Tag Archives: faber social

63. On the mark of the Devil, and material evil in England – David Peace & I

I daresay that the photo to our left is not the most ‘gothic’ of images you could imagine – two shaven-headed figures in black, for sure, not a bad start maybe, but then the glare and the carpeting and, above all, that bright green plastic carrier-bag would seem to lessen the menace…
What do we have here then? Well, ‘Foggy Sapphires’ is the blog of London-based writer and journalist Caroline Simpson, and I’m pleased to report that she has recently posted a very affable and considered write-up of the first Faber Social event from back in early June when David Peace and I shared a small dais and an exchange of views on the subject of the contemporary gothic, and (yes) the immanence of evil in the world. Here’s how Ms Simpson summarises:

First up were the novelists David Peace and Richard T Kelly in conversation who gave powerful readings of their work and discussed their very particular contemporary takes on the Gothic and occult histories.
David Peace expounded on “the occult history of Britain – a hidden history – the history that’s not been written” and suggested that Marx was both political and gothic,”the gothic description of structural evil”. He suggested that “Lucifer was Yorkshire” in regard to his Red Riding quartet and that capitalism was the evil that possesses us and that “misogyny” in particular as manifested by the Yorkshire Ripper “is an evil” too.
Continuing the theme of possession and evil, Richard Kelly talked about R.L. Stevenson, “the mysteries of London” and “the mysteries of Paris” and the “dark world that lends itself to creativity” and said [] “I don’t believe in God but I am convinced of the devil” while noting that “good doesn’t have a good press”…

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27. David Peace & I debate the Occult…

I’m pleased to report that I’ve been asked to read and speak in the company of the mighty David Peace at the first in what is envisaged as a regular/monthly series of literary soirees organised by Faber and Faber under the label of The Faber Social. This inaugural is scheduled for Monday 6th June 2011 @ 7pm, venue being The Social at 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD. As I understand it David Peace will read, he and I will talk, then I will read a bit too. Simple as that. What will we talk about? The audience has been promised “all things gothic, occult and Northern.” Well, yes, for sure we can do that. I expect I will want to ask David about his extraordinary novel Occupied City. This review by Justin Cartwright is worth reading primarily for the virtue that one could believe Cartwright had read nothing of Peace’s prior to this, his eighth novel; and initially he seems a little sceptical – which makes his stealthy appreciation of the book’s high merits (“hugely daring, utterly irresistible, deeply serious and unlike anything I have ever read”) all the more striking, even touching.

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