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Seminar 2009

Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire
Iain Sinclair

The talk explores the notion that place is a primary generator of stories; that walking becomes a form of writing. Walking, day after day, over the same ground, is rewriting, revising. By this compulsive telling of tales, we are renewed. The poet John Clare speaks of ‘walking in a new world often wondering to my self that I had not found the end of the old one’. The challenge is in getting out of our knowledge, taking ourselves into a place where the birds, the animals, the stones no longer recognise us. And making fiction as a map, to lead us back into deepest parts of ourselves.

Iain Sinclair lives in Hackney, East London. His books include: Downriver (1991), Lights out for the Territory (1997), London Orbital (2002) and, most recently, Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire.

The Power of Stories: Lectures and speakers