Talk:Will Self

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I suspect that the inclusion of the image caption "Will Self is a self-righteous twat" is the result of an act of vandalism. Or is this a scientifically proven fact? (talk) 05:06, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

"Highly Articulate"??[edit]

This reads so much like a fan review. He's definitely verboise, and has a pompous schoolboyish habit of trying to make himself sound more intelligent than he is, but is no more articulate than any university graduate I know. Put him next to, say, Gore Vidal or Julian Barnes and he sounds like an insecure windbag.


I'm concerned that this entry cannot be found by the Wikipedia Search engine. Is it because the name is too short/words too common?

Will this be rectified in the future?

Looks like both "will" and "self" are MySQL stop words, causing the search to fail. --Stephen Gilbert 14:47 Sep 19, 2002 (UTC)

It's a legitimate entry, this is the author's name. He wouldn't be recogised by users as William Self. - Greg Godwin

Drugs on Major's aeroplane[edit]

I'm not sure it's fair to say that WS first came to the public's attention with the election campaign affair, many people had actually read his books! This entry feels a bit tabloidish in its focus. GRAHAMUK 11:14, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I've moved that section to the end- we should start with the important bit, i.e. the books. Markalexander100 05:40, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

was subsequently fired from the newspaper after taking heroin on the Prime Minister's jet. I don't think this is correct. I read the Guardian and the Observer, and have done for many years. As I remember it he was sacked because, when the allegations came to light, he denied it strenuously to his editor. The paper decided to back him, and printed an article calling the accuser a liar, based on Self's denial. When it came to light that he had indeed taken the drugs on the aeroplane the paper had no real choice, he had lied to them and they had stuck their neck out for him, only to be made to look like liars themselves. Alun 16:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Elf Swill[edit]

It maybe trivial to point out that elf swill is an anagram of his name - but not vandalism - POV is more to the point. Still it is interesting to see that his potato-salad prose and elvan humour are posited as sublated in his own name. Pliny 15:48, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Real name?[edit]

Is Will Self (or William Self) his real name? I had heard it was a pseudonym he came up with so his name would be listed as "Self Will" in card catalogs and the like. --Jfruh (talk) 20:21, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Indeed. I must admit I have wondered about this also. Mujinga 23:36, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

At least, i have heard him on radio saying it was really his name. whether it was true or not...--AchilleT 22:13, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

His real name really is William Self. I know because I was at school with him from quite a young age. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:13, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation requested[edit]

We need a disambiguation page here. There are two notable William Selfs: The one currently featured in this article, and the noted organist William Self. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Deputydog23 (talkcontribs) .

If the organist goes by the name "William Self", then they can exist as "Will Self" and "William Self" articles, each having a disambiguation link to the other. "William Self" doesn't appear to have an entry on Wikipedia yet, though, so this is a bit premature. --McGeddon 02:14, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Renewed Call for Disambiguation[edit]

I have written an entry for the organist William Shuford Self (1906-1998), but can't see how I can enter it with the redirect in place and no disambiguation. The organist never used his middle name or initial, and I think he deserves the "William Self" name rather than the novelist Will Self, who as far as I can tell is never referred to as William. Any advice to a new contributor? NancePG 22:37, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

When you see "(Redirected from William Self)" on a redirected page, you can click the "William Self" to go back to that article without being redirected, and edit it from there. will take you straight to the edit, though. --McGeddon 23:12, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Done, but you created a REDIRECT rather than a disambiguation page. Changed it as I think it should be. Hervegirod 21:57, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Not quite: I changed you redirect to a William Self page for the organist and put a disambiguation at the top for Will Self. Your solution is an improvement, and allows someone to create an entry for the actor and producer. NancePG 17:07, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
OK, I think it is better now !!! Hervegirod 21:29, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Making it better[edit]

Ok so I have begun adding a more thorough biography. It's not complete, but it is certainly an improvement. There are plently of links to fill in the gap of Self's life after graduation, plus more information can be added to what I've written about his youth.

User - Ascreavie.

Too many external links[edit]

This article seems to have rather too many external links, compared to other articles on living novelists. Can a senior editor take a look at this? Perhaps some should be converted into references, and some simply dropped.

wikibiohistory (talk) 11:48, 8 January 2008 (UTC)


Just state the facts, we don't want a pointless tour through the pages of Burkes's Peerage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Other Will Self activity[edit]

I watched a TV programme where Will Self watched the Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up with some toffs and intellectuals. It was quite funny. Can someone add some information regarding this.

