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Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions…

Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London (original 1997; edition 1998)

by Iain Sinclair

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398539,810 (3.86)7
Title:Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London
Authors:Iain Sinclair
Info:Granta Books (1998), Paperback, 386 pages
Collections:Your library

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Lights out for the territory: 9 excursions in the secret history of London by Iain Sinclair (1997)


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Showing 5 of 5
Perhaps it is simply Sinclair overloard (1000 pages of his in two weeks), perhaps the concurrent surfeit of images from London dissuaded me. I felt this text was inferior to London Orbital; I also collapsed to a minimal degree per some of Sinclair's personal bifurcations (to cite Roubaud) which I felt flat. His poetic waxing on pitbull culture was an ever-so-prescient for a rasher of recent events. Sinclair's stories overflow with woe yet they amaze and elicit. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Travels across London
  stevholt | Nov 19, 2017 |
you never finish reading Iain Sinclair.
  arroseuse | May 2, 2011 |
  georgematt | Feb 14, 2009 |
It took me forever to read this book, and I don’t think I ever got a handle on it. Subtitled “9 Excursions into the Secret History of London” I imagined it would be the authors thoughts on nine walks about the city. That may be true for the first chapter – a fascinating reading walk of graffiti – and a few other parts, but much of the book is deeper reflections on all aspects of London life such as its contemporary artists, film makers and writers. Experiences come in both diary entry format and long ago events in Sinclair’s life with no linear narrative. And Sinclair’s prose is dense, not unlike Umberto Eco, although thankfully without Eco’s overbearing arrogance. Sinclair writes entire essays returning to the motif of one word whether it be “dogs” or the name “Robinson.” He also makes allusions and drops names nearly every paragraph, so much so I imagine that a life long Londoner may not recognize everything he mentions. This was a challenging book to read, and I’m not sure I grasped it all, but I am glad I read it.

“These days businessmen take their cellphones out to lunch, instead of their mistresses.” (p. 91).

“Museums have got above themselves, touting for funds, when they should remember their origins as mere cabinets of curiosities. Boxes of tricks, bits of animal skin, fossils, plant freaks: blood cargo. You can’t make this pillage acceptable by enclosing it in a fancy building – with an outhouse for the sale of postcards and embossed postcards.” (p. 181) ( )
1 vote Othemts | Jun 25, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Iain Sinclairprimary authorall editionscalculated
Atkins, Marcsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Keep the river road, all the way, and next time you tramp, take shoes and socks with you.

Mark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
i.m. Angela Carter, Robin Cook. And Michael Moorcock in Texas.
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The notion was to cut a crude V into the sprawl of the city, to vandalise dormant energies by an act of ambulant signmaking.
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Walking the streets of London, Iain Sinclair traces nine routes across the territory of the capital. Connecting people and places, redrawing boundaries both ancient and modern, reading obscure signs and finding hidden patterns, Sinclair creates a fluid snapshot of the city. In Lights Out for the Territory he gives us a daring provocative, enlightening, disturbing and utterly unique picture of modern urban life. And in the process he reveals the dark underbelly of a London many of us did not know existed.… (more)

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