The Ghost Edition

In NLP’s winter edition, we have found a league of spectres to accompany you amongst the silent shifting of the snowflakes. Don Paterson and Alison Watt’s recent collaboration at the Ingleby Gallery, where Watt’s artwork was accompanied by Paterson’s succinct verse, allowed Paterson to release the ghosts from Watt’s mesmerising pieces. In an attempt to reflect these spectral musings, NLP visual editor Claudia Massie has produced images of the east Scottish coastline and its surrounding area with a Hipstamatic ipod application, accompanied by verse by NLP editor Andrew F. Giles. This collaboration takes into account the difference between our reaction to a single artwork and a photograph, echoing Walter Benjamin’s seminal writing on the work of art in an age of mechanical reproduction, and the further ghosts that are revealed through this process. They question: “Are these the features of the past, traced into the geography of cloud/& glass?” Next, film correspondent Christopher Smail takes his usual forthright and witty look at the recent adaptation by Lynne Ramsay of Lionel Shriver’s controversial book We Need To Talk About Kevin, where the ghosts of the protagonist’s victims, including his father and sister, symbolise the ghosts of the victims of mass shootings worldwide. Next, a new short collection of poetry ‘I Have Killed Albatrosses’ by US poet David Groulx. His work is filled with the ghosts of the past, a lyrical past replete with personal demons, the dead and absent and the beautiful cruelty of nature, that exhibits a haunting turn of phrase, a subdued imaging of colour and, half-hidden, a hint at redemption that recognises the inexorable passing of time. Finally, a lost piece first commissioned by NLP in early 2011 is finally brought back from the dead. Les Wilson sat for the interview but the journalist, in a way, became a ghost (don’t worry, he’s not dead – yet), and the text was lost, to NLP at least. NLP re-imagines the interview in the style of Les Wilson’s recent book for Scottish imprint Vagabond Voices, the art-versus-capitalism novel Fire in the Head, with interesting results: the NLP-produced short story explores the impulse to creativity, or lack of it, and the politics of art.

 

Finally, we at NLP would like to thank-you all our readers for your brilliant support this year, which has seen NLP rise to even greater heights in our own idiosyncratic and incorruptible way. May the counternarrative continue!

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