"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

London Orbital



It's taken a couple of months, but I've finally finished "London Orbital" (which is more than I've managed with anything else by Iain Sinclair). Must admit, felt more relieved than satisfied to have finished it. I liked the idea of the book (an off-beat attempt to walk the M25) and where he's coming from, and found many of the digressions illuminating but find his writing style to be too dense and heavy going to really enjoy it, and his propensity to conceptualize everything into some kind of grand inter-connected metaphor just ends up being a bit tiresome.

8 comments:

John said...

I liked it - in parts. The stuff about the River Lea (Lee) etc. I agree it's pretty heavy going but that's his shtick I suppose.

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Tom said...

We seem to be getting a lot of weirdo comments on the Fitz these days, and I don't think it's Edna!

John said...

Yeah sorry. This chinese guy's not making that much sense either though...

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Col said...

I agree with you about Sinclair. I enjoy the idea of his psychogeography schtick more than the act of reading it. London Orbital is the only one of his that I finished, too. It was a struggle, but worth the effort, at least in places. His style is very dense, and I find the occultish, ley lines type stuff a bit tiresome. I got about half way through Lights Out for the Territory, but I'm in no great rush to read another. I think he's better suited to the LRB/Granta style long, meandering essay.

I used to get more of a kick out of thinking about strange, alienating retail parks, Ballardian distribution centres and crumbling inner city wastelands. I think the former's become a familiar part of the landscape now, while the latter's been replaced by banks of unsold executive style luxury executive appartments for executives, so it's all lost its currency a bit.

I saw Ian Sinclair do a poetry talk once at the Southbank. His massive bald forehead seemed to pulsate with braniac energy.

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