Hauntology
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Hauntology
All things hauntological, atemporal and future past nostalgic in music, media, art and ideas
Curated by Sean Albiez
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All the Memory in the World, All the Music in the World: Mediating Musical Patrimony in the Digital Age | Elodie Amandine Roy | Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network

All the Memory in the World, All the Music in the World: Mediating Musical Patrimony in the Digital Age | Elodie Amandine Roy | Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network | Hauntology | Scoop.it
From 2014 - 'In this article, I will examine the internet through the lens of consumption and waste studies. The internet will be conceived of as the place where the cultural waste of music – in the form of marginal artefacts and obsolete media (such as vinyl records, tapes, and ephemera) – can effectively be excavated, recirculated and re-mediated by means of systematic digitisation and uploading. The redemptive role of popular and spontaneous digital archives (such as the video platform YouTube or dedicated audio blogs) will be critically examined. Complementarily, I will underline the idea that the internet also encourages a paradoxical return of tangible artefacts, as the work of digital music collectors may prompt the actual reissue of previously lost music objects (a tendency that is exemplified in the UK by the work of British contemporary reissue record labels such as Trunk Records or Finders Keepers). The internet will be discussed as an ambiguous site of redemption, forming the basis for a nostalgic retro-consumption of music. As such, it will be conceived of as a site of memory and as a possible archive, though the ambiguity of such a term will be discussed. I will reflect upon the cultural meaning of digital archives that, as they are ceaselessly renewed, continue to erase themselves. Lastly, I will suggest that the forms of redemption that are enabled by the internet are strictly inseparable from the production of further layers of cultural waste. Departing from Straw's assertion that the internet ‘has strengthened the cultural weight of the past, increasing its intelligibility and accessibility’ (2007, 4), I will point out that the internet may accelerate the processes of cultural obsolescence and oblivion that it seeks to suspend.' - Elodie Amandine Roy
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Haunted Cultures/ Haunting Cultures:
Spectres and Spectrality
in Cultural Practices | Toruń, 22-23 September 2016 | Book of Abstracts

'Department of English at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń invites you to attend the international conference whose major theme “Haunted Cultures/ Haunting Cultures” explores the cultural significance of the figure of the spectre, spectrality, haunting and hauntology in their deconstructive and/or other more traditional contexts. Following Jacques Derrida’s argument that “[t]here is then some spirit. Spirits. And one must reckon with them. One cannot not have to, one must not not be able to reckon with them…” (Derrida, 2006, xx), we invite papers reflecting on the place of the spectral figure, spectral metaphors and conceptualisations in past and present cultures. In its deconstructive preoccupations, hauntology endeavours to account for the persistence of the unspeakable and unnameable in cultural practices and discourses. One of our aims is to encourage a debate on the relevance and legitimacy of these spectral presences and/or absences in the twenty first century technologically advanced cultures.'
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Anja & The Memory People, by The Asistent

'Is this real? Considering the current prevalence of imaginary film and TV scores emerging from the underground I’m guessing not, but then again so many of the sounds on this are just too perfect. Proclaiming to be the "30 minute score from Czech TV thriller Anja And The Memory People" which suspiciously disappeared after airing on Czechoslovakian TV in 1975. One imagines those forlorn washed-out colours from Don't Look Now soundtracking suspenseful drawn-out encounters between mistrusting characters while some invisible force is hard at work behind the scenes… So it’s clearly a mocked up retrofuturist vision straight out of the Ghost Box Records hauntology playbook - all arpeggiated synths and slowly released tension - but it’s an extremely well-realised vision.' - The Quietus
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Transpondency : 234 - Suburban Transpondency | Hauntology: The Future Belongs To Ghosts

'Developed in his 1993 work Specters of Marx, Jacques Derrida coined hauntology as a philosophical means of understanding history concerned with the nature of being, existence, reality, and time. The concept of hauntology stems out of postmodern ideology, particularly Derrida's deconstructionism. In simple terms, it is a means of understanding that the present exists in respect to the past, and that the modernist conception of time moving in a linear direction is false. In this sense, the hauntological analysis plays upon an enigmatic form of fragmented and anachronistic memory, in a dreamlike and often subtly dreadful manner. Remnants of the past are re-applied to the present; the past exists within the present, constantly haunting humanity. Although initially utilized to describe the lingering traces of Marxism upon society, hauntology has since branched out in a variety of ways, including the realm of art. Whether by applying ideas to art as a postmodern critique of culture, or by simply studying the philosophy, hauntology may duly be used to explain time in a non-linear fashion and what our position within culture may actually be.' - Transpondency
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The Haunted City - Emily Reynolds

The Haunted City - Emily Reynolds | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'What is a city? Functionally, we know how we would answer the question. It is the sprawling mass of a concrete estate, the staccato thrum of a high rise. Hospitals, fat with tubes and machines, plaster casts and pain; the high pitched whine of school playgrounds. A tumorous spread of shops and offices; banks, department stores, factories, warehouses. It is the delicate, chaotic tangle of infrastructure, the thick, slow momentum of a bus exhaust, the rattling comfort of a subway train. 

