The Daily Grail Publishing recently produced the anthology book, Spirits of Place, which Alan Moore contributed to alongside Gazelle Amber Valentine, Warren Ellis, Maria J Pérez Cuervo and Iain Sinclair, among many others.
Now, they’ve published a new interview with Moore about the themes and ideas behind Spirits of Place, as well as many other topics about connecting to geography, the nature of reality, and more.
Moore commented on why it’s important to connect to geography again, even if that focus has been largely lost in the modern world:
If by coming to know more about the historical or mythological aspects of the places in which we live we make those places more meaningful, to us at least, then I suggest that this will lead to experiencing ourselves as more meaningful in our new, illuminated context.
Asked how he distinguishing a search for meaning in our geographies from the less savory movements towards old-school nationalism happening in the UK (and in many other places as well), he distinguished between change, progress, and returning to the past in unhelpful ways:
Jerusalem wasn’t a call to somehow reinstate the past, or a suggestion that the past should have remained static, but rather was merely pointing out what an enormous fuckup we’ve made of the future: a future geared towards seemingly endless novelty and change for its own sake, where even the basic principles of progress and moving forward seem to have been completely abandoned and forgotten. There is absolutely no reason why things couldn’t genuinely progress while still respecting and retaining everything that was good and valuable about the situation they were progressing from.
Asked about his own piece in Spirits of Place, called “Coal Memory” which explores his connection to Newcastle, and his writing process Moore said:
…a common misapprehension regarding writers is that they have an idea and then they write it down, whereas this is not my experience when it comes to writing. Ideas are usually generated by the act of writing itself. William Burroughs spoke of ‘the word vine’; the process by which if you write down a word, this will shape and suggest the next word, and so on. Take this thinking to its counterintuitive conclusions, it suggests that writers, far from being the god-like creators of worlds that they may imagine themselves to be, are in fact only vehicles by which means ideas can have themselves.
The interview is far wider ranging than these excerpts can suggest, as Moore delves into life and death, “Eternalism”, the idea of whether the “spirit” of a place can exert influence, the science of “reality” and more.
We highly encourage you to check out the full interview right here.
You can find out more about Spirits of Place – including links to order your own copy in paperback, eBook, or limited edition signed hardcover formats – at spiritsofplace.com.