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Will Self's writing room in excessive detail.
April 30, 2007 3:38 PM   Subscribe


 
I want to know what he's using them all for, he's clearly got a system. It would be disappointing to peel one off the wall and see that it says Remember to buy milk or something.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 3:54 PM on April 30, 2007


i bet all those post-its begin "note to self: ..."
posted by Hat Maui at 3:58 PM on April 30, 2007 [12 favorites]


Note to Flashman re: the giant ball bearing given to Self from Gormley -- could that be it behind the kleenex box in this picture?

If we were on a journalistic-era Self's cocktail of drugs this could make for a really interesting internet version of "I Spy".
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:01 PM on April 30, 2007


Gah, borked the second link there. This is the picture I was referring to.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:03 PM on April 30, 2007


Warning, number 57 is goatse.
posted by thirteenkiller at 4:15 PM on April 30, 2007


"Warning, number 57 is goatse."

No it's not! Although fifty-six does have some incredible bodies in it.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:44 PM on April 30, 2007


What's the best to read for someone who hasn't read any Self?
posted by xmutex at 6:11 PM on April 30, 2007


Very selfish stuff.

Whenever I see a portrait in-situ of someone I admire, I try to make out what books are on their shelves, and what other ephemera can be found laying about. As a photographer I hated publicists/personal assistants who would 'organise' the locale of my subject - or demand the images to be taken in some sterile environment.

Bizarre as it sounds, I just wish there were more detail here (higher res versions, so I could go in and hunt around, see where he picks and wipes the detritus from that enormous proboscis of his, etc).

Otherwise - great post (its).
posted by strawberryviagra at 6:23 PM on April 30, 2007


I used to have a 21 foot long wall that had nothing on it but recipe cards taped to it with medical tape--plotting for screenplays. I found them cheaper than post its and they stayed up longer and had more room to write. I used to use diff color cards for different types of events or characters and then for some bizarre reason makers of such cards decided they were only going to make white from now on.
posted by dobbs at 6:36 PM on April 30, 2007


Great stuff. I'm presently reading The Book Of Dave, and let me say, the contour lines drawn on the map of Hampstead make a LOT of sense.
posted by WPW at 6:46 PM on April 30, 2007


What's the best to read for someone who hasn't read any Self?

I would recommend My Idea of Fun.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:01 PM on April 30, 2007


Interesting photos; thanks Ufez. Will Self definitely should be kept in mind if 3M decides that Post-its need a celebrity spokesman.
posted by LeLiLo at 7:41 PM on April 30, 2007


I never had time for Will Self until I read that he walked from JFK into Manhattan last time he visited NYC.

I figured anyone who has the stones to do that has earned an honest shot. I immediately ran out and bought The Book of Dave, and was hooked before I got to the end of the first page. It wasn't perfect, but it sure did stone cold r0xx0r compared to the preponderantly disappointing fiction I've read over the last year or two.

Point is, now he's OK by me. This post reinforces that suspicion.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:45 PM on April 30, 2007


anyone who has the stones to do that

Did he walk through East New York?
posted by Kwantsar at 8:29 PM on April 30, 2007


I don't know NY at all (never been there), but this is the piece in NYT that adamgreenfield was speaking of, Kwantsar.

What's the best to read for someone who hasn't read any Self?

I started with him on Great Apes, but at that point in time, I was 18, abroad (in London) for the first time and it kind of blew me away, although the glory that was the Snakebite probably had something to do with that. I've since read most of Self's work (My Idea of Fun, Cock & Bull, the vast majority of his short stories) but nothing was as impressive to me as Great Apes. I've bought it for several people throughout the years since, including the woman I'm living with, but haven't re-read it. I probably should before I recommend it again, some 9 years later.

That said, a lot of his books after Great Apes struck me as great ideas for stories, fantastic ideas, even, but they seem to get lost in either the esotaric vocabulary or pervy slum part of life. I'm not against either of those (I'm more than willing to sit down with a novel in hand and a dictionary by my side), but the great plot lines seem to get lost in all the rest of, well, him Self.