It is more than this, though. We also know that it is more than this. The digital avatar of the street that sits on your screen as you try to navigate the world might be purely functional, but its real life equivalent is not. A street contains houses, of course: it contains cars, road markings, lamp posts, chewing gum, gardens, dogs, litter. The physical manifestations of material existence. 

But streets also contain ghosts. The ghosts of people, of conversations, of scabbed knees; the clammy grasp of a held hand, a malicious thought that pops up again and again, triggered by the sight of the pothole you were scuffing with your foot when it first burst, unwarranted, into your consciousness. The city becomes a criss-cross of half-remembered anecdote; here is the street we first kissed on, here is the bar we sat in night after night, your head in my hands as if in prayer. Here, on an innocuous, invisible corner, is where we have our first argument, the paint on the wall we lean on staining your jacket and your jeans with a snowy spray of dust that sits quietly on you for the next week and a half. Each road lines up in a web of you-ness, the clumsy memories of past encounters permeating not only my thoughts but also my city, my eyes, my movements, my cells.' - Emily Reynolds (words) / Alexander Christie (photos)
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POSTmatter - What's in a Rave - Nora Khan

POSTmatter - What's in a Rave - Nora Khan | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'Lee Gamble is from Birmingham and has been making music since he was 11 years old. His interests range across the arts, philosophy, and theory, pursued in part through his CYRK collective, and currently, through his new record label, UIQ. His Diversions (1994 – 1996), released in 2012, has been described as ­Leckey-like, a collage of sculpturally refashioned loops and snippets from jungle tapes. Possibly to his chagrin, the release sparked a wave of new conversations in the music press about hauntology. “The whole idea of nostalgia is ridiculous,” Gamble stated in an Electronic Beats interview at the time. “Nostalgia is always about looking back and seeing the good bits […] but what if we concentrated on the aspects of the culture that didn’t work?' - Nora Khan
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Heavy Water (short film) - Celluloid Wicker Man

Heavy Water (short film) - Celluloid Wicker Man | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'I remember being sat on a bench on Dunwich Heath in September last year and seeing the dome of Sizewell B for the first time as an adult. I had just walked a little way down the coast, after a day of filming further down at Orford Ness, from Dunwich beach through to the heath. I simply was not expecting to be greeted by such an alien object. In spite of having been surrounded all day with alien, Cold War architecture on the Ness, Sizewell seemed even more odd, almost impossibly so. In between where I was and where it was sat the Minsmere RSPB reserve, the ultimate in popular wildlife destinations. How could such a foreboding object simply sit uncontested on the land, especially around a land that is filled to the brim with people whose sole purpose in being there was to observe? It screamed of a delicious conspiracy and one that needed to be filmed on super-8 though Heavy Water is more than simply a travelogue. Because of the history of Dunwich and because of a constant engagement with Hauntology as a theme, the two places spoke to each other with such ease as to make the film an almost post-apocalyptic proposition.' - Celluloid Wicker Man
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Laughing Stock: Broadcast's Use Of A Refracted Past - Eden Tizard

Laughing Stock: Broadcast's Use Of A Refracted Past - Eden Tizard | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'Around about the time of 'Tender Buttons' a theory started circulating. In an essay on the scene, Simon Reynolds coined the phrase Hauntology. This was in relation largely to the Ghost Box record label - run by the graphic designer Julian House and fellow music artist Jim Jupp. The idea basically cantered around a nostalgia for a lost future. A utopianism which was dreamed of but never realised. The music looked back to a time when the future didn't come with doom laden connotations but could be looked upon with a degree of wonder. This music was made by artists like Belbury Poly, The Focus Group and the Advisory Circle. The scene had a melancholic air - inevitable due to the theme of lost utopias - but also a playful sense of messing with the past. Though not sharing the same sound a number of different artists were loosely linked to the scene. 

