Proper – A Modernist Guide to Impeccable Taste
Andy Morling gives us a detailed insight into his second book, following on from the highly regarded Mod Ghosts.
Mod Ghosts resonated with me in so many ways, It is a detailed account from the youth of urban Britain in 1979 featuring first hand accounts from the people who influenced a Mod Revival, together with period and present day photographs. The book focuses on how Mod culture inspired the youth of a new era and how it shaped their existence and identity leading into adulthood.
I have know doubt that Proper – A Modernist Guide to Impeccable Taste will be just as insightful and phenomenal as Mod Ghosts with it seemingly focusing more on the fashion that inspired a generation.
Read more from Andy Morling below
The universally positive reaction to my first book, Mod Ghosts, was hugely rewarding when it hit the shelves in 2019. The book’s slightly left field look at the subculture seemed to connect with readers in ways I could never have expected. The process of getting from concept to self-published book, however, was quite frankly exhausting. I decided I’d give it a while before putting pen to paper again.
It’s not quite as simple as that. The extent to which any writer is truly the master of his or her own destiny is debatable. Creative writing is habit-forming. It’s a drug. So for all my active resistance, by the end of 2019, the urge to write a follow-up had become irresistible.
The Mod-interest bookshelf is now a healthy one that groans under the weight of many volumes that explore almost every facet of the subculture’s proud heritage. In keeping with the spirit of invention that defines us, I reasoned that if I was to go again, my next book had to be something different. Something forward-looking, in contrast to the historical focus of much of what already exists. I had some early ideas, but ultimately the subject matter for my second book found me. The story of exactly how this happened can be found on my website at https://modghosts.co.uk/the-story-of-proper/
Put simply, Proper- A Modernist Guide to Impeccable Taste explores the most precious gift that Mod, unlike any other subculture, bestows upon many of its devotees. The gift of impeccably good taste. This has long helped us to tease out the very best in music, clothing and transport from the last half a century. Restless artistry on a less than perfect canvas. I think it also gives us more than that. If Mod really is a way of life then this heightened discernment can and should serve us well in matters beyond the subculture’s traditional boundaries.
Proper applies the core Mod philosophies of good taste and good living to both contemporary and historical topics. It looks at what constitutes good taste and why it matters, deconstructing the ingredients of aesthetics in music, clothing, motor vehicles, cinema and food. It does all of this with tongue firmly in cheek, and I’ve kept the tone of the writing suitably informal and irreverent. I think readers will find something to crack a wry smile about within its 264 pages. Heaven knows we could all use a laugh right now.
This is unashamedly a controversial book and the prospect of getting people talking excites me tremendously. Indeed, it’s one of the key motivations of my writing. Discourse within the scene is also good for its soul and its longevity. With this particular book I’m also hopeful that it will appeal to readers beyond the core faithful, spreading the word about one of the lesser known joys of this many-splendored thing we call Mod.
Proper will be published as a beautiful limited-edition hardback in mid-September 2021. It is available now for pre-order at a discounted price from https://modghosts.co.uk/product/proper/