’m struck by Bob’s doubt: “[he] came and had a look”. In this setting, he cannot trust even the most straightforward statement of fact. Nothing can be taken for granted.
2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2

Louis Greenberg
Feminists might argue that Bob mistrusts the statement because it has been uttered by a woman, but my sense of the piece is that it points towards a far broader ontological instability.
2 hours ago · Like · 2

Louis Greenberg
Maybe that’s because I like the author and his other work and don’t want to see him as harbouring such reactionary politics, even if they are unconscious.
2 hours ago · Like · 2

Louis Greenberg
But that stance, of course, implicates me, the reader, as much in the (potentially) reactionary politics of the piece. Why must I take sides, instead of simply read what is stated?
2 hours ago · Like · 2

Guido Vittorio Salamdien
That final false note, “Bob, Ann and Jane sat” strikes with its pessimism as much as it is a description of equality. A lapse into the truly post-Utopian? Are we now post-post-Lapserian?
2 hours ago · Unlike · 4

Louis Greenberg
Yes, there is a definite weight about it. A heavy finality (that ‘sat’ onomatepoeically conjures the intractability of gravity (and of course mortality)) that, all the same, offers no closure. I released a new edition of one of my previous monographs on this work, which made more of that devastating, “unalleviated pending” (Greenberg 2014). We don’t know what happens after they sit and we are forced to draw our own conclusions. I suspect that our reading of what happens after the end is a mirror on our selves. In fact, I find it such a glaring, honest mirror that I find it difficult to look into it. More questions are raised than answers.
2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3

Helen Moffett
I really really wish I could read this thread out at the average English Dept seminar.
2 hours ago · Unlike · 4

Guido Vittorio Salamdien
Think about how “it was troo” draws the Molesworthian dilemma inside out and compresses the humour of it as if it were to pass through a blackhole. A cry of anguish dense in its extistenstialist compression.
2 hours ago · Unlike · 3

Louis Greenberg
Absolutely (and beautifully put) – an unflinchingly cynical mockery of the very concept of truth and the complacent comforts it provides the bourgeoisie.
2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2

Helen Brain Faulkner
My reading is that Jane Sed Ann is one person. Possibly with a fractured sense of self, but don’t discount this possibility.
2 hours ago · Unlike · 3

Louis Greenberg
You might be right, Helen. The ambiguous typography in that opening salvo suggests it. And, as you say, the intrapsychic fracturing in the final line then becomes both devastatingly intimate and almost eschatological in effect. I never read it like this, but it adds compelling layers of meaning to the text.
2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3

Fiona Snyckers
I am gripped by the crushing weight of nominative determinism that afflicts Jane. She is held suspended in a narrative web not of her own weaving. She suffers intense appearance anxiety (plain Jane), and also from the knowledge of her own imminent demise (Jane Doe). Yet she is supposed to be playful (Fun with Dick and Jane). In short she is hamstrung by the expectations that a capitalist hegemonic media places on young women.
about an hour ago · Unlike · 3

Bronwyn Harris
In the spirit of Louis Greenberg’s (2014) “glaring honest mirror” and following the post-Freudian confessional, the silence surrounding this text must now speak to Patriarchal Power: the author’s Squidwardian Mama recently annexed the television remote control and declared herself The Remote Monarch. By empowering “Daddy” to “toond on the television”, the author enacts a wish fullfillment that dares not speak directly to the omnipotent and frankly, awesome, Mama. He leaves Bob, Ann and Jane sitting in anticipation and hope, yearning for a return to the squabbling bleakness of everyday life.
about an hour ago · Unlike · 4

Helen Brain Faulkner
of course when one takes into account that the last component of television is Sion, it all takes on a deeper, more theological meaning. Bob, Ann and Jane are determined not to engage with the numinosity which Daddy so ardently desires.
about an hour ago · Unlike · 3

Louis Greenberg
That’s a chilling reading, Fiona, but you’re absolutely right. You’ve deftly managed to connect the themes of mortality and the oddly passive female characterisation. Who is this “Jane”, if not the archetypal corpse-bride, Sleeping Beauty or Snow White?
about an hour ago · Edited · Like · 4

