Statement on Brexit

Soon it will be difficult to find anyone who will have admitted to doing it. Leave’s leaders are dropping like flies – they can emigrate to Canada and enjoy the perks of an open society they affect to despise, leaving the foot soldiers behind to pick up a bill of opprobrium, self-harm and shame that follows from being had. No one sings “no one likes us, we don’t care” and really means it. The referendum was the wrong place to make a valid point against poverty and exclusion, an exclusion even more of us will share living in a country we don’t want to be identified with.

Repeater is more London-based than anything else, but we don’t exist in a London bubble. Our editors and staff are based in London, Newcastle, Wiltshire, Suffolk, and Argentina; our authors all over the UK, Europe and the world. We refuse to paint over half the country as dim racists beyond salvation. Yet no-one could deny the racism of much of the leave campaign, and the damage this has done. Racism is nothing new – in London or the rest of the UK. But what may have been covered with a thin veneer before is coming swaggering into the light, emboldened.

Unity is needed right now, but that unity must not come at the price of pandering to racism and anti-migrant rhetoric. As publishers and as people we pledge to do what we can to work towards unity, to defend and boost the marginalised, to listen, to learn, and to fight encroaching fascism wherever we can.

 

Repeater Books

RIP PRINCE ROGERS NELSON, 1958-2016

Neil Kulkarni

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear” – C.S.Lewis, A Grief Observed

Of course, what you mourn at first, is yourself. Too soon to reassure myself by recounting Prince’s importance, or his place in the canon, too soon to contextualise something that feels like a personal attack, by death, upon your reason. Right now, things are a little too raw because what you recount when you hear this kind of news isn’t just the person you never met, who you’ve lost – you recall the people who you’ve been with, the nights when he saved you and the mornings he woke you, that first flush of first love when Around The World In A Day tangled you to sleep nightly for a year, the kids you lullabied with those songs, the person you were when those songs first kept you intact and kept you alive. This isn’t about adding up marks, checking the legacy, nailing anything – rather you apprehend just how concretely and spectrally someone’s art can inhabit your life, your everyday – not just soundtracking it but dwelling with you, in your kitchen and your bedroom and your living room, colouring things, taking your hand, lifting you up. You recall, with the habitual focus of an adult, times and places and specifics but more evocatively you remember how your senses flared, your synapses sparked, how prior to your current deadening you were still so up for grabs, there to be made. You recall hope seen through tears, pictures you played on a constant mind-reel, sounds that are now cellular, inside you, part of your own unique visceral balance between idealism and despair. What you’re mourning is yourself. Because you wouldn’t be yourself without him. From the off, he was too much to simply apportion affection to. He was a burning bright filament of your animus that has now been extinguished. This isn’t over-reaction. This is what music can do. Continue reading RIP PRINCE ROGERS NELSON, 1958-2016

Forthcoming Repeater titles 2016

It’s our birthday: Repeater started a year ago. For a publisher we had an abrupt beginning, coming into the world suddenly, without a great degree of planning or forethought, and crucially, without any authors or books. In the last year your goodwill and ongoing interest has helped keep us going, along with the hard work of our copy editors, proof readers, a type setter, designer, production editor, publicist and the support of our parent company, Watkins Media. A publisher that isn’t releasing books is a strange and sometimes frustrating oxymoron to be part of, and I am pleased to say that our behind the scenes work is now ready to go overground: our first releases will be in the shops on January 21st 2016, with eleven more books to follow over the next six months (details below). We currently have forty two authors under contract, all of whom show tell-tale signs of being possessed by genius and who will, at the very least, vindicate our work and your curiosity, in the years to come. Thank you again for the last twelve months. – Tariq Goddard 

January 2016 

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 Dawn Foster – Lean Out – a powerful call for a more inclusive feminism in an age of austerity. Preorder now.

