Last Friday saw the Lowry Lounge event at The Bluecoat, which included the launch of the first issue of The Firminist, a new Malcolm Lowry journal. Topics touched on in this first issue range from Plato’s theory of writing to bawdy sea-shanties, and there’s also (surely a global first) a Malcolm Lowry cryptic crossword – with a prize. To buy your copy at a very modest price, contact Firminist-in-chief Mark Goodall (firstname.lastname@example.org). I may as well admit that I am the one responsible for dragging Plato into things: the issue includes my essay ‘The Consul in the Pharmacy: Orphaned Writing, Alcohol, and the Pharmakon-Structure in Under the Volcano‘, which originated as a paper I gave at the 2007 Lowry symposium at the University of Sussex on the fiftieth anniversary of Lowry’s death.
The evening also featured lots of interesting ideas for ongoing and future projects relating to, or vaguely inspired by, Lowry, including a project that I’m developing with Robin Bloxsidge around a book published in 1921 by the then Roscoe Professor of Architecture at the University of Liverpool, Charles Reilly, which consists of a series of wonderfully acerbic and generally fascinating critiques of Liverpool streets and buildings, structured as a series of walks. You can see how this connects to the psychogeographical themes of the projects we’ve been developing around Lowry in Liverpool, and I’ll write more about it here soon.