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a party lad who was too often out of it. but now it appeared he was a rabid revolutionary threatening the very pillars of democracy itself; while Major and co were discussing how to win the lion‘s share of the public's vote. Self was chasing the dragon in his khazi.
He began the 90s cleaning up the plaudits of critics and a devoted readership alike. He ended it by cleaning himself up. ‘After all those years of drink and drug addiction. I feel litter and healthier in my 40th year than I have done for years. There's only so much of your life you can piss up the wall. And actually. sobriety is a lot easier than maintaining a crack and heroin habit; it‘s a lot less fraught.‘
But surely there have been a few tricky moments in two long years of sobriety? ‘lt‘s not been a picnic; you have to change a lot.‘ he says. ‘I wouldn‘t go anywhere like the Groucho unless I had a very good reason to. Sometimes I miss that thing of “were going to start at x and we don‘t know where we‘re going to end up“; that has a certain freewheeling beauty to it but there are more important things in life.’
And so. choosing life is what Will Self has opted to do. Now just having reached the milestone of 40 (‘I haven’t been tempted to have a fling with an eighteen-year-old blonde or buy a Harley Davidson’) he is determined to keep producing good work. Feeding Frenzy reﬂects on his writing between 1995 and 2000 in which he used everything from The Observer to Building Design to write scaldingly about Tony ‘Bomber’ Blair. Prince ‘The Tampon Apparent‘ Charles. and debunking the myths of Diana Spencer and Irvine Welsh.
His ongoing film script to revamp Dorian Gray into the early l980s gay scenes in London and New York has been on the back-burner for so long that he reckons the person who commissioned it may well have retired. so he‘s turning it back into a novel. And soon he‘s aiming to publish a series of interviews with women. which may include Doris Lessing. Marianne Faithfull. Andrea Dworkin and Tracey limin.
But he is decidedly not going on the record about his true feelings for his brother. Earlier this year. Jonathan went out and published his life story which reflected upon the boys' tough. tough upbringing at the hands of an absent father and abusive mother and how the siblings almost inevitably fell into addiction.
'lt‘s like when there‘s a kitchen and a dining room of the restaurant and there is a swing door between them.‘ he says. ‘Anybody sitting in the dining room who is reasonably sharp and keyed-in can see into the kitchen when the waiter comes out. But speaking as the maitre d’. I don‘t stand at the door. holding it open. saying “there's what’s going on in the kitchen". I just don’t do that. Some girls have cream cheese on their bagels. some girls don't do that.‘ It‘s the Vic ‘n‘ Bob effect again.
Feeding Frenzy is published by Viking on Thu 8 Nov priced £16.99. Will Self appears in Waterstone’s events at Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 21 Nov and haverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 22 Nov.
TOUGH, TOUGH TOYS F0