Will Self on Nick Papadimitriou

British writer and critic on Papadimitriou and his work
Photograph: Nick Papadimitriou. Source.
Writing in Granta, Will Self describes his friendship with Nick Papadimitriou, and his opinion of his work (the article includes an extract from Papadimitriou's recent novel, Scarp): 'I first met Nicholas Papadimitriou in the mid-1980s. We were both lost young men at that time - now we’re lost middle aged men. Nick lived in Child's Hill, North London, where he still does to this day - I was based in Barnsbury, near Islington, and latterly Shepherd’s Bush. We crossed and recrossed London frequently on purposeless walks that we would’ve called derives in the manner of the French Situationists - if we’d ever heard of such things. I also had a Hillman Hunter car, complete with veneered dashboard, and in this we drove to the city’s outer limits - we were both obsessed by these liminal zones, where the city declined into a series of disjointed entrepots of urbanity. We dubbed them ‘interzones’ after the William Burroughs fiction of the same name. I remember visits to the marshes where Belmarsh Prison now lowers, to Thamesmead and to the Ultima Thule of the Isle of Grain – the haunt of Magwitch and Marlow’s shades, of Dickens and Conrad, those great proto-psychogeographers. Nick was a man of passions, of poetry and of certainties: the ground beneath his feet. Already he disdained the Moloch of the man-machine matrix and went his own way, weaving along, a figure emerging from the interwar period, clothed in Symbolist verse, wreathed in tobacco smoke.' [Read More]

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