Blog

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
Image
I've no doubt that writers' block is real but the name covers a host of symptoms. As someone who has been linguistically incontinent since age six I was never able to understand how some writers could complain of bunged-up word pipes. It seems such a vague condition. Block just means you're unable to write for any number of reasons. Edmund Crispin, one of my favourite Golden Age authors, stopped…
23 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
Image
William Blake said 'active evil is better than passive good'. He could not have asked for a better demonstration of his maxim last night. An election is usually about choosing the right candidate, not trying to avoid the wrong one. Boris Johnson, centrist, liar, racist, homophobe, fantasist, inconsistent in policies, evasive in interviews, awkward in photo opportunities, was ultimately trusted by…
70 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Media
Image
The 1960s were by all accounts a schizophrenic time - on the one hand London was blooming with creative originality and artistic talent, while the rest of the country was stuck in a postwar past that had hardly shifted since the days of Clement Atlee. While Northern comics continued to tell racist jokes, a very different sensibility took hold in the capital. True, it had been there since the 1920s…
4 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
There are very few musically funny pieces, but Hoffnung was there master, although most required knowledge of classical music to get what he was doing. The first funny piece of music I ever heard was Hoffnung's drum-roll at the start of his Albert Hall concert, which made everyone in the auditorium stand up, only to transmute itself into something other than 'God Save The Queen'. On Hoffnung's…
8 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
Where do we first gain our love of words? For my mother, who lived in Brighton as a girl, the seaside Pierrots (see a modern-day version, the Pier-Echoes, above) taught her funny songs. These traditionally-dressed troupes toured all the seaside towns and are immortalised in the novel 'The Good Companions' as the Dinky-Doos. Many kids of my age first learned how music and words fitted together…
7 comments

Years