Joanna Walsh

The Eye & the Word

By Joanna Walsh.

The eighteenth century philosopher, Johann Georg Hamann, whose double nns stagger through Heidegger’s essay, ‘Language’ (in Poetry, Language, Thought) is, ‘still waiting for the angel with the key to this abyss.’ The abyss, says Heidegger, is something that opens when Hamann asks, ‘how do I know reason from language?’ (or maybe he’s asking, ‘why is one like the other?’). Even sitting in front of my screen, folded into this thing with hands on that perhaps contains what I have to say (or maybe it doesn’t), I can see there are some problems here. Since when did an abyss have a key, so that it can be locked and unlocked? Surely Hamann should have waited for something more practical, like a writing desk, which he could have stood on to climb out of the abyss, if it wasn’t too deep, or which, with the help of a handsaw, he could have made into something that functioned as a ladder, or a bridge. Or maybe he should have asked for the help of a hawk or a raven which, if he had been very light, or if they were very big, might, like the chicken, have been able to get him to the other side. Instead, he waits hopelessly for something that will unlock the rock door of his very solid prison.

‘Regeneration Seeks Amnesia’

What happened at Heygate: Art after Occupy by Joanna Walsh.


I passed over Heygate on the Thameslink last week, for the first time since B. and I trespassed the fences last winter, days after the estate’s one remaining tenant was evicted. From the elevated rails at Elephant and Castle I could see over the ten-foot barriers.

News: March


1.1 Welcome to Colony, co-edited by Rob Doyle.
1.2 Rob has a short story, ‘On Nietzsche,’ in the current Dublin Review.
1.3 Rob has been interviewed by tn2 magazine.
1.4 Rob offers ‘bad writing’ advice to The Stinging Fly: “As an artist of any kind, all you really have are your obsessions, fascinations and perversions, and the way to artistic self-definition is to be trenchantly faithful to them. All the rest is dreary obligation: in other words, community service.”

2. S.J. Fowler’s Fjender project exhibits Morten Søndergaard’s Wordpharmacy (Broken Dimanche Press). More on the Fjender project here.
2.2 Steven comperes an evening of poetry from The Quietus and Blue Pavillion writers, 18 March 2014, 30 Broadway Market, London.

3.1 Darran Anderson’s chapbook, A Hubristic Flea has been published by Blue Pavillion press.
3.2 Darran was on the BBC NI’s Arts Show talking about poetry and the resurrection of The Honest Ulsterman.
3.3 Darran on the Gustave Doré exhibition, Master of Imagination, at the Musée D’Orsay.

4.1 Joanna Walsh has been interviewed by Restless Books.
4.2 ‘A kind of permission’, Joanna picks short story collections for the London Review Bookshop.

5. Hidden City, Karl Whitney’s book on Dublin, has its own page on Penguin, and uses a quote from gorse.

6. Desmond Hogan has an essay on Giorgio Bassani’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis in the current issue of the London Library Magazine.

7. gorse interviewee Adam Thirlwell is in conversation with Stuart Hammond and Joe Dunthorne, as part of Visual Editions’ Literary Explosions, Ace Hotel Shoreditch, London, Wednesday 2nd April at 7.00pm.

8. David Winters reviews Lydia Davis’ The End of the Story in the Quarterly Conversation.