Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 15 - 23, 2008

You Are Here
Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination
Katherine Harmon
Softcover, 2004
10 cards

I became quite interested in maps and the newest issue of my collage zine, la colle, took maps on as a theme. This book was lent to me by Amanda in my quest to learn more about maps. It offers a wonderful collection of essays by thoughtful writers (Denis Wood and Stephen S. Hall) while also including a range of images of maps by cartographers, artists and others. Maps in literature, particularly children's literature, loom large throughout the book, my favorite is the end quote from Roald Dahl's The BFG.

Lewis Carroll quote
-8-9 Bedolina petroglyph at Valcamonica, 2500 BCE, one of the oldest known maps
-10- mapping making us human
-11 gambol
-own dialect
-"These are maps of the imagination, as all maps are, only more so.
-"three-years-olds are born cartographers
-15 I Mercator by Stephen S. Hall
"We all travel with many maps, neatly folded and tucked away in the glove compartment of memory- some of them communal and some of them universal..."
-private maps
-personal atlas
-16 sentimental documents
-Robert E. Lee
-reader and the map
-"What the map fails to supply, the human mind (or human yearning) sometimes has the power to conjure."
-"the mood of the map-reader colors the map itself. The ability to conjure, the willingness to fill in the blanks, the urgency with which one needs to know- all contribute to what the map becomes in the hands of the inspired imaginer: an instrument of destiny."
-"It is hard to look at a map without sensing, in our bones, private hopes and secret fears about change."
-17 "Out of one territory, one map, can bloom a thousand geographies."
-change- ways of seeing the world
-"fate maps"
-18 wooden puzzle of the United States
-19 "...We need some secure oasis or order, even if only a memory (or a fiction), as a home port for our various explorations, our attempts to make sense of the unknown."
-"'home' which appears on page one of every private atlas"
-19 exploration
-look at it long enough
-"all the things we still do not know"
-24 Paula Scher's map
-38 Chukchi drawing, Siberia, 19th century
"map lays out paths to dreamed destinations...uses notations that are collectively understood to guide others in their dreams and prevent them from becoming lost."
-42-43 Adolf Wolfli
-46 Howard Finster
-53 Geographical Guide to a Woman's Heart, 1960 (Sanctuary of Silence, Just Friends Lane, River of True Communication)
-54-55 Ernest Dudley Chase, A Pictorial Map of Loveland, 1943
-74 Oldenburg
-104 The Maps of Boylan Heights by Denis Wood
-"We mapped everything we could figure out how to map."
-108-109 The American Road
-111 Michigan
-114-115 stone maps
-120-121 William Wegman's Vacationland, 2003 (utterly exquisite and fabulous)
-130 Memory Map by Katie Davis
"Some days, what's missing is more vivid than what is."
-132 What's Up? South! alternative views of the world
-"It takes many points of view to see the truth."
-135 (who knew the Futurists had a cookbook?)
-136 Ed Ruscha
-142 Ellsworth Kelly
-147 Common Ground Apple Map
-149 R. L. Stevenson, Treasure Island
"I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and I find it hard to believe."
-173 Simon Patterson, The Great Bear
-176-177 Mark Bennett- maps settings of sit-coms
-192 R. Dahl, The BFG: "That's why they always put two blank pages at the back of the atlas. They're for new countries. You're meant to fill them in."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 17-19, 2008

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer
Hardcover 2005
31 cards

It's hard to read a book while crying, but it is truly amazing to read a book that moves me to tears. When this book was lent to me the picture from 9/11 was flipped to. I admit this was a picture I did not want to see at the time, I didn't watch the news, I didn't need the images at the time. While I loved Foer's other book Everything is Illuminated it took a month or so for me to pick this book up, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. Using the picture as a sort of Readymade and wrestling with Duchamp's both and rather than either/or (the door that is both open and closed), Foer, from a child's perspective (a child anyone would live a richer life to know) offers amazing story layered upon story, driven by letters and emotions, while also revealing revelations about life not unlike Jenny Holzer's Truisms. Foer includes amazing statements about love throughout while also cracking the reader up. I thought I was one of the few who see the need for a detachable pocket and I was delighted to see that Foer through Oskar also see the need. This is likely the best use of a tambourine in a story. Ever. "Heavy boots" but boots worth putting on and wearing.

I don't even know where to begin with my stack of cards from this book. Each page offers a present. A rich experience with each page turned.
-2 birdseed shirt
-4 "It's that I believe that things are extremely complicated."
-7 children and parents
-8 map of Central Park
-"Was nothing a clue?"
-9 "But if you don't tell me anything, how can I be right?" "...Another way of looking at it would be, how could you ever be wrong?"
-10 not stop looking
-"The more I found the less I understood."
-11 letters
-12 laminator
-13 "Just because you're an atheist, that doesn't mean you wouldn't love for things to have reasons for why they are."
-17 yes, no
-36 coffin and closet
-40 319 post offices, 207,352 post office boxes, 41,163 million locks
-42 "someone walking on a tightrope between the Twin Towers" (Phillipe Petit, about whom I just saw the film, Man On Wire)
-Stuff That Happened to Me scrapbook
-45, 47, 48, 49
-46 "...most people write the name of the color of the pen they're writing with."
-"Would you mind not shaking the tambourine in the store?"
-59, 62, 63
-69 "It probably gets pretty lonely to be anyone."
-71 portable pocket
-72 and 73- ambulances
-74 "We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families, and our friends, and even the people who aren't on our lists, people we've never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe."
-"In the end, everyone loses everyone." (This reminds me of Jason Collett's song We All Lose One Another)
-76 (letter) "Where had it been for those 15 years?"
-"I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love."
-ruby bracelet
-"I had a letter from everyone I knew."
-81 "Their length could not be measured in years, just as an ocean could not explain the distance we had traveled, just as the dead can never be counted."
-"We had everything to say to each other, but no ways to say it."
-82 "I was more along than if I had been alone."
-84 "Together and separately."
-87 meeting people with last name Black
-88 "I shook my tambourine the whole time, because it helped me remember that even though I was going through different neighborhoods, I was still me."
-90 Edna Saint Vincent Millay
-96 elephants, remembering
-99 "So in a way, the more you kiss with lips, the more human you are."
-100 scarf and knitting
-101 "Don't go away."
-102 love and collection
-106 inventions: wedding rings and bracelet
-108 "songs are as sad as the listener"
-109 " the end of the day I fill the suitcase with old news."
-111 Something. Nothing.
-126 "Trying to be"
-130 "My life story is the story of everyone I've ever met."
-133 "I thought, it's a shame that we have to live, but it's a tragedy that we get to live only one life."
-145 gambols
-147 Coney Island, Cyclone
-149 leather
-154 "I was keeping a list in my head of things I could do to be more like him."
-"There are more places you haven't heard of than you've heard of." Lloyd Wright
-156 "Is a love song a love song?" "Yes!"
"Is love love?" "No!"
-biographical index
-160- 230 years of peace
-162 library sinking
-163 being careful with people
-164 artists, arms, feeding each other, believing in the story
-166 and 167
-169 "His memory is here"...
-170-171 Feelings Book entries
-175 taking pictures
-178 "Everything will be..."
-179 shyness, shame
-books, grandfather clock, time
-180 book crying
-"Why are you so weird?"
-190 Buckminster Fuller
-193 postage stamp, creme brulee
-194 "He said poverty made him nervous, not people."
-195 watching the world
-202 Cucumber, Formica
-203 juicebox
-207 Hey Jude
-208 "You write to someone you can't be with."
-214 typewriter
-215 "Life is scarier than death."
-216 letter- "And here I am instead of there. ..."
-217 the Sixth Borough
-220 "I love you" and response
-222 "Maybe we're lost..."
-230 staples and tape
-232 "That beautiful person is mine! Mine!"
-233 empty envelopes
-239 "In Chinese ny mean 'you' Though was 'I love you.'"
-245 Empire State Building- what it's really like
-247 "I looked at everyone and wondered where they came from, and who they missed, and what they were sorry for."
-249 "We'll care incredibly much."
-250- kissing, electric sparks
-251 "If I had an answer, it wouldn't really be love would it?"
-252 spotlight
-256 "Maybe he didn't say he loved me because he loved me."
-257 "Why Yes and No?"
-278 "The room was filled with the conversation we weren't having."
-map of where he went
-280 "We didn't talk about unimportant things."
-285- Mr. Black's
-286 Oskar Schell: Son
-"...I wouldn't have let him go."
-"I wish I were a poet."
-307- nothing to write on
-310 "It's better to lost than never to have had."
-312 "What if we stay?"
-314 "It's always necessary."
-316 book invented
-319 names, keep
-321 dictionary definition
-324 extremely complicated
-325 reversed the order

Saturday, April 19, 2008

March 19-26, 2008

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
Karen Russell
11 cards

Thank you to Claire for pointing me towards this book, even though the cover of the version I read differed from the one she read even though I forgot to take a picture of the book I read. Beautiful writing with words known and created, beautiful ideas and heartbreaking ones too, close attention paid to the oridinary in an extraordinaryly revealing way.

Brief excerpts and notes of interest:
-3 "...a tin roof that hums with the memory of rain..."
-6 Swamplandia!
-names, palindromes
-10 "Alligators talk to one another, and to the moon..."
-12 "I'm lonely and I want to have a secret with somebody."
-16 library books
-28 bird watching
-35- G-L-O-W-W-O-R-M G-R-O-T-T-O
-"Olivia was a cartographer of imaginary places."
-36- "But I left you a map!"
-40 shooting stars, lemmings
-41- x- map- places where someone is not
-46 "To enter the grotto, you have to slide on your back, like a letter through a mail slot."
-50- "Being unconscious with somebody, that's a big deal."
-53- "sleep is the heat that melts time..."
-"We just want to provide you with a safe place to lie awake together. And maybe even," she beams at the crowd, "to dream."
-55 "My mom says I'm destined to be the sort of man who uses big words but pronounces them incorrectly."
-"our worshipful respect for the hobo."
-"But we are sleep twins...He is the first and only person I have ever met who is also a prophet of the past."
-56- saving
-57 dirigible
-58 Our Storied Past!
-"The table of contents was like an index to my dreams..."
-70- forgetting
-74 tin foil
-76- "In the moonlight, he looks like he's made of liquid silver."
-78 "Do not interfere with the moon!"
-84- "ifs" to "whens"
-85- "1 Mr. Goodbar=187 sick children's wishes"
-97- "...thinks the ocean's actually erasing his foot."
-99- "They seem so old and so young all at once."
-106 "I was startled by this, the speed with which one apocryphal watercolor was transforming our future."
-'...that fiery alchemy, whereby "raw" becomes "food."'
-108- "Our necessities...are now burdensome luxuries."
-116- Acres of lightning!
-120 "Everyone wants to go home, and no one can agree on where that is anymore."
-142 wondercould
-145 "It looked like she caught a bad dream from somebody."
-156 The City of Shells
-157 skitterclatter
-159 pickle sticks
-163 " felt like being parenthesized."
-170 (Houdini) "She knows that he was all the time just searching for a box that could hold him."
-176 "The world swells into an apocalyptic howl, as if the world can't keep its secrets any longer."
-180- measuring time
-246 dill pickles