Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place

Will Self, Author, Ralph Steadman, Illustrator , illustrated by Ralph Steadman. Bloomsbury $34.95 (255p) ISBN 978-1-59691-466-7

This artful and entertaining collection of essays by novelist Self (The Book of Dave ) will delight anyone who enjoys his weekly column of the same name in the Independent or his last collection of essays, Feeding Frenzy . Here Self shifts from gonzo journalism to the study of psychogeography, the study of how geographical environments affect emotions and behavior. Setting off on a quest for the “intrinsic character” of various places as well as “the manner in which the contemporary world warps the relationship between psyche and place,” Self casts a dismissive eye on most of the world. Singapore strikes him “as Basingstoke force-fed with pituitary gland”; Sao Paolo's lack of a street plan makes it “an unholy miscegenation between London and Los Angeles.” But Steadman's beautifully harsh illustrations (worthy of their own book) and “Walking to New York,” a previously unpublished semi-autobiographical meditation on life and death, reveal a surprising depth to Self's cynical insights. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/17/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4088-3733-7
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