Was that the one with Paul Johnson saying "unacceptable" like a whole battalion of retired colonels? Hilarious I agree, but a bit ephemeral to be included here. BTLizard (talk) 11:01, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


Self's father was a professor in Political Sciences at the London School of Economics, and his mother who was a Jewish-American émigré. —Preceding unsigned comment added by

(talk) 02:26, 20 September 2008 (UTC) 

His Family[edit]

Is it really necessary having the names of his children on the page?

Done. Ceoil (talk) 23:54, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Will Self is Jewish?[edit]

Has he said so himself, or is this just inferred from the fact that his Mum is? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:03, 30 June 2009 (UTC)


I've removed the names of his children on the page. There is absolutely no need to put their names on his Wiki page. Instead, why not put a few more literary influences on the 'influences' section? It says that he is influenced by Martin Amis, perhaps true but there are greater influences to his work - namely Kafka, Borges, Turgenev, Carroll and so on. I think it is fair to say that his literary influences are more important than publishing the names of his children on the Wiki page. And I've noticed that there are a lot of citations missing - What's up with that? I remember seeing this page with plenty of citations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:15, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Someone else wrote: What are the names of his children? I'm not convinced that the name someone chooses for their children is totally irrelevant. If, for example, his children were called Karl and Vladimir that would be very relevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Like Salman Rushdie?[edit]

Under "literary style" someone's put that "Like Salman Rushdie, Self writes in such and such a way". That seems to me a little irrelevant, as writing with references to modern culture isn't exactly groundbreaking. 0o0o0ok (talk) 05:31, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Crafty Will Self has been Wikipediaing himself[edit]

Ay up lads, he's on to us:

But the truth is that, not being acculturated or contextualised by my Jewish heritage (wrong name, most obviously) I could pass – and still do, although it does say at the bottom of my Wikipedia page “British Jews”. British Jews? Puh-lease! Anything but that. Next they’ll be calling me a “British writer”.

Although ironically, in the same breath as criticising Wikipedia's accuracy, he himself misquotes Wikipedia. We have him as as "English Jew" not as a "British Jew" (yes, we managed to be even more specific)! Silly Will Self!

Badinage aside, I'm not sure how we proceed on this one. Do we honour his wish not to be identified as Jewish? Or do we ignore his pleas, and tell him that he is very much a Jewish man, because his mother was Jewish, don't cha know, and Jewishness is passed through the matriarchal line according to that faith, as well as being ethnically Jewish. Farrtj (talk) 23:29, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

This article has actually just been "English people of Jewish descent" for some time now. --McGeddon (talk) 11:09, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
You mean that he has been looking at the article about himself? I have read several newspaper articles by writers who have noted their discomfort at the Jewish category being added to their WP article. Here's one. As they themselves did not identify as Jewish at all, they wondered if the cat'ing was done under the auspices of some anti-Semitic cohort determined to 'out' the supposed international conspiracy of Jews taking over the world. I wonder myself sometimes. I can well imagine a writer being much surprised to find themselves listed as 'British' and 'Jewish' if they identify with neither. WP categories have never seemed to have much to do with a subject's own self-identity. Whether they mightn't wish to be labelled (for sake of accuracy) as a feminist, a gay rights activist or a Catholic seems to have little bearing on anything at all. Span (talk) 07:26, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I concur with Span's reasons and will defer to her (him?) if she (he?) wishes to remove the relevant category/label from the article page. - Fantr (talk) 22:27, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Template:James Bond books[edit]

Will anybody object if I add the "James Bond" books (and short stories) template to the article? The template lists Self's story License to Hug. Although an unauthorised work - rumour has it the Fleming estate made threatening legal noises at Esquire for publishing the story without permission - Bond fans generally admire it and it is better than most continuation Bond works. Self isn't the only literary figure to write Bond fiction: Kingsley Amis, Arthur Calder-Marshall, Cyril Connolly (another unofficial work), Sebastian Faulks and now William Boyd. - Fantr (talk) 23:09, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

A Point of View[edit]

This programme mentions that Will Self is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio Four. It could also mention how he often presents the Radio Four programme, "A Point of View". Vorbee (talk) 21:01, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

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Novelist or Television personality[edit]

theres a proposal to change the order of the lead paragraph regarding what Self is notable for. The vast majority of sources refer to him as a writer or novelist first and foremost, but his TV work is significant. His career as a writer has certainly been longer and is what brought him to prominence.Heliotom (talk) 03:03, 20 March 2018 (UTC)