Archive

Nick Holdstock

27 October 2010

I hoped that some of my old contacts might have some answers. But it proved hard to find people after so long, not least because internet access was blocked. For a week I roamed the streets of Urumqi, watching and photographing police and soldiers from behind parked cars. I struck up conversations in shops and restaurants, hoping, each time in vain, that talk about kebabs or the weather would somehow lead to information. More…

When the time came for International Pynchon Week, held this spring in Lublin, Poland was a country in mourning. There had been a plane crash in which the Polish president, his wife, a dozen members of parliament and members of the clergy had died. The church altars were draped in black. Portraits of the dead hung on the walls. A funereal hush was on the countryside as well. During my two hours on the train from Warsaw I saw horses, several angry geese, and a dignified-looking goat, but only one person, a young man with bottles of beer on the roof of a barn. More…

13 May 2010

There are also large numbers of people wearing green camouflage outfits emblazoned with red armbands. These were recruited via advertisements promising a salary of 1,000 RMB a month (which is more than the average factory worker or high school teacher gets) in return for an ill-defined role in keeping order: most have received little or no training, and in general seem aimless. More…