MKL Murphy – The Isle of Minimus. A highly original and darkly comic novel in one sentence – Hercule, a disgraced dwarf entertainer,  emerges after years in isolation to lead a violent revolt in Las Vegas. Preorder now.  Continue reading Forthcoming Repeater titles 2016

Mark Fisher on #piggate and the death of British satire

Hug a Tory

‘From the early records of Greek and Latin slang, where [words for pig] were used to describe the female genitalia through to modern uses of ‘pig’ to mock the police, the fascist and the male chauvinist, pigs seems to have borne the brunt of our rage, fear, affection and desire for the ‘low’. [But] it was precisely the ambivalence of the pig, at the intersection of a number of symbolic thresholds, which had traditionally made it a useful animal to think with.’ – Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression

As I said earlier, it is hard not to enjoy the ridiculing of Cameron. But if we take a step back, it should be clear that an atmosphere of sexual humiliation is one that favours current forms of power rather than dismantles them. Robin James points out the role of hazing in sexual abuse, and in some ways we can consider the whole range of ways in which the English haute-bourgeoisie initiate children into its ranks as a form of abuse. This is one of the points I was trying to get across in my piece on humour in the latest New Humanist (below). Boarding school and the top end of Oxbridge are environments designed to produce the very hardening and insensitivity which allows Tories to dehumanise and demonise the poor. Class wounds everyone, especially the ‘privileged’.

George-Osborne-Pig-Gate

Continue reading Mark Fisher on #piggate and the death of British satire

A rupture in the ground – Alex Niven on Corbyn & the ideal city

This is the edited text of a talk given by Alex Niven at the NewBridge Project, Newcastle-upon-Tyne last week.

I’d like to start with a quotation from Dubliners, James Joyce’s first work of fiction, published almost exactly a hundred years ago. It was written largely in the Edwardian period, in the last days of British colonial rule over Ireland; that is, on the eve of the Irish Revolution:

            That night the city wore the mask of a capital

Dubliners is a collection of realist—some might say magic realist—stories about residents of Dublin in which almost all of the characters feel disillusioned or constricted in some way; paralysis is a word that echoes throughout the book. But Dubliners isn’t, in the end, a pessimistic work. Even though the characters in Joyce’s stories are paralysed on the one hand, there is also a sense that something is about to happen, a sense that Dublin is about to break free and come into its own. Within five years of the publication of Joyce’s book, Dublin was indeed the capital of a newly independent nation. And, a century later, it still is.

This is not to say that capitals and nations don’t bring with them their own kinds of problems and responsibilities and limitations. But I think something in the music of that quotation does help to emphasise the fact that radical change in the
circumstances of a city, a country, the world, can happen very quickly. Revolutions are possible. Political campaigns are not futile. Big collective projects can succeed. At certain moments in our history, we are able to take significant steps towards the creation of the ideal city, channelling utopian ideals, even if utopia is by definition unrealisable. Continue reading A rupture in the ground – Alex Niven on Corbyn & the ideal city

The Corbyn Effect

By Pablo K (reposted with permission from The Disorder of Things)

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Blair and company argue that the Tories crave a Corbyn win, but the trap has been set a move beyond that: Cameron and Osborne can rest confident that the terror of electoral wipe-out will have a neo-Blairite Labour party galloping towards their position anyway. Always fighting the last war, and on a badly-chosen battlefield. The Labour mainstream cannot adapt to new parameters, cannot think except in the abjection of the spectre of a hard left, even as they appoint themselves the true custodians of the world-to-come. Continue reading The Corbyn Effect

Jeremy Corbyn—next Labour leader?

Jeremy Corbyn has today taken the lead in the Labour leadership race – something that seemed unlikely even a few weeks ago. Whatever your views on Labour (even amongst the Repeater team, they are conflicted), it’s great to see an overtly radical candidate doing so well. Whatever the outcome, his candidacy seems to be pushing Labour and political discourse to the left, which can only be a good thing.

You can vote for Corbyn as a Labour member, as an affiliated supporter (through membership of an affiliated union etc), or by becoming a ‘supporter’ (sign up online here and pay £3).

Here’s some words from writer and musician Bob Stanley on why he’s supporting Corbyn: Continue reading Jeremy Corbyn—next Labour leader?

