Saturday, June 6, 2015

David Peace and the Ruptures of History

In the current landscape of small presses inspired by influences that could be called roughly psychogeographical and hauntological, Sukhdev Sandhu’s Texte und Töne stands out for its consistently high quality releases. In The Stink Still Here, editor Paul Myerscough interviews novelist David Peace about his novel GB84, which deals with events during the 1984 miners’ strike in Great Britain. 

On the surface, Peace’s novels may seem to be thrillers or narratives destined to become action films, but underlying this is an attempt to get at history not “as numbers and dates, but history as force and nature.” History is made by “occult things which first erupt and then rupture ‘the Official Narrative or Record’ on all levels, individual and communal.” 

At the beginning of the interview, Myerscough succinctly places Peace’s work in its proper context:

“That word ‘occult’ is one you’ve used before—and which people have been eager to adopt—in talking about your work. The hidden, the concealed, the secret, that which is communicated only to initiates: all these meanings of the ‘occult’ speak to the way in which your novels deal in histories, which when they have not been invented, might have been overlooked, covered up, destroyed or denied; and they speak to motives and causes that aren’t a matter of official record, but of conspiracy, private enterprise, or shadow state activities.”