In recent weeks I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Iain Sinclair and Audi. The car manufacturer puts it this way: “Author Iain Sinclair joins filmmaker Chris Petit as they take an unusual trip though the North West of England. Available on The Audi Channel SKY 884.”
Richard DeDomenici sent me this message the other day: “What do you think of Iain Sinclair’s Audi advert? I have mixed emotions. Surprise, disappointment, and jealousy.”
I replied: “Oh I have no problems with it… except I don’t like cars (everyone should use public transport)… but we all have to live out the contradictions of capitalism and Sinclair has paid his dues and deserves to be where he is… and he needs the money… I mean what can you say… He’d probably rather be doing something else but has to pay the bills….same goes for Chris Petit, it’s his advert too..”
Now I’m wondering if next time I see Sinclair he’ll be driving a new Audi rather than his old Merc. But what I’m really looking forward to his new book “Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire: A Confidential Report”, out later this year. That’s gotta be more interesting than an Audi advert, even one featuring Sinclair and Chris Petit!
In terms of Sinclair paying his dues, check out what Ben Watson has to say about him: “The notion of artistic ‘genius’ – a mysterious attribute granted to a few special individuals – allows journalists to pretend that their own lack of literary creativity derives from innate limitations rather than real conditions of life and thought. Sinclair’s ‘vision’ and ‘imagination’ do not spring from nowhere. Born in 1943, success has come late. A ‘literary failure’, he spent the 70s and 80s as a hippie drop-out, parks labourer and book-dealer, publishing his own small-edition runs of poetry. This was a crucial apprenticeship: a commitment to the Word vindicated by Downriver‘s power to awaken us to the realities of London”
Likewise, for my at length take on Sinclair’s films go to:
And if you really want to know, I don’t think Sinclair is Belle de Jour… I mean compare their prose, could anyone (even me!) be that versatile?? And is it actually worth asking the question: “Is Chris Petit the man behind the Belle de Jour persona?” No, I don’t think so. Anyone for Ben Watson as Belle? Now that really would be a groove sensation!