Iain Sinclair


Iain Sinclair
Born June 11, 1943 (1943-06-11) (age 68)
Cardiff, Wales
Nationality British
Period 1970 -
Notable work(s) Downriver

www.iainsinclair.org.uk

Iain Sinclair FRSL (born 11 June 1943 in Cardiff, Wales) is a British writer and filmmaker. Much of his work is rooted in London, most recently within the influences of psychogeography.

Contents

Life and work

Sinclair was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (where he edited Icarus). He attended the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London), and the London School of Film Technique (now the London Film School).

Development as author

His early work was mostly poetry, much of it published by his own small press, Albion Village Press. He was (and remains) closely connected with the British avantgarde poetry scene of the 1960s and 1970s – authors such as J.H. Prynne, Douglas Oliver, Peter Ackroyd and Brian Catling are often quoted in his work and even turn up in fictionalized form as characters; later on, taking over from John Muckle, Sinclair edited the Paladin Poetry Series and, in 1996, the Picador anthology Conductors of Chaos.

His early books Lud Heat (1975) and Suicide Bridge (1979) were a mixture of essay, fiction and poetry; they were followed by White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (1987), a novel juxtaposing the tale of a disreputable band of bookdealers on the hunt for a priceless copy of Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet and the Jack the Ripper murders (here attributed to the physician William Gull).

Sinclair was for some time perhaps best known for the novel Downriver (1991), which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the 1992 Encore Award. It envisages the UK under the rule of the Widow, a grotesque version of Margaret Thatcher as viewed by her harshest critics, who supposedly establishes a one party state in a fifth term. The volume of essays Lights Out for the Territory gained Sinclair a wider readership by treating the material of his novels in non-fiction form. His essay 'Sorry Meniscus' (1999) ridicules the Millennium Dome. In 1997, he collaborated with Chris Petit, sculptor Steve Dilworth, and others to make The Falconer, a 56 minute semi-fictional 'documentary' film set in London and the Outer Hebrides about the British underground filmmaker Peter Whitehead. It also features Stewart Home, Kathy Acker and Howard Marks.

London Orbital

One of his most recent works and part of a series focused around London is the non-fiction London Orbital; the hard cover edition was published in 2002, along with a documentary film of the same name and subject. It describes a series of trips he took tracing the M25, London's outer-ring motorway, on foot. Sinclair followed this with Edge of the Orison, a psychogeographical reconstruction of the poet John Clare's walk from Dr Matthew Allen's private lunatic asylum, at Fairmead House, High Beach, in the centre of Epping Forest in Essex, to his home in Helpston, near Peterborough. Sinclair also writes about Claybury Asylum, another psychiatric hospital in Essex, in Rodinsky's Room, a collaboration with the artist Rachel Lichtenstein.

Psychogeography

Much of Sinclair's recent work consists of an ambitious and elaborate literary recuperation of the so-called occultist psychogeography of London. Other psychogeographers who have worked on similar material include Will Self, Stewart Home and the London Psychogeographical Association. In 2008 he wrote the introduction to Wide Boys Never Work, the London Books reissue of Robert Westerby's classic London low-life novel. Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire: A Confidential Report followed in 2009.

In an interview with This Week in Science, William Gibson said that Sinclair was his favourite author.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009.[2] Sinclair commented: "I have always admired the RSPCA. They do a lot of good work."

Iain Sinclair lives in Haggerston, in the London Borough of Hackney, and has a flat in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex.

