Category Archives: Short Story

Ottoman Fight Club – new show by photo-artist Jamie Mcleod

This Thursday a new show of work entitled Ottoman Fight Club by photo-artist Jamie Mcleod opens at Dalston Superstore, London. Mcleod is perhaps best known for his modern pop portraits, most famously with the torch singer Marc Almond, and his bold graphic work borrowing from his obsession with masks, faces, flesh, fonts,  lyrics and symbols which he composes to “create something borrowed, something stolen, something new and a lot that is blue”.

This new work, although eight years in the making as Mcleod immersed himself in the Turkish wrestlers’ culture, marks a departure and development in the London-based New Zealander Mcleod’s work which previously explores his fascination and  empathy with the outsiders, desperadoes, the forgotten and lost of the metropolis.

The images of Ottoman Fight Club were taken at the annual Kirkpinar tournament, held in Edirne, Turkey, which Mcleod visited over an eight-year period and where he established a friendship with the wrestlers. Shot in black and white, and screen-printed in a panoramic style, Mcleod examines the themes of male kinship and sexuality as expressed through the body.

The private view takes place at the Superstore tomorrow (Thursday January 12) at 7 pm and will be a very special event as the punk legend, author and mainstay of the Bromley Contingent, Bertie Marshall shall be reading and the Ginger Light, the musical collaboration of the poet and writer Jeremy Reed will perform a short set. And the magnificent Tiff McGinnis aka Grande Dame aka Crazy Girl will be spinning some maximum rock und roll.

Ottoman Fight Club

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Filed under Art, Art exhibition, Bertie Marshall, British writers, Dalston Superstore, FIlm, Jeremy Reed, LGBT, Literature, Marc Almond, Music, Ottoman Fight Club, Performance, Photography, Poetry, Private view, Short Story, The Ginger Light, Tiff McGinnis, Turkish Wrestlers, Wrestling

A black falling empty unfamous star: Jonesying – The End by Elizabeth Young

The late Elizabeth Young is one of my favourite writers and critics. Her journalism was published widely and her short stories have featured in various collections. This Christmas I thought I’d post a seasonal short story, an anti-Christmas story if you like, by her – Jonesying – The End, which includes,  some of my favourite lines ever:

“He turned up on Xmas Eve. I was feeling sorry for myself. I kept hearing that song on the radio, something like ‘So now it’s Xmas/And what have you done?’ (Fuck all.) It ends balefully – ‘the Xmas you get you deserve’ – so reassuring.”

And:

“How does that hymn go? ‘Change and decay in all around I see …’
Right. I should get that methadone and some extra sleepers and come off. I know I should.

I’ll start tomorrow.”

Young was one of the most gifted literary critics and writers to emerge from the UK over the last 30 years. Very, very sadly she died of Hepatitis C at the age of 51 in 2001. Combining an extraordinarily fierce intellect with a filigree sensitivity, natural unforced writing talent and enormous breadth of literary knowledge. An elegant writer and perhaps too talented for this world.

A collection writing of most of her writing (but not, unfortunately, containing any of her fiction), Pandora’s Handbag, was published by Serpent’s Tail, posthumously, and it is a book that I highly recommend. It is a work of unassuming genius.

Pandora's Handbag – Adventures in the Book World by Elizabeth Young

Anyway, here is a short story by her: Jonesying – the End, Young’s mordant riposte to the other eponymous Miss Jones,  which was published in the Time Out Book of London Short Stories Volume Two, edited by Nicholas Royle (2000).

Her good friend, the writer Stewart Home, who Young described in Pandora’s Handbag, as being a “conceptual artist, installationist, theorist, novelist and all-round cultural terrorist”, wrote a very moving tribute to Young.

I realise that these jpgs  are possibly not the best way to present scans online, so I apologise in advance for the legibility, or otherwise, of these scans. If anyone would like me to email them my pdfs of the pages, please contact me.

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Filed under 20th century writers, Art, Elizabeth Young, Literature, Poetry, Short stories, Short Story, UK fiction, UK short stories, Winter

Robert – a short story

So, an experiment. Here is a (very) short story which I wrote, perhaps, over 20 years ago, it being one of my first attempts at fiction. I found the original typed pages this year and thought that perhaps I would post them here. I’m not sure how legible they will be on this platform. But here goes.

Growing up in the UK in 70s was quite a different experience to doing so now. Most families weren’t, how can I put it, child-centred. It was more like children should be seen and not heard, at least that’s how I remember things. But I was just another tortured teen, I suppose.

Let me know what you think and I’ll post some more.

Robert – a short story page 1

Robert – a short story page 2

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Filed under Literature, Short Story, UK fiction