Owing to other commitments I am unable to post this week so I thought I would share my radio highlights with you. They might not be on I-Player for too long so hurry!
My opinion of Will Self (for what it's worth) fluctuates wildly. Following his most recent broadcast on Radio 4 I find that the pendulum has swung in his favour: his position on London's urban planning (such that it is) and the recent proliferation of skyscrapers (spear headed, aptly, by that most hastate of structures, the Shard) is one with which I sympathise entirely. There is a wonderful remark towards the end of this programme in which he considers the inter-relationship between the sordidness and the beauty of the city... but I 'm paraphrasing and it would be best for you to hear it for yourself:
Following a similar psychogeographic bent is Reimagining the City: Istanbul. Here writer Elif Shafak sketches an intriguing portrait of a place that is both familiar and alien to me. The writer has been living in Istanbul since her early twenties and the city is central to much of her literary output. On more than one occasion in this programme Shafak refers to the city as a "liquid city"; she perceives the fluidity of Istanbul's history, architecture and demographics as integral to its contemporary character. To outsiders, Istanbul's romance is tied to its apparently uncomfortable position, straddling the diametrically opposed worlds of the occident and the orient, two irreconcilable entities, oil and water. Shafak questions the oil-water trope, instead perceiving Europe and Asia as "two different kinds of water... mix[ing] all the time":
Finally, David Bowie needs know help in promoting his first single in... well, in ever but I'm going to anyway. It is its own psychogeography: a journey through a city that is no longer with us, a Berlin of a bygone era recollected by a man entering his elder years... walking the dead indeed...