Bibliography

  • Back Garden Poems, poetry, 1970
  • The Kodak Mantra Diaries: Allen Ginsberg in London, documentary, 1971
  • Muscat's Wurm, poetry, 1972
  • The Birth Rug, poetry, 1973
  • Lud Heat, poetry, 1975
  • Suicide Bridge, poetry, 1979
  • Flesh Eggs and Scalp Metal: Selected Poems 1970-1987, poetry, 1987
  • White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings, fiction, 1987 (originally a limited edition from Goldmark but reprinted by Paladin)
  • Downriver, novel, 1991
  • Jack Elam's Other Eye, poetry
  • Radon Daughters, novel, 1994
  • Conductors of Chaos: a Poetry Anthology, editor 1996
  • The Ebbing of the Kraft, poetry, 1997
  • Lights out for the territory: 9 Excursions in the secret history of London. Granta Books. 1997. ISBN 1862070091. , non-fiction
  • Slow Chocolate Autopsy, fiction, 1997
  • Crash, essay, 1999
  • Liquid City, non-fiction, 1999 (with Marc Atkins)
  • Rodinsky's Room, non-fiction, 1999 (with Rachel Lichtenstein)
  • Sorry Meniscus, essay, 1999
  • Landor's Tower, novel, 2001
  • London Orbital, non-fiction, 2002 (paperback edition 2003)
  • White Goods, poems, essays, fictions, 2002
  • Saddling The Rabbit, poetry, 2002 Etruscan Books
  • The Verbals, in conversation with Kevin Jackson, 2003 Worple Press
  • Dining on Stones, novel, 2004
  • Edge of the Orison: In the Traces of John Clare's 'Journey Out Of Essex', non-fiction, 2005
  • The Firewall (selected poems 1979 - 2006), poetry, Etruscan Books, paperback, 2006
  • Buried At Sea, Worple Press, paperback, 2006
  • London: City of Disappearances, editor, various essays about London psychogeography etc., 2006[3]
  • Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire: A Confidential Report, non-fiction, 2009
  • “Sickening”, in Restless Cities, Edited by M. Beaumont and G. Dart, London: Verso, 2010. 257-276.
  • Ghost Milk, non-fiction (memoir), 2011

Cameos

Iain Sinclair's friend Alan Moore has included the character of Andrew Norton, the Prisoner of London, from Slow Chocolate Autopsy in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume III: Century. Norton's appearance in the comic is identical to that of Sinclair.[4]

Notes

External links

Interviews


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sinclair (surname) — Sinclair Family name Revela Domino opera tua Meaning Taken from the hermit saint; this derivation of the St. Claire surname …   Wikipedia

  • Sinclair, Iain — (1943 )    Novelist, short story writer, non fiction author, poet and film maker, he was born in Cardiff, the son of a Welsh general medical practitioner. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and at… …   British and Irish poets

  • Ian Sinclair (disambiguation) — Ian Sinclair is the name of:* Ian Sinclair, Australian politician (born 1929) * Iain Sinclair, British writer (born 1943) * Ian David Sinclair, Canadian businessman and senator (1913–2006) * Ian Sinclair (cricketer), New Zealand cricketer (born… …   Wikipedia

  • Clive Sinclair — For the Somerset Maugham Award winning author, see Clive Sinclair (author). Sir Clive Sinclair Sinclair meeting young inventors in Bristol, England in 1992 Born Clive Marles Sinclair 30 July 1940 …   Wikipedia

  • John Gordon Sinclair — (born 1962 in Glasgow) is a Scottish actor most famous for playing Gregory in Gregory s Girl. Sinclair joined the Glasgow Youth Theatre after he visited one night and met fellow fan of Canadian progressive rock group Rush, Robert Buchanan. As a… …   Wikipedia

  • Millennium Mills — viewed from the northwest. The adjacent building on the left is the former Rank Hovis Premier Mill[1] The Millennium Mills is a derelict turn of the century flour mill in West Silvertown on the south side of the …   Wikipedia

  • Second Aeon — was a British literary periodical published from late 1966 to early 1975. It was edited by Peter Finch.Issues and ContributorsIssue 1late 1966Peter FinchIssue 2June, 1967Wes Magee, Peter Finch, Jan Leslie Olsen, Cavan McCarthy, Keith Armstrong… …   Wikipedia

  • Chris Petit — Born 1949 London, England Occupation Novelist Film director Years active 1980 present Chris Petit (born 1949) is an English novelist and film maker. During the 1970s he was Film Editor for Time Out and wrote in Melody Maker. H …   Wikipedia

  • Roland Camberton — (1921 1965) was a British writer whose real name was Henry Cohen, though his family also knew him as Harry. He won the 1951 Somerset Maugham Award, given to authors under the age of 35, for his novel Scamp . The book had earlier received a… …   Wikipedia

  • Psychogeography — evoL PsychogeogrAphix 2003 evoL PsychogeogrAphix 2003 …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.