Psychogeography, Short stories, Beer and Nibbles at the Elephant

1st December at the Elephant and Castle, Lewes, 7pm.  An excellent IPA from Roosters Brewery (near Knaresborough in Yorkshire) called YPA because its an IPA with a Yorkshire twist.  The beers from the big brewers up there are all maltier than down south, and so it is with YPA.

Locomotion without a goal, or perhaps aspects of landscape that affect feelings and behaviour, or lots of alternatives.  That’s psychogeography.  I knew of it via Ian Sinclair.  His 2002 book London Orbital was supposed to be exciting and revealing for me, at least I hoped it would be, but I ended up giving it away.  Now I wonder if I might find another copy – I recall it with fondness!

A week or three ago he was on the radio, walking along the south Gower coast and talking about the Red Lady of Paviland.  Perhaps the oldest formal burial discovered in Europe, of Stone Age date – 33,000 years old.  More psychogeography because the landscape recalled childhood memories and evoked feelings.  I think psychogeography is in the mind of the beholder – but perhaps the clue is in the name.

The Lewes version was more random and less special.  Random walks around the town, stopping to a timetable to record place and feelings.  The researcher who was leading this called it a ‘Mappening’, his own patent pending word.  And why not.  Rather more scathingly Peter Messer (present because he’s in a film being shown as part of this event) stayed downstairs in the bar and referred to the activity as ‘banalysis’, an excellent word, which he admitted was borrowed.

The short stories were collected from local writers, and we heard 8 of them read by their authors.  Every one moving, several bringing laughs and near tears.  You can buy a copy of this fine volume – True tales from the Old Hill –  for £10, from the Frogmore Press, check out their BlogSpot.

cover Tales from the Old Hill - RSn

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