McKenzie Wark on Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane

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Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane is a either a campus anti-novel or an anti-campus novel, or both. It is an anti-novel in the sense that it has no interest in the novel’s conventions. Characters are mere cyphers. There’s no ‘fine writing’ in its description. The anti-novel is relentless in its refusal of a redemptive dimension to the ‘literary’ as that which sets its petit-bourgeois readers above the world of capital and violence.

It’s fitting then, that its setting is the campus. If the literary was one space of petit-bourgeois redemption, the campus has remained the other. As if by the teaching of culture, a realm of aesthetic contemplation could be carved out of a venal world. Its striking how, in the English context, cultural studies never got that far away from its original impetus in the work of F. R. Leavis. Home’s book is about the death of that impetus, and its replacement by a purely market-based hierarchy of cultural values.

Read the full review here!

Above Stewart Home at Project Number Gallery in London during the Foam exhibition in which he participated.

Huw Nesbitt Talks To Stewart Home About Proletarian Post-Modernism & Other Things!

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Stewart Home is a novelist, poet and artist from South London. Since 1988 he has published 32 works of fiction and non-fiction, covering subjects as varied as 20th century Marxism, skinhead culture, continental philosophy and the meaning of sex and death under capitalism.

Existing at the fringes of the mainstream literary world, his novels read like a collision of Jonathan Swift, William Burroughs and Jean-Luc Godard. In 69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess (2002), a suicidal man moves to Aberdeen and investigates a conspiracy theory claiming that Princess Diana’s corpse was dragged around Scottish stone circles until it fell apart; in Down & Out in Shoreditch Hoxton, prostitutes make startling pyscho-geographical discoveries; and in his most recent, Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane (2013), he subverts the campus-genre novel and populates it with zombies.

His long writing career hasn’t earned him a place in the literary establishment, but it’s unlikely that he cares. After the publisher of Down & Out went bust, Stewart went on tour, shredding copies and giving readings of the book, one of which is on a new spoken word record, Proletarian Postmodernism. He’s also known as an artist, winning the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Award for visual art last year.

I gave him a call to speak to him about his career and the world.” Read the full piece here!

Above: Stewart Home attempts to get inside his laptop. Photo by Stewart Home’s laptop.

Mandy, Charlie & Mary Jane Makes Nick Lezard’s Pick Of 2013 In The Guardian

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“In a rather different vein, Stewart Home’s Mandy, Charlie and Mary-Jane (Penny-Ante Editions), part scabrous and hilarious assault on cultural studies, part vision of madness and hell, is as gloriously offensive as anything this author has done before.” Read the whole of Nicholas Lezard’s Guardian best paperback books of 2013 article here.

Bill Breedlove On Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane

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Before: Having never read any of Mr. Home’s work before, I was an almost perfect audience for this book—I had no expectations at all, and after laughing out loud at the first couple of paragraphs, I was hooked. To that end, I feel like this should be registered as: N/A /10

During: If one is not easily offended, and not a slave to traditional narrative, this is one of the most consistently funny and enjoyable reading experiences one will find anywhere:  9/10

After: As engaging and fun as it was to read, upon later reflection, a feeling like consuming an entire cake—feeling slightly sick but steadfastly saying “I regret nothing!”—ensued.  More accurately, perhaps, would be “a filth hangover.”  8/10

Read more here!

Above: Stewart Home performance at Building F in London’s Stoke Newington on 23 November 2013.

Michael Roth On Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane One More Time!

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Under the influence of Kenneth Goldsmith and ‘uncreative writing’, the fabulous Michael Roth reworks his original review of Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane by running the words in alphabetical order!