The dubstep of Burial was said to be a reaction to the reality of the rave dream not coming into fruition, Boards of Canada used warm analogue synths over contemporary electronics to explore ideas of innocence, childhood and nostalgia, whilst Arial Pink created a lo-fi interpretation of forgotten pop music. Broadcast are also a band which has been linked to this idea, and I think that there is some truth in that, however I still believe the band are not that easy to pigeonhole.' - Eden Tizard 
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Dérives: The Magnet and The Last Resort (New Brighton) | Celluloid Wicker Man

Dérives: The Magnet and The Last Resort (New Brighton) | Celluloid Wicker Man | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'I remember the stories my grandparents would tell me about going to this ballroom. My granddad sang here, losing out to Gerry and the Pacemakers in a talent competition. Look up any archive photos and the place feels alive, vibrant, you can almost hear the music playing; a hauntology not unlike The Shining. To rub salt in the wound, there’s now a blue plaque on a plinth to commemorate the “27 occasions” when The Beatles played the ballroom. Only in the north west could a building be deemed both suitable to be demolished (which it was after a fire in 1969, a fate that renders any building on Merseyside handily irreparable) and worthy of a commemorative plaque celebrating its historical importance.' - Adam Scovell
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SCHOOL OF SHOCK: Q+A: John Krish on railway scare film “THE FINISHING LINE”

SCHOOL OF SHOCK: Q+A: John Krish on railway scare film “THE FINISHING LINE” | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'THE FINISHING LINE is equally memorable, but its lingering place in the British psyche is more associated with nausea than tearful sentimentality. In what has been likened to a Python-esque satire (Krish objects to the comparision), THE FINISHING LINE portrays a fantastical ‘sports day’ along a functioning railway line, where schoolchildren participate in a sanctioned barrage of dangerous games including ‘Fence-breaking’, ‘Stone-throwing’, ‘Last Across’ and – most dire of all – ‘The Great Tunnel Walk’. The end result of all of these games is child fatalities, and Krish doesn’t shy away from showing the bloodied bodies of the fallen players. From today’s perspective, it’s a miracle this ever got made, much less funded by a government organization. But I can bet if you saw this film as a kid, there was no way in hell you’d find yourself near a railway line anytime soon.' - Kier-La Janisse
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Concretism

Music of a grim, Cold War Britain. Since 2010.

- New album coming winter 16/17

'It sounds like Hauntology was always going to sound; a little old, a little new. It re-imagines that world as it could have been and then starts wondering how we’d lost the plot.' -Freq Magazine 

'An act that falls roughly into hauntology territory without the twee undertones of others in the genre.' -Mat Handley, Sine FM
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Stranger Things’ score is a gateway into synthwave | The AV Club | Sean O'Neal

Stranger Things’ score is a gateway into synthwave | The AV Club | Sean O'Neal | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'Not Not Fun, Italians Do It Better, and Mondo are all preceded by the U.K.-based label Ghost Box, whose output—heavily steeped in a faux-archivist narrative regarding pop culture artifacts that never actually existed—was rigorously designed to look and sound like library finds from a parallel world. Its sense of nostalgia, an amalgam of familiar yet slightly “off” touchstones from the ’60s through the ’80s, spurred music writer Simon Reynolds to borrow the Jacques Derrida phrase “hauntology” to describe its time-slipped retro-futurism (which could also apply to Stranger Things). Though much of Ghost Box’s output treads toward musique concrete, both The Advisory Circle and especially Pye Corner Audio traffic in the sort of Cold War-era synth moods we’re looking for here.' - Sean O'Neal
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Ghosts, Haunting, and Intergenerational Transmission of Affect: From Cryptonymy to Hauntology | Sadeq Rahimi

Ghosts, Haunting, and Intergenerational Transmission of Affect: From Cryptonymy to Hauntology | Sadeq Rahimi | Hauntology | Scoop.it

'This paper addresses the need for a conceptualization of subjectivity capable of releasing subjective experience from its temporal moorings. Emerging theories of ghosts and haunting are discussed as significant developments towards such conceptualization. Two ways of thinking about ghosts and haunting are examined: one that recognizes haunting as a foundational process at the root of human selfhood, and another that recognizes in haunting a pathology and silent suffering in need of healing.' - Sadeq Rahimi

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Popular Music and Retro Culture in the Digital Era | Jean Hogarty | Routledge

Popular Music and Retro Culture in the Digital Era | Jean Hogarty | Routledge | Hauntology | Scoop.it
This book explores the trend of retro and nostalgia within contemporary popular music culture.Using empirical evidence obtained from a case study of fans’ engagement with older music, the book argues that retro culture is the result of an inseparable mix of cultural and technological changes, namely, the rise of a new generation and cultural mood along with the encouragement of new technologies. Retro culture has become a hot topic in recent years but this is the first time the subject has been explored from an academic perspective and from the fans’ perspective. As such, this book promises to provide concrete answers about why retro culture dominates in contemporary society.
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Filling the Hauntologist’s stocking | The Ploughman's Lunch

