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This report is taken from PN Review 227, Volume 42 Number 3, January - February 2016.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
Iain Sinclair was in Cardiff a few weeks ago to talk about his latest, Black Apples of Gower, a hardback just published in the neat, pocket-sized Little Toller MONOGRAPHS series. The last book I read of his was Ghost Milk, a sustained polemic in which he condemns ‘the age of multilayered development agencies, the tearing out of gardens, the expulsion of small traders, the removal of travellers’, specifically, in this case, to make way for London’s 2012 Olympic Park. For Sinclair, what remains as a legacy of the peripatetic Olympics adds salt to the wounds inflicted by developers on the traditional urban environment. This is a theme he explores on the ground in Berlin and on the mouldering site of the Athens 2004 games – ‘the symbol of a nation’s bankruptcy’. He has his heroes, in Ghost Milk Thomas de Quincy, revered as the first psychogeographer, and J. G. Ballard. With Paris in his sights, he might embrace the redoubtable Richard Cobb (a self-styled ‘walking historian’ and one of my heroes), to whom Haussmannisation and the Périphérique were triple-dyed sins. As a worker in and with film and photography, he probably has Cobb’s The Streets of Paris (with splendid photographs by Nicholas Breach) among his books.

The walks that inform his writing occasionally take him beyond London, once (to the best of my recollection) even as far as Wales, or at least the southern March, with Landor’s Tower (1999), which, he seems to think, did him no good in the land of his fathers. In any event, ...


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