Quotes by Iain Sinclair

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London is a city that sleeps too much. This is the mould of its quality. A magnetic contract: to reinvent itself on the other side of dream, each day. And such dreams, smouldering against the tidal spine of the river, telling and retelling the tales that must be told to manifest a city's bones. Whispering the night architecture back into stone. more...

For the bookish, London is a book. For criminals, a map of opportunities. For unpapered immigrants, it is a nest of skinned eyes; sanctioned gunmen ready to blow your head off as you run for a train. When the city of distorting mirrors revealed itself, through its districts and discriminations, I discovered more about London's past as a reworking of my own submerged history. more...

With the world as it now presents itself, there is something perverse, and probably dysfunctional, about a person who stays in the same house for 40 years. What about the expanding family syndrome, the school-lottery migration, the property portfolio neurosis? Have you no imagination? more...

The world changes, but I want that change to be necessary or respectful of what has happened before. Everything changes, and that's quite right. more...

You can't impose a legacy. more...

The negotiation of city space has been made more difficult with the idea that redevelopment is an improvement for some vague future - but it's never like that, is it? Once you get there, for economic reasons you have to generate the next project - so you're immediately starting to dig up something else, and so it goes on. more...

I don't feel proprietary, but I do feel there is a human identity to the borough of Hackney that's quite peculiar. It was always bloody-minded and difficult; it always stood up to central government. more...

An involuntary return to the point of departure is, without doubt, the most disturbing of all journeys. more...

There is an obvious connection, on the declining Roman empire's bread and circuses model, between political enthusiasm for public spectacles and the periods when we are least able to pay for them. more...

If the landscape changes, then I don't know who I am either. The landscape is a refracted autobiography. As it disappears you lose your sense of self. more...

If people are telling you a story about themselves, they gradually map their own local territories and know themselves by them. more...

The kind of world I'm endlessly going on about is pretty well doomed, but nevertheless I think there are recesses of it worth celebrating. more...

To try to fix the future is a manifest absurdity. more...

I am crumbling in sync with old Hackney. more...

The only times I'm not relaxed are when I haven't got a project on the go. more...

What I write, I write. I'll always do it in some form. more...

You can't leave the thing that you are, the house that has become your biography. more...

Hackney at certain epochs has given itself suburban airs and graces, before being slapped down and consigned once more to the dump bin of aborted ambition. more...

You'd better make it your business to understand the market. The ability to charm or play the game is useful. more...

Life and career are the same thing. Every life has to have a plot and a plan. You have to recognize this early and be quite cold-blooded in the discovery and articulation of that plot. more...

As you become known, the demands on you are such that you get less and less time to do the things you want to do. But if there are no demands, then that means nobody wants to read what you're doing anyway, so you're stuck. more...

It's just a freak of fate that I'm paid to write, not paying to print my own books - but I'd be doing it anyway: it's my life. more...

The line of traffic advancing towards the rising sun looked like a procession of the returning dead. Every one of them, solitaries in clean shirts, smoking, checking mirrors to see if their reflections were still there, wore dark glasses. more...


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