Filling the Hauntologist’s stocking | The Ploughman's Lunch | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'Of course another idiosyncrasy within Hauntology as a genre is that aurally it’s so disparate. A large part of what constitutes it as a genre is thematic, ideological even, rather than a sense of musical homogeneity. Hauntology is perhaps easiest to conceptualise in terms of materiality, the music reflecting both decay and deterioration but also accumulation and the amassing of cultural debris. It is far easier then, we can suggest, to identify a hauntological visual aesthetic than a single distinctive sound and we might expect this aesthetic to be characterised by visual materials that have been degraded and deliberately aged, as well as the recreation and re-appropriation of temporally situated images subverted to new purpose.' - The Ploughman's Lunch
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Blade Runner: Anatomy of a Classic | Stephen Dalton | BFI

Blade Runner: Anatomy of a Classic | Stephen Dalton | BFI | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'Reaching back four decades into the past to help imagine a future four decades hence, the film’s visual reference points include Edward Hopper’s iconic 1942 painting Nighthawks, Miss Havisham’s clutter-strewn bedroom in David Lean’s classic Dickens adaptation Great Expectations, and Joan Crawford’s vampish outfits in Mildred Pierce. The film’s rousing score by Vangelis throbs with strident analogue electronica, but also lonely jazz saxophones and bluesy echoes from the past. Blade Runner is saturated in melancholy, overshadowed by death and peopled by ghosts. Visually and sonically, it is awash with hauntological whispers.' - Stephen Dalton
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Dark Ecology and Haunted Technology in Stranger Things | mariaxrose

Dark Ecology and Haunted Technology in Stranger Things | mariaxrose | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'What is striking about Netflix’s Stranger Things is exactly its emphasis on strange things. The suffix draws attention to what we mean by things: who or what are we comparing the stranger things to? Ourselves? The creatures we coexist with, the ones we have already charted, taxonomised, ordered and made familiar through Enlightenment science, zoology and philosophy? How many horror films have we seen where that which is monstrous is not other to us but somehow represents the other within us? As Virginia Woolf said of Henry James’ ghosts: ‘They have their origin within us. They are present whenever the significant overflows our powers of expressing it; whenever the ordinary appears ringed with the strange’ (1921). When what we take as given, as natural or normal–is revealed as inherently disturbed–the boundaries of meaning violently ruptured or haunted, there incurs a fundamental split in what we take to be reality itself. We are forced to question our place in the ‘world’ not just as a human but as a physical subject tout court.' - mariaxrose
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Eurovision by Steckdose [Still Heat Recordings]


Eurovision by Steckdose, released 25 September 2016 released on Still Heat Recordings - '... Blistered VHS soundtracks , tech-noise, dark ambience, industrial dub, hauntology, hiss and smudged drones .. Ltd edition Cassette / DL only label.'
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Artificial Nostalgia / Hauntology Film - John Christian Ferner Apalnes

'Here I'm playing with the idea of creating a hauntological film. Hauntology encompasses the ideas of "the past inside the present", bordering between nostalgia and an enigmatic remoteness of real or made up pasts. 

Heavily influenced by the British music label Ghost Box (http://www.ghostbox.co.uk/, who play along similar chords) I wanted to explore the concepts behind Hauntology and what I personally consider to be artificial memory, through a physical Ghost Box (which in reality was an old Akai Tape recorder) and also the look of the film itself, hence the exagerrated sixties/seventies feel in the footage (which I actually shot digitally with a Canon 550D), and using the penguin-esque design and pallette, which is a nod to both Ghost Box but also the overall design aesthetics from the past. In addition, analog technology plays a large role in the Hauntological canon as well, like the use of the Cathode Ray- Oscilloscope. 

I wanted the music to be both haunting and modernistic, bridging between Sixties Sci-Fi soundtracks and Modernistic music. The background voice is gathered from an old NRK news archive about Life during the sixties, featuring topics like time, death and so on...' - John Christian Ferner Apalnes
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Camera - Phantom of Liberty (review) | The Quietus

Camera - Phantom of Liberty (review) | The Quietus | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'It's as though Camera are invoking a hauntological form of kosmische music, a disinterring of historical artefacts in order to make some form of sense out of the future that never arrived, never even came close, four decades gone by.' - Euan Andrews
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The Quietus | Kemper Norton - Toll (review)

