The good authors over at Zolder Writers, my former Critique Group in Amsterdam have allowed me to rant and rave about books near and dear to my heart: those old cheap vintage paperback Gothic romance/mystery/thriller/horror novels from the mid-to-late 20th century you can get for under a dollar at most used book stores.These books with their perfect endings, poetic justice, and supernatural insanity tell us so much about gender, colonialism, and how people my grandparents’ age viewed the world and their place within it.
Read the post, “Gone But Not Forgotten: Vintage Books for Hipsters and the Rest of Us,” for book recommendations and the wannabe-punchy hyperbole with which I deliver them, and some musings and links on antagonists/villains and how to write the perfect ending.
PANK Magazine will soon be featuring a special edition, BritPANK: London Calling, to feature the best and brightest of Britain and Ireland’s writers. In anticipation of this exciting event, they have featured an essay of mine, Literary Scenes in Britain, Nashville and Amsterdam, on their blog.
I examine the literary scenes of Nashville and Amsterdam while I’m supposed to be blogging about those of Britain because I have a point to make: Nashville and Amsterdam are two cities of comparable size with international reputations for affinity with the arts, yet couldn’t produce more different writers, writing, or literary scenes. This is because, like with Britain’s cities, they are characterized first and foremost by a pervasive regionalism that influences the literary output. Each city’s writers create the type of literature that allows a unique yet comforting recognition of the self.
Arseh Sevom (Third Sphere) is a magazine devoted to promoting civil society in Iran. Published in the special edition “Networks, Networking, and Change: Traditional, Social, Digital” is my essay about Environmental Protest in the United Kingdom, Creating the Impossible: The Invisible Network of Britain’s Activist Subculture.
“If I had to share one piece of advice for anyone in a situation with need for activism, it would be to study the oppressor and then do things differently yourself. Live life the way you feel it ought to be lived as much as possible, and remember what philosopher Albert Camus wrote in his 1942 novel The Outsider: “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”