Sam’s Will Self Festival Fail – #wordfromtheyurt

In #edbookfest, Features, HOME, LITERATURE by Beci Moss

#wordfromtheyurt: watch, talk, type, think.

Will Self signingThe first thing I noticed when going to see Will Self talk was a good range of glasses. That and a strong purple colour scheme. No doubt this was an ominous sign of what was to come.

The people surrounding me appeared to be of the very intelligent ilk – perhaps just because of the glasses or perhaps because they were, simply put, very intelligent. Will Self, you see, is a very intelligent man. Anyone who has ever read any of his works will tell you that he is a modernist writer akin to the greats: Woolfe, Joyce, Eliot – he rightfully sits alongside them. Anyone who has ever read one of his works will also tell you what a treat it is to hear him speak.

Sadly I am not one of those people. I have never read one of Will Self’s works. And, naturally, arrogantly shimmying into a Will Self talk without having read any Will Self made my ignorance pitifully apparent. Take note: should one have the opportunity, one should not attend a talk on a modernist work, without having read the work in question. To paraphrase Mean Girls: ‘It’s literary suicide’.

On the plus side, Self was appealing regardless of my own error in judgement. Cocky and a bit of a twat – yes – but it was refreshing to see a tall gangly man so content in his own intellect.

Will Self’s new novel Shark is available for purchase now. The Edinburgh International Book Festival runs until August 25th. For more info on the festival and to get tickets check out their website here: EIBF.

Sam Prance

Sam Prance is the Editor of Prancing Through LIFE. He studies French and Italian at the University of Edinburgh. His favourite novel is Cloud Atlas and he has Madonna marathons on a regular basis. He is currently writing this auto-bio in the third person. He will now stop writing this third person auto-bio in order to save himself some embarrassment.

If  you’re interested in getting involved with PTL – drop us a message on

(Image sourced from: