Empire, Kitty. “Pretty Vacant Or Spiky-Haired Situationists?” The Observer (The New Review section), 19 November 2017, p. 36.
. . . Were the art school games of canny old hippies behind punk? Sometimes, but perhaps more in theory than practice. An essay in Punk Is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night by fanzine writer Tom Vague retraces McLaren’s appetite for destruction back through the situationists, the lettrists, psychogeography and a tiny late 60s Notting Hill faction called King Mob (a reference to the Gordon Riots of 1780).
Authors Richard Cabut and Andrew Gallix have skin in the game; Cabut is an ex-punk (“In the summer of 1977 I am 17 – perfect”) who became a playwright, while Gallix is at the Sorbonne and edits a free-ranging literary webzine called 3:AM (“whatever it is, we’re against it”). The book’s title (Modernity Killed Every Night) quotes Jacques Vaché, friend to the surrealist André Breton. But Punk Is Dead isn’t end-to-end cultural theory; there’s a lot on clothes. Three strands unfurl — papers, essays and first-person accounts. Cabut and Gallix have included historical documents — such as Penny Rimbaud’s 1977 essay, Banned from the Roxy, newly annotated by the Crass drummer — while Gallix argues that punk started ending when it acquired a name. Jon Savage is here, and Ted Polhemus and Vermorel (again).
As that list attests, punk can be a tiresomely Boy’s Own narrative, to which former Slit Viv Albertine’s 2014 memoir was a potent corrective. With the exception of Judy Nylon’s introduction and the reminiscences of go-go dancer turned drummer Dorothy Max Prior, however, this collection is let down by its dearth of female voices. Perhaps the notion to take away from both books — indeed from punk itself — is the one of endless possibility. As an interview with the punk turned philosopher Simon Critchley attests, punk unleashed ideas. It palpably changed suburban teenage futures, rather than ending them.
Tranter, Rhys. “Andrew Gallix on the Virtues of Writing Slowly.” RhysTranter.com, 28 October 2017:
Since interviewing Michelle Boulous Walker about “slow philosophy” earlier this month, I have been thinking about the way we approach writing within institutional or commercial settings. It seems I am not the only one. Lauren Elkin has posted a link to a piece by Andrew Gallix where he reflects on the benefits of writing at a slower pace:
[B]ack in February, I expressed concern at the accelerating pace of publishing and called (half-jokingly) for the creation of a Slow Writing Movement (SWM), modelled on the Slow Food phenomenon. Word processing probably enables people to write faster than ever, and the internet provides the sometimes dubious means of instant publication.
As a result, what often passes for fiction today would have been considered no more than an early draft only a few years ago. In truth, however, the digital age has simply compounded a problem caused by the increasing hegemony of one school of writing (the Ionic) over another (the Platonic).”
— Andrew Gallix, The Guardian
Sketching a brief history of Ionic vs. Platonic writing, Gallix identifies a social/economic bias that sets the quick work of the “hack” against the slow, patient verse that privilege can afford. But his central point remains crucially relevant in a digital age of around-the-clock productivity: perhaps a Slow Writing Movement can make us stop for a moment to catch our breath?
Eva Orúe, “Slowhand es un artista, pero no (siempre) el que crees,” infoLibre 19 March 2017:
Cierto es que escribir no es lo que era. Trabajar con ordenadores y procesadores de texto permite a los autores juntar palabras más rápido que nunca, e Internet les brinda la oportunidad de publicar de manera instantánea, sin esperar a que un editor dé el plácet a tu texto. Consecuencia de lo cual es, sostiene el escritor Andrew Gallix, que lo que hoy pasa por narrativa publicable, “hace sólo unos años habría sido considerado si acaso como un borrador temprano”. De ahí que su propuesta de crear un Slow Writing Movement (SWM) a imagen (literaria) del fenómeno Slow Food, lanzada medio en serio medio en broma, quizá merezca una nueva oportunidad.
Clare Margetson, “The Hay Relay: The End-less Wait is Over,” The Guardian 4 July 2007
I blame Andrew Gallix’s slow writing movement. David Hockney, too. Sparked by his concerns about our non-visual age I’ve taken a leaf out of his book and taken to gazing out of the window a great deal recently. But all these fantastic clouds in the sky are a huge distraction. So, we’re late, we’re late in putting up this post.
Lee Rourke, “A Bookshop Going Places,” Guardian Books 13 July 2011
First we had slow food, then slow writing and now, quite naturally it seems, we have slow bookselling.