The uncanny (or ‘unheimlich’ in German) is not the strange, but ‘the familiar become strange’ according to Freud’s 1919 essay. He provides a useful catalogue of entities that trigger the feeling of uncanny (such as doppelgängers) and tries to explain it as a fear of castration (!). One mark of the uncanny is that it […]
I haven’t been able to see much of Frankfurt, apart from the immediate neighbourhood where I take my daily ‘exercise’ around the same few streets in Bockenheim. Because my German isn’t (yet) fluent I’m very conscious of all the language I encounter on my walks. Passers-by talk to each other and their words dissipate into […]
Last week I went to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to see Cut and Paste, an exhibition of collages. One of the works included from the early twentieth century is ‘According to the Laws of Chance’, created by the German/French artist Hans/Jean Arp in 1933 when he ripped a sheet of black paper […]
My essay ‘A random walk between Germany and Scotland’ is included in ‘A Place They Called Home’; an anthology of work by Jewish people exploring their new German citizenship, edited by Donna Swarthout and published by Berlinica Press.
My poem ‘Physics for the unwary student’ (one of the Best Scottish Poems of 2016) is included in a beautiful new anthology; ‘A Year of Scottish Poems’, edited by Gaby Morgan and published by Pan Macmillan.
I recently had published in the TLS a review of two SF anthologies; ‘Moonrise’ and ‘Lost Mars’, both edited by Mike Ashley and published as part of the Science Fiction Classics series by the British Library.
I’m chuffed that four of my poems are included in Multiverse, the upcoming anthology of SF poetry to be published by award-winning Shoreline of Infinity (British Fantasy Society Award 2018 for best magazine!) in December.
‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ is one of my favourite books. I first encountered it when I was about 14 or 15 years old, a pretentious teenager who liked to wander around with books that I thought would show how clever I was, without actually going to the bother of reading them. (In […]
I’m coming to the end of my stay here in Dilsberg/Heidelberg and am thinking about what the next stage is for the ‘something’ that I’ve started writing. I am working out how to convey facts as well as my musings on the gaps between the facts – I think the narrative will require a hybrid […]
I’m in Germany to write about my grandfather, who came from Offenbach am Main (a city not far away from where I’m staying near Heidelberg), before he moved to England in the late 1930s. In the past I’ve written a flash fiction about him, and more recently an essay and a couple of poems. I’m […]