The Quietus | Kemper Norton - Toll (review) | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'Toll shows Norton is surely becoming a master of music that, alongside other modern outlier visionaries such as Daniel Patrick Quinn, is not concerned with purity and nostalgia, but instead pieces itself together from the flotsam and jetsam of sounds and tales that collect all around us. The fact that with Toll he creates a folklore where ancient tales of Breton Princess riding the seas atop a fearsome horse (‘Dahut’) and characters from the PC MMORPG game Dark Age of Camelot (‘Danaoin’) are given equal weight and importance bear this out. The music meanwhile may seem at times poised and controlled - a staple of electronic music created through laptop means – but bubbling underneath is a teeming mass of sadness and loss that evokes the mutable mess of history, myth, and duration.' - Bob Cluness
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Call for Articles: Promises of Monsters Conference Publication

Call for Articles: Promises of Monsters Conference Publication | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'Monsters are back, or perhaps they never went away. They haunt popular culture and social media. They lurk as images of dread and terror in politics, and figures of thought within academia. As shadows of the past they reappear as the potential biotechnological realities of today. They roam the in-between, making borders and boundaries tremble and shatter; whether these be borders of nation states or bodies, or categories of race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, self and other. In this sense, the monster embodies a promise of disturbances and change, as Donna Haraway argued in her 1992 text “The Promises of Monsters”.'
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ELA ORLEANS: Ghosts And Whispers (from CIRCLES OF UPPER AND LOWER HELL LSSN040)

'Ghost and Whispers is a hit from another universe, a sparkling propulsion instantly recognizable as an Ela Orleans composition; light of touch and almost unbearably, ghostlily human. Circles Of Upper and Lower Hell is an honest portrayal of a descent; be it personal or metaphorical and there are times, like on the minimal, string-led Tower, when the listener feels submerged, alienated from comfort. Through-out there's a massive, cinematic scope to the album, rumbling synth textures escalating into celestial harmonies, the stereo-field sparkling with sound, shimmering melodies crackling with the sort of pathos that Ela has made her recognisable trademark. It’s a weighty journey, pitched aurally between Ghost Box records and a mournful classicism, drawing references from literature and autobiography.'
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England’s Dark Dreaming | Paul Watson

England’s Dark Dreaming | Paul Watson | Hauntology | Scoop.it
'In April 2015 I wrote a post in which I drew comparisons between our current times and the social and political upheaval around the time of the English Civil War (upheavals separate to the armed conflict of the civil war itself): 

"The whole of Britain (not just England) seems to be in a similar mode of radicalism and revaluing at the moment, albeit that blogs and online articles have replaced pamphlets and broadsheets, and this time they’re talking about landscape, rewilding, psychogeography, archaeology, myth, and hauntology as well as politics and government. The British political landscape has also changed over the past few years: the recent seven-party televised election debates replacing the three-party debates of 2010, the rise of Scottish Nationalism and last year’s close referendum on Scottish Independence (and the inevitable prospect of a second referendum at some point in the future), talk about devolution of central government power to local governments in England as well as Scotland and Wales that might actually happen (although maybe I’m being too optimistic there), and the Snowden leaks that prompted people to re-evaluate the reach of government into private life. I should say that I’m not expecting Britain or England to erupt into civil war or revolution, but I think the similarities in the upsurge of radical rethinking and revaluing is notable, and non-violent change seems afoot."

Since writing that post we’ve seen the emergence of a new left-wing radicalism in the Labour Party, with Jeremy Corbyn as the figurehead, but supported by a huge rise in grassroots Labour Party membership (which I think it’s safe to say reflects a large scale rise in political activism, or at least political consciousness, amongst previously unpoliticised people). This, along with the extending reach of far-right politics, reflected in increased UKIP support and a rightwards-shift in the Conservative Party, has been cited as start of the collapse of the “Neo-Liberal Consensus” or, at the very least, a massive expansion of the Overton Window.' - Paul Watson
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Penda’s Fen: a lasting vision of heresy and pastoral horror | Guardian

Penda’s Fen: a lasting vision of heresy and pastoral horror | Guardian | Hauntology | Scoop.it
From 2014 - 'The film is a passionate deconstruction of conservative myths about nationhood. At a critical point, the formerly hidebound Stephen cries out: “No, no! I am nothing pure! My race is mixed. My sex is mixed. I am woman and man, light with darkness, nothing pure! I am mud and flame!” Rather than hewing to a belief in tradition, continuity or stability, Rudkin champions hybridity and what Salman Rushdie would later term cultural “mongrelisation”. A while before it became fashionable for historians to talk about the inseparability of “nation and narration” or “the invention of tradition”, Rudkin was arguing that English Christianity was a violently imposed ideology. The family, heterosexuality, militarised manhood: all these pillars of patriotism take a tumble.' - Sukhdev Sandhu

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