Louis Greenberg
No wonder the poor woman ends up fractured. Do you think the fracturing is a critical flourish on the author’s part, almost in a Charlotte Perkins Gilman tradition, arguing that madness is the only feasible result of a culpable patriarchy? The deadpan delivery either suggests an uncritical presentation or a tightly controlled subversiveness.
about an hour ago · Edited · Like · 1

Helen Brain Faulkner
what troubles me also is the structure of the double d’s in ‘Daddy.’ Why these elongated letter stems? Do they say something about the author’s relationship with his father?
about an hour ago · Unlike · 3

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A Mummy in a Modern City – the presentation

I’ve posted my presentation to the Monstrous Antiquities: Archaeology and the Uncanny in Popular Culture conference at University College London on my website. Here is a bite and a link:

Good afternoon. I’m Louis Greenberg, much more a fiction writer than an academic, and I’ll be reading an extract from my short story, “Akhenaten Goes to Paris” then chatting briefly about the ideas behind it.

Book of the Dead coverThe story appears in The Book of the Dead, which was published by Jurassic London and launched the other night. It’s apparently the first-ever anthology of original mummy stories and is written by a great selection of current talent, so you should get hold of a copy.


“Akhenaten Goes to Paris”

Uncle Menny assured me that there wouldn’t be a problem getting onto the plane. ‘Just smile and act normal and they’ll wave you through,’ he said. I don’t think Uncle Menny’s travelled for a long time.

Read the full presentation here.

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Dark Windows to debut at Bloody Parchment 2013

The Root Cellar and Other Stories coverThe Root Cellar and Other Stories cover

On Wednesday 30 October, the first-ever public extract from my upcoming novel, Dark Windows, will be read at the Bloody Parchment 2013 event at the Book Lounge in Cape Town. I won’t make it to Cape Town this year, and my clone wasn’t baked in time, but someone with an excellent reading voice will be taking the appropriately spooky extract out for a test drive.

Get down to the Book Lounge for the annual Bloody Parchment Hallowe’en fun. Read more about the event here.

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Dark Windows cover reveal!

Screaming Woman detail from Dark Windows coverHolistic Spirals detail from Dark Windows coverHospital detail from Dark Windows cover

Lauren Smith has just posted a cover reveal and interview with magician-illustrator, Joey Hi-Fi, at her book blog, Violin in a Void. It’s made me excited for the book again! I’m amazed and honoured by the effort and attention Joey’s put into the cover. He discusses the book and the illustrations more eloquently than I could at Lauren’s blog.

I’ll let Lauren host the full cover for a few days, but have put up a couple of the details here.

The Beggars' Signwriters coverAs a side note, I’m fascinated by how the Dark Windows cover mirrors that of The Beggars’ Signwriters, even though Joey hadn’t looked at it. I should write another book about frames next.

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A Mummy in a Modern City

On 2 November, I will be presenting a paper entitled “A Mummy in a Modern City” at the Monstrous Antiquities: Archaeology and the Uncanny in Popular Culture conference at University College London.

I will start my presentation by reading an extract from my short story, “Akhenaten Goes to Paris”, which will be published in The Book of the Dead, edited by Jared Shurin (Jurassic London). I will then briefly outline various psychoanalytical and gender theories of monstrosity as it relates to contemporary popular fiction – including notions of the fetishised body, the subversive potential of marginal positions, and our lingering fear of an abject return of the repressed, and invoke Julia Kristeva’s sense of fiction’s importance in managing this fear.

I will discuss why I took my fictional mummy into Paris, bringing the ancient, marginalised monster into the thick of contemporary Western culture and imagining some aspects of the culture, both strange and familiar – including xenophobia, religious changes and ideas of body image – he’d encounter there.

I will finally touch on my research on some of the other ideas in the story, including into Akhenaten’s historical relatives, methods of embalming, and contemporary French monumentalist architecture.

If the paper makes any sense, I’ll post it here when I’m done.

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