83 %

The Spanner

Unfettered comment by subscription by Fauland, Blackburn & Mascoli

238 more pledges needed


The Synopsis

What is the Spanner?
A single page, quarterly broadsheet on quality paper, in the spirit and style of the Broadsides printed from the coffee and punch houses of Georgian Soho. Unhindered by Oligarchs, Moguls and inconvenient advertisers, the writers meet to discuss the 'Outrages' of the day at Blacks Club on Dean Street. Articles are produced, discussed and illustrated for insertion to The Spanner. Like the cartoons of Hogarth, it aims to be a Spanner in the works of the mainstream. A prick for our everyday assumptions. The Spanner is a 'not for profit' company and has no political affiliations.


Who writes for it?
There are six previous issues, all loosely themed: Class, Collapse, Lies, Leisure, the New, Respect. Recent squibs include:

JOHN BERGER on France as a time bomb
OWEN JONES and DAVID GOODHART on fear of the plebs
MICHAEL FRAYN on the perfect strike
SLAVOJ ZIZEK on how to undo capitalism,
NICK LEZARD on how to get paid for what you write
ROBERT SKIDELSKY on the importance of free time
D.B.C. PIERRE on how fiction survives the parallel universe 

Other esteemed Spannerian scribes and artists include Terry Eagleton, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Alexander Cockburn, Bill Knott, Andrew Simms, Gustave Doré, Richard Hamilton, James Harkin, Elfriede Jelinek, Lynne Segal, Alice Waugh, Anna Baddeley, William Hogarth, Alex Preston, Lucretia Stewart

Why Unbound?
Until now only members of Blacks Club in the heart of Soho have had access to this feast. Now we are using the excellent 18th century subscription model offered by Unbound to extend the pleasure to all-comers. An annual e-subscription to The Spanner costs just £10 per annum buys you four digital issues; £20 gets you that plus four handsome broadsheets posted to your home. Higher levels of patronage offer access to back issues and the opportunity to attend a quarterly event at Blacks.

The Excerpt

Retro, once a new, definite style of cultural production has over the last thirty years quietly moved from a possibly negligible aspect of mental life to a position of rule. Looking and reading around seems to disclose the signs of a civilisation that has shifted into reverse, or at the very least hunkered down to consolidate its gains, as if to weather the storms and floods of an impending collapse. A whole society, from fashion to cinema to architecture, has been swept up in a massive tide of retro. Buildings are preserved; films restored; fashions recycled—all at a pace and with a fervour hitherto unknown—and the result is that the huge weight of the past weighs like Flava Flav’s clock on the necks of the living. The great critic Raymond Williams argued that in any period some cultural formations were dominant, some residual, and some emergent. Retro obliterates this formula: now the residual dominates the emergent. All the diagnoses of postmodernity, which charged that postwar generations had become amnesiac and depthless in their relationship to the past, no longer hold. We have become ones for whom nothing is lost.

The Author

Margrit Fauland-Blackburn (Editor) is an archaeologist by training but the only digging she does these days is on her allotment.  She lives in London.

Giuseppe Mascoli (Founder) retired at birth in 1958 and co-founded Blacks in 1992.

Robin Blackburn is a writer and historian.  He divides his time between London and New York.

The Rewards

All supporters get their name printed in every edition of the book. All levels include immediate access to the author's shed.

  • A year’s subscription to 4 digital-only issues
  • Access to contributor's shed and your name listed in the digital edition
📖 Pledge £10 16 pledges
Paper +
  • A year’s subscription to 4 broadsheet issues plus digital edition
  • Access to contributor's shed and your name listed in the digital edition
📖 Pledge £20 29 pledges
  • A year’s subscription to 4 broadsheet issues plus digital
  • Access to contributor's shed and your name listed as a patron in print & digital edition
  • Invitation (+1) to one issue launch party at Black’s Club
📖 Pledge £50 7 pledges
  • A year’s subscription to 4 broadsheet issues plus print & digital
  • Copies of all six backlist issues
  • Access to contributor's shed and your name listed as a patron in print & digital edition
  • Invitation (+1) to 4 issue launch parties at Black’s Club
  • Lifetime subscription to the Spanner
  • Copies of all back issues
  • Invitation to join each Spanner editorial lunch
  • Name listed as Associate Publisher at head of patron list in each print & digital edition