Sanctuary

Brian Dillon’s starkly beautiful novella has at its centre a derelict Catholic seminary, a grand modernist edifice abandoned shortly after its completion. Through the ruins wanders a young woman, unnamed, in search of her lover, a film-maker who had made accident into an aesthetic principle, had become obsessed with the seminary, and who has now gone missing. Brian Dillon is the UK editor of the art magazine Cabinet and is a regular contributor to Frieze, Artforum and theLondon Review of Books, and his writing shows a keen awareness of the visual and tactile dimensions:

‘The sun now streams between the broken balustrades to the walkways, and touches the blackened timbers that mirror them on the other side of the building. Motes of concrete dust and charcoal are teeming in the void between the two interior balconies – a rain of particles falls unceasing from the upper floor so that at this early hour when the light is latticed and not yet uniform, the vacant interior seems to scintillate with minute specks.’

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