All items: Chris Arthur

Donny O’Rourke finds himself in the book-blessed town of Ullapool in May, celebrating the bonfires and bluebells of the Celtic Beltane festival.

Chris Arthur reflects on the inspirations of his ‘odd-object’ essays, and considers the popularity of this particular form and the most important aspect of oddness within it.

Chris Arthur struggles with writing his own bio blurb, and criticises the literary bragging that seems to be required, wondering whether he could be more original than the usual claims of ‘award-winning’, ‘critically acclaimed’ and 'internationally recognised.'

Chris Arthur speaks with Cherise Saywell about the essay as a multifaceted and ‘heretical’ form, the notion of a ‘dangerously failed’ piece of work, and the encouraging fact that ‘If you can find the objects that speak to you, essays will follow’.

Often I am at a loss to map the routes that have brought me to particular titles. Many of the books I now regard as foundational seem to have been discovered more or less by accident, often as impulse buys in charity shops.
Literature's influence on us is at once less dramatic yet far deeper than the simplistic process implied by suggesting that a single volume could be life-changing.