Then again, I'm *far* from someone that could be considered a literary critic. Hell, I'm not even armchair literary critic. I'm more of a recycled chair from Goodwill on the back patio with his $40 dog and cheap vodka critic.

I just kind of dug the link, hence the posting.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:41 PM on April 30, 2007


I'm more of a recycled chair from Goodwill on the back patio with his $40 dog and cheap vodka critic.

I.E., finest kind. (And the books at the Goodwill, at least around here, are $1/bag.)
posted by LeLiLo at 9:24 PM on April 30, 2007


I don't think any post mentioning Will Self is complete without a transcript of his legendary discussion with reactionary idiot tabloid columnist Richard Littlejohn:

SELF: Does it turn into Tolstoy at page 205?

LITTLEJOHN: No it doesn't turn into Tolstoy. I don't set out to be Tolstoy. It is a much more complex book than that.

SELF:Than Tolstoy?
posted by terrynutkins at 11:56 PM on April 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, dear. He didn't puss out. Hats off to that fellow, indeed.
posted by Kwantsar at 1:08 AM on May 1, 2007


Great writer and everything, but the man needs some cupboards...
posted by popkinson at 2:31 AM on May 1, 2007


Thanks Ufez Jones. I'm glad somebody took note of my anguish. Although I'm not completely convinced that's the ball bearing in question. It looks a bit too black and plastic, rather like the decapitated head of an Ikea 'Espresso' desk lamp. Perhaps it's just some special kind of steel.
Now what's puzzling me is why he keeps a butane torch on his desk. I hope he just uses that for cooking up hot knives, and not for anything nasty like.

That NYT article is great by the way, but again a puzzle - whither the quotes and the photographs? A solo tramp across the breadth of NY's desolate hinterlands is a damn cool thing to do, but doing it accompanied by an NYT posse, capturing your bon mots and bold strides, is rather different (in a Heisenberger U. P. kind of way).
posted by Flashman at 5:26 AM on May 1, 2007


"You're not still on heroin, are you?"


WOW. That was a bit harsh.
posted by empath at 5:57 AM on May 1, 2007


I used to have a 21 foot long wall that had nothing on it but recipe cards taped to it with medical tape--plotting for screenplays. I found them cheaper than post its and they stayed up longer and had more room to write. I used to use diff color cards for different types of events or characters and then for some bizarre reason makers of such cards decided they were only going to make white from now on.

How did the screenplay writing work out? I'd really like to know.
posted by Summer at 6:55 AM on May 1, 2007


It's not the quantity of post-its that bothers me, it's the orderly fashion in which they are stuck to the wall. The columns and rows are perfect. This is not normal. Will Self is either OCD on the verge of a meltdown after encountering a germ-infested subway strap, or robotic.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:15 AM on May 1, 2007


Someone, obviously, had to feed the images into panorama stitching software.

Since none of you lazy louts could be bothered, I did.
posted by dansdata at 7:35 AM on May 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


Great work, dansdata!
posted by WPW at 8:58 AM on May 1, 2007


Oh that's fabulous, dansdata!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:37 AM on May 1, 2007


It might have come out a bit better if I went through the input images and pruned out the particular ones that were responsible for some of the blurry spots. They're probably close-up shots of sections that're already covered by wider images, and Autostitch has done its best to squish them on in there even though the perspective is horribly wrong.

But I think it gets the idea across anyway.

(I got a couple of really trippy versions when I accidentally included the last whole panorama attempt among the input images for the next one... :-)
posted by dansdata at 10:36 AM on May 1, 2007


For years I thought that Will Self was a pseudonym for Martin Amis because of the similarly named character in Amis' "Money." Plus they have a bit of stylistic similarity.

Anyway, good post.
posted by lumpenprole at 5:26 PM on May 1, 2007


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