The Panopticon finds its North American home at Hogarth and Crown

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.” -Virginia Woolf.

 

In 1917, Virginia and Leonard Woolf started The Hogarth Press from their home, armed only with a handpress and a determination to publish the newest, most exciting writing. Hogarth brought the world authors who shaped the culture of the past 100 years: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Katherine Mansfield, E.M. Forster, Christopher Isherwood, Sigmund Freud, Gertrude Stein, Vita Sackville-West, to name a few.

This year, what began in London in 1917 finds a new life in New York and Hogarth’s goals are no less lofty: bring readers the authors who will shape the culture of the next 100 years: Anouk Markovits, Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, Stephanie Reents, Jay Caspian-Kang, Vincent Lam, Shani Boianjiu, Lawrence Osborne, Ben Masters, and Jenni Fagan.

A rose, is a rose, is a rose. I adore Gertrude Stein, and vintage print presses that pushed the boundaries of what was possible for their authors. I am pathologically drawn to all beautiful books, old and new. Over the last week or so I have had some great conversations with Alexis Washam, Senior Editor at H&C, in New York, and I am hugely impressed by what this new imprint are bringing to the publishing world. I am exceptionally happy to announce that The Panopticon is being published by Hogarth and Crown in the US, Canada, Greenland and all of North America. I am one of those writers with a true travelling hobo soul — so to find this kind of home for The Panopticon — to see it continue its journey out into the world, is totally amazing! I will be looking forward to updating on this one, as and when news comes in. In the meantime I am about to read a bunch of books already being published by Hogarth, can’t wait, I hope they send the canvas bag too. I love to geek out on these things, I played in bands for a long time and it reminds me of great labels like 4AD, or Sub Pop, early Geffen, or Apple. It makes me dance anyway! 

Hogarth is publishing a list of all fiction, all the time: contemporary, voice-driven, character-rich, eclectic, adventurous, provocative, vividly written. “We are honored to create an American life for a great publishing name, and we look forward to building a list of worldly, provocative, and well-written works for a broad and lasting readership,” says Molly Stern, Publisher of Hogarth and Senior Vice President, Publisher, Crown Publishers.

King Kong Theory

I read King Kong Theory this week. Also The Sea by Iris Murdoch which I had to really hang in with but it seems to be paying off about four chapters in. Also tried Hegel and Heidegger again and put them down again. I have got my final line up of poems for The Dead Queen of Bohemia finally and I will leave them for a week then send to publishers. It’s the last few weeks of my degree now so things are mostly caught up with that. Anyway, King Kong Theory has some interesting stuff in there. Virginie Despentes wrote and directed the film Baise-Moi, a violent rape revenge film that caused a lot of controversy when it was released. King Kong Theory has a lot to say about women, beauty, men, rape, violence, porn, aesthetics, class, I read it in an evening and it has some really interesting ideas about how women and men are kept in roles they don’t often enough question. That night there was  a documentary on about a load of London feminists and although I consider myself equal to men it is not my bag, I am not anti-porn, anti-prostitution or even anti-objectification, I am pro … it is your choice, all of it, and if it is your choice then it is nobodies business but yours. Titles of chapters in the book I particularly liked were Your Arse or Mine, She’s so Depraved You Can’t Rape Her and Porno Witch. All nods to Despentes punk rock sensibilities, I like people who say it how they see it, I’ll need to check out Baise-Moi now.

Personally I tend not to think of what other people do or don’t want in words when I write, it’s futile. My protagonist in the novel I’m currently finishing transgresses boundaries and social norms in a million ways but I think she’s pretty regular, there’s just a lot of things a girls not meant to say, which means there is usually a good chance – they are the exact things worth saying.

Salut, Jx

The first task of the woman writer is to kill the Angel in the House.  Virginia Woolf.