“& 69 2005 7/7, a, a a a, a a a a a a a a a a a a a a about about academia, academic achieve action afterlife against all all Allen along.  Always always an an an, and and and and and and and and and and (and) and and and and and and and and and and/or, Andre Ann any anyone appropriately are are, are art art’s artists as as as as as. As as as ascension. At at at at at avenues bath be be, be, be becoming begins being believed believes believes. Belle de Jour Belle de Jour beyond Bites Blair blank-faced, blogger blood bombing, bombings bombings Bombings both (brilliant brilliant) brought Buddhist but but by campus Cannibal Canon, carry caught (cell Charlie Charlie Charlie Charlie Charlie). Charlie Charlie Charlie Charlie Charlie’s City class classes classic, “Classics Coldplay comes completely, comprised concludes…”

Read the full review here!

Above: A photo to prove that Mandy, Charlie and Mary-Jane appeals to readers of all ages!

Maxi Kim On Mandy, Charlie and Mary-Jane

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“…an ‘uneducated’ guy like Stewart Home, who never got his degree, can produce more cultural studies provocations, more Deleuzian Bodies without Organs, more Hegelian paradoxes per page, in short – more cultural impact than any credentialed, tenured cultural studies lecturer I’ve had the misfortune of having to sit through…” Read the complete review here.

Above Stewart Home and a close friend enjoying a dirty weekend in Brighton on the English south coast.

Tosh Berman on Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane

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“Stewart Home maybe my favorite London novelist in the 21st Century, and I am saying ‘maybe’ because i haven’t read every novel by him…. yet.  But nevertheless his new novel “Mandy, Charlie, and Mary-Jane” is a superb piece of work.” Read Tosh Berman’s full review here!

Photo above: Tosh Berman and Stewart Home with writers Maxi Kim and Jarett Kobek (who had books in the Semina series of experimental novels Home edited for Book Works and Home also had a book in this series). Tosh Berman’s father Wallace Berman edited the legendary Semina magazine which inspired beat novelist Alex Trocchi’s Sigma publications (and Home’s first novel Pure Mania was published by Polygon in 1989 in their Sigma series inspired by Trocchi – so what goes around comes around). “The Semina Gang – writers drinking coffee and juice” at Alcove Cafe & Bakery on Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA on 4 March 2013.

Barbara Adair On Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane!

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“The word anti-novel is always used when a novel by Home is reviewed, talked about, considered, analysed (and he is reviewed in erudite journals and newspapers; the London Review of Books, the Guardian, the New Statesman to name a few, he must be famous, egotistical notoriety is probable his second name, his not intrinsic nature). But what is the anti-novel? It is a question that is vexing….”

“…So what is the message, unless one casts the book aside after the first page, but then the message has already sunk in (literally), this reader is already the zombie that Home describes, the living dead reading to pass the time, reading because a good story satiates limitation, for this reader there is no message, this reader is the message? And if one does not cast it aside, one ponders and thinks, what one finds is that the anti-novel is an insolent challenge to everything that one knows; a work filled with plagiarism and appropriation, it flouts a society that cherishes the notion of individuality and originality…”

Read Barbara Adair’s full review for Sensitive Skin Magazine here!

Hestia Peppe More On Herself Than Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane…

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Hestia Peppe makes a lot of assumptions and misses a lot of humour while failing to review Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane by Stewart Home. She concludes: “People who love what they do (I swear, this isn’t about authenticity, it’s about motive) don’t care about being cult, they want everyone to love what they love, they are desperate to explain it. Preaching to a choir of apparent like minds, while potentially also quietly mocking them for enjoying your work and deriding in advance anyone who doesn’t is a ridiculous way to make art but more importantly seems like a half-arsed way of going about trying to destroy the novel-as-we-know-it. If you don’t want to blow everyone’s minds then you aren’t aiming near high enough…” Home isn’t mocking all of those who like what he does- although obviously he’s puzzled when some (not all) think he’s an anarchist when he’s not and he might mock those people but not everyone who likes what he does… He doesn’t expect everyone to like what he does, and said in interviews 20 years ago he thinks there will always be a divided audience of those that like and those that don’t like not just his books but any book or movie or piece of music… And if people don’t love what you do so what? It’s you utopian to think everyone will, it’s the kind of position you would expect from an anarchist. Read what is not a review but a typical bourgeois opinion piece here.