Post- (but not un-) Interesting

June 18, 2007


Saturday was definitely Interesting. A 300-person conference which noone really knew the content of beforehand, but which lived up to its name. And there were even some booktwo-related thoughts in there.

We Are What We Do were one of the first presenters, talking about their book Change The World For A Fiver. The book details 50 simple ways to change the world for a better, and it’s sold over three quarters of a million copies worldwide. That’s fantastic, but what’s almost more impressive is that they persuaded Waterstone’s to take it with a discount of only 10%. I’ve got a longer post coming about discounts and other thoughts on the book trade, but knowing that the usual discount is between 50-70%, that’s quite an achievement.

Jack Schulze gave a great talk on comics, which past STML readers will know are a bit of a passion of mine. Using panels from Grant Morrison‘s The Filth, amongst others, he demonstrated the awesome potential of comics, their extreme sophistication and – while he expressly forbade discussion of the subject – their worth and value as literature. I really want him to do something for London Lit Plus, so if you know him, please bug him.

Tim Milne gave a talk about printing. He made some really interesting points, my favourite being about how when photography came along in the early c.19th, everyone thought it would kill off painting, which up until then had been an almost entirely representative and artisan-based medium. However, photography freed painting from the requirement to literally represent things, and led directly to the development of impressionism and everything that followed after. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how this tied into printing – after this, it got a bit vague – but he appears to be (un)planning something, so keep an eye out.

Matthew D’Ancona, Spectator editor, was there – not the first publication you’d expect to be involved, but they do have blogs now. Still, he did do a pretty good Al Pacino impression.

Elsewhere, there were short talks on splitting logs (yes, with an axe), deconstructing cooking, Ibsen & the muppets, how to make a better erotic film, blogging as librarianship, and much more besides. A lot of it was ‘you had to be there stuff’, so sorry for not explaining more, but there will be plenty more about it elsewhere.

I’m going to be pretty flat out on London Lit Plus for a while, so sorry if there’s not much here for a bit, but please, please, spread the word!

CC-licensed Image from Steve Bowbrick’s Flickr stream

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