Repeater authors in Cornwall next weekend with fastj&m

Repeater editors and authors will be in Cornwall next weekend for a series of events symposium_sm2organised by fastj&m as part of the Penzance Literary Festival fringe.
On Friday 10th July at 6pm there is a symposium on Radical Publishing in the New Millennium which features Repeater’s Tariq Goddard, Dawn Foster and Carl Neville alongside Jan Middendorp, Helen Charman, Rebecca Fitzsimmons, Bambo Soyinka, Jerome Fletcher and moderator, James Kearns.

Continue reading Repeater authors in Cornwall next weekend with fastj&m

Page 3 was the least offensive thing in The Sun

We’re cross-posting (with permission) this great piece by desiredxthings on the demise of Page 3 — T.S.


A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE DEMISE OF PAGE 3

Well, the tits are gone and now all of our lives are meaningless. Wherever will feminism go now the patriarchy is crushed?

The No More Page 3 campaign has been a mess from the beginning – it was the online milieu of the middle class, white feminists who have been stomping all over minorities for decades. Anti slut-shaming has become trendy, so rather than telling other women not to get their breasts out in the first place, mainstream feminism is dictating how and when to get your breasts out – and evidently getting your breasts out for payment is verboten. But this is okay, of course.

It initially came across as a fairly benign campaign, to keep boobs out of a family paper. We can’t have kiddies staring at norks, can we? But… to try and position The Sun as a family newspaper, a main argument of NMP3, is laughable. If you want your children to have access to misogyny, homophobia, racism, antagonism towards those on state welfare, ableism, xenophobia, whorephobia and a whole host of other oppressive bullshit, that’s your own bad parenting; but don’t call it a family newspaper.

Let’s get this straight, I don’t really care about the titillation of men and I’m not even going to trouble myself analysing this as a free speech issue – those aren’t what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned as a sex-worker in a time where the well-funded face of feminism sees us, at best, as an inconvenience on the journey to the gender equal utopia and, at worst, despicable gender traitors. No More Page 3 has tried to deny claims that they are opposed to sex workers or nudity; that’s all well and good, but why does what they do completely counteract that? Their claim is that other glamour modelling opportunities exist; but they either fail to grasp or completely ignore the importance of page 3 to a glamour model. The Sun is the most popular publication in the country and high circulation means higher exposure. One photo in The Sun can lead to countless other opportunities. NMP3 have removed a stepping stone for many glamour models (many of which do not have agents and have to navigate the industry alone) and hacked away at a career route. Continue reading Page 3 was the least offensive thing in The Sun

Blog: A little introduction

We are people who discovered, during our years working together on our previous project, Zero Books, that in general it is easier to assume that the public is stupid than it is to find a truly stupid reader. As Tariq Goddard, publisher of Repeater, has often said, it pays off to overestimate the intelligence of your readers.

One obvious, and particularly unfortunate, consequence of the way everything in the media and the arts keeps sounding a little dumber is that intellectual courage ever more easily dwindles; the freedom to say something critical and insightful is still there, but it is made to look like a burden, or something only an elitist would cherish. And artistically, the exhilaration of doing something new might as well come with a health warning: “This brings financial ruin.” Whatever the reality, it feels like it is harder than ever to justify serious artistic risks on economic grounds, as if that were the point.

These are old complaints. No need to be nostalgic; every age will have its jeremiads. What is spurring us on at Repeater is the knowledge, which we have gained through practical experience, that it is perfectly possible to raise the tone of hard political discussions without losing readers. It is not some messianic avant-garde that will shock the world out of its slumber: people have always been awake and murmuring. Speak up.

Likewise, artistic risks are as valuable as ever, and we know they can be more rewarding, to more people, more often than our cynical cultural assumptions would admit. If those who distribute art — publishers, for example — would only take equivalent risks, this would be made plainly evident. This is the gap we want to help fill.

We are still setting things up: tweaking contracts, making sure we iron out some of the weird kinks that always come up in the initial stages of projects like this. We’ve always improvised a lot. That’s part of the point.

We’re going to be using this blog as a way of promoting things our authors are working on, sharing extracts from our titles, and cross-posting from other blogs or sites with which we have some friendly affiliation. We also hope to have some original content, submitted by our own authors. At the moment, it looks like we will be splitting curating duties. Please get in touch if you have any ideas or you want to help.

— PJ