Lecture by Cathi Unsworth: The Dark Eyes of London

Consistent with Noir Nation’s embrace of all forms of literary crime, we offer this lecture by Cathi Unsworth. It may be a bit scholarly for those who want to get down and dark with gumshoe back alley writing, but any discussion that provides insight about crime fiction is worthy of a post and a careful listen. In any case, the free materials that Gresham College, the hosting institution, offers on its website a wonderful contribution to our understanding of the genre (links below).

Here is more information about the lecture provided by Gresham:

London is a city of secrets, a shifting, seething mass of intrigue, venality and violence, in constant cultural flux. The perfect setting for crime fiction — but how does the modern writer decode this centuries’ old conurbation?

Cathi Unsworth investigates those authors who haunt certain regions of the capital —Ken Bruen’s Dirty South; Dreda Say Mitchell’s Illicit East; Derek Raymond’s West End Jungle — those, like Jake Arnott, who create epic pop histories from our forgotten past; and those, like Iain Sinclair, whose meditations on the geography of violence have inspired a different kind of crime fiction.

Along the way, she will also explore the cult writers who helped to shape these contemporary authors’ visions and the clandestine vocabulary of the City of Slang.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website. The College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with its five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download here.

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