Less organic intellectuals than morbid symptoms

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Jack Graham
    December 6, 2016 @ 10:52 am

    Gotta pick a bone here: the Rezzies are very much meant to be ‘middle class’.


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      December 6, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

      Interesting. I defer to you, but they certainly seem of a genus closely related to the grotesqueries of Hilda Ogden.


    • Peeeeeeet
      December 6, 2016 @ 5:51 pm

      I’d argue that the Kangs are too – more like high school / college cliques gone feral than gang members per se. To me the various residents always reminds me of the Golgafrincham B-ark – the people that are left behind when everyone considered to be useful have gone. So they wouldn’t be working class, because working class people are useful even when they’re not valued.


      • StephenfromW3
        December 6, 2016 @ 9:31 pm

        With no disrespect intended to the actresses working within the constraints of BBC children’s drama in 1987, they are feral gang members in the same way Ace is a disturbed teenager.


  2. The Flan in the High Castle
    December 6, 2016 @ 11:04 am

    My comment form was prefilled with this username – and their associated email address and website url, but I’m no Flan. Thought your technical person might want to know…


    • The Flan in the High Castle
      December 6, 2016 @ 11:20 am

      Real Flan here (just in case this wasn’t surreal enough already) – this is a technical issue they’ve been trying to stamp out for ages. I get other people’s details appearing in my comment form fairly often too.

      Hey Phil, have you ever thought about switching to a more popular comments platform like Disqus? I’ve never seen another community with this particular problem.


      • Elizabeth Sandifer
        December 6, 2016 @ 4:08 pm

        I’m really not a fan of Disqus, which I associate with websites that grind my computer to a halt. Less-so now that I have AdBlock installed, but I still just hate the platform.

        But we are exploring other options. Just a question of Anna finding actual time to work on the site. Which is hard to come by.


      • anna
        December 6, 2016 @ 9:37 pm

        Hi flans!

        I think I have fixed the problem for now, by disabling auto-fill entirely. Sorry about the inconvenience!


  3. D.N.
    December 6, 2016 @ 11:35 am

    Any chance you’re going to write about David Cronenberg’s film Shivers? The similarities between Shivers and High-Rise are so unmistakable, I assumed Cronenberg was influenced by Ballard (especially given Cronenberg’s affinity for Ballard, xref. Crash). But as far as I can see, Shivers received its initial [Canadian] release in October 1975 – a month before the [British] publication date of High-Rise (November 1975). It seems unlikely Cronenberg was influenced by Ballard (or vice versa), and likely that the two created similar pieces of art independently of each other.


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      December 6, 2016 @ 4:10 pm

      Yeah, Shivers could be interesting to look at. It’s not in the list of eight, though I’m half-minded to take it out to ten and put this out as a very short ebook, in which case Shivers would be a good candidate for one of the two added slots. We’ll see. Don’t hold your breath.


  4. Austin Loomis
    December 6, 2016 @ 3:14 pm

    Wheatley[‘]s conclusion was that [Paradise Towers was] “more like an amalgam of A Clockwork Orange and other stuff” than an adaptation of High-Rise.

    Does this mean that some version of the adventures of Your Humble Narrator And Like Droogiwoog Alex is on the agenda?


  5. Homunculette
    December 7, 2016 @ 8:08 am

    Coming on here at 2 am to post my sudden guess that the next Build High is maybe about Trump tower? You said it takes a turn, so that’s how I’m interpreting that


    • Daibhid C
      December 7, 2016 @ 11:06 pm

      I’m hoping for Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch, which takes an entirely different view of the tower block.

      I mean, I don’t even know if Phil’s read the Rivers of London books, but it’s magical-historical London by a former Who writer (from, as it happens, this very era), so it seems like he might have.


  6. Alex Smith
    December 8, 2016 @ 11:28 pm

    Tall residential buildings are still going up all over London – but these ones aren’t for the poor. Instead, these ones are for the rich and the super-rich; in a lot of cases, sold off-plan to foreigners who have no intention of ever living in them. These blocks, though, have carpets in the hallways and concierges by the entrance. These blocks are actually maintained.

    Meanwhile the old council blocks we used to curse are knocked down – Elephant & Castle’s Heygate, for instance – but aren’t replaced. With nowhere to go the former tenants are either shipped out of London entirely or forced into the brutal private-rented sector.

    Well, it’s either demolition or, as in the case of Erno Goldfinger’s iconic and formerly crime-ridden towers, Trellick and Balfron, a repackaging and reselling to the moneyed classes – Balfron’s residents have been removed and flats in the block will go for private sale, while flats in Trellick have been trendy for a while.

    “And Doctor Who’s assessment of Kroagnon’s work on Paradise Towers, “it displays exactly what everyone says is your usual failure as an architect: not making allowances for people” is clearly recognizable as one of the standard critiques of brutalist design, and for that matter as a variation of Ballard/Laing’s description of the high-rise as “an environment built, not for man, but for man’s absence.””<<

    I found this quote on Wikipedia, apparently from Erno Goldfinger, regarding the three main components of modern architecture:

    ‘the permanent structure; the much less permanent services and an even more fleeting component, the human requirements.’


  7. Kate Orman
    January 11, 2018 @ 2:24 am

    I’ve only just got to this series of postings. I’ve read this one and The VVitch and my eyes are already pointing in entirely different directions. (This is a compliment.)


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