Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Michael Chabon stop spying on me. I realize there's no way he was spying on me because this book came out before I encountered some of these things, BUT in this book there were a number of overlaps with things I'm interested in or have encountered recently. I love this convergence factor, but the ones that came up in this book were unexpected and just random. I received the book as one of the McSweeney's Book Club releases.
14- proposes- "expanding our definition of entertainment to encompass everything pleasurable that arises from the encounter of an attentive mind with a page of literature." [Maybe we need a new word. I think he's right about the magic of books but when there are magazines called Entertainment Weekly can you really use the same word to refer to literature?]
15- pirates and Proust [in the same sentence but as a list, not next to each other]
16- "Pleasure is unreliable and transient."
17- nurse romances [this made me think of Richard Prince's Nurse paintings]
20- "'Science fiction' therefore, becomes any book sold in the section of the bookstore so designated.'" [I tend to steer clear of science fiction but Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower made me think that I might be misguided in my impulse.]
23- Benjamin name dropping
25- Borges [I just bought Borges's Labyrinths in DC]
-Kelly Link [whose book I read in July]
30- map [maps were the theme for my zine]
-"To me the remarkable thing about those names was not their oddity but the simple fact that most of them referred to locations that did not exist."
31 -"It was a powerful demonstration to me of the incantatory power of names and naming."
33- "...just because you have stopped believing in something you once were promised does not mean that the promise itself was a lie. Childhood, at its best, is a perpetual adventure...a setting- forth into trackless lands that might have come into existence the instant before you first laid eyes on them."
35- Sherlock Holmes [the title of a song I've been listening to]
37- "Like most writers Conan Doyle wrote for money. His misfortune as an artist was to make piles of it, and become famous around the world by writing stories he did not consider worthy of his talent, while receiving less credit or pay for works that meant more to him..."
38- secret sharers
43- inspired guessing
45- titles- The Adventure of...
46- Bentham's panopticon [Just learned about this a few months ago]
49- "Empires are built, however, by laying the groundwork for their own destruction." [Reminds me of current events but also Jared Diamond's book Collapse]
52-53- People who have written letters to Sherlock Holmes
56- Tolkien- end paper maps- "never visited or even referred to by the characters in The Lord of the Rings. All enduring popular literature had this open-ended quality, and extends this invitation to the reader to continue, on his or her own, with the adventure." [brought to my attention with the maps zine]
51- "All novels are sequels; influence is bliss."
59- D'Aularire's Book of Greek Myths [learned about this at work this fall]
63- "Loki is the God of Nothing in Particular yet unmistakably of the ambiguous world itself." [this is one of the found cats' who came with this name at my parent's house]
79- De Chirico streets [he uses this phrase at least 3 times, but it is a good one]
84- Harriet the Spy [one of my favorite books that made me excited about reading when I was younger]
88- "A quest is often, among other things, an extended bout of inspired madness."
91- comics abandoning children [This exhibition allowed me to discover the wonderful power of comics.]
93- "We should tell stories that we would have liked as kids. ...stories that, over time, build up an intricate, involved, involving mythology that is also accessible and comprehensible at any point of entry."
-"retell the same stories with endless embellishment...The key, as in baroque music, is repetition with variation. [I've been learning about Baroque art all summer.]
-"Let's blow their little minds."
93-94- "...but a mind is blown when something that you always feared but knew to be impossible turns out to be true...that everything you know is wrong..."
98- pop artisan incorporates "all the aesthetic moments her or she have ever fallen in love with in other movies or songs or novels..."
-"...a record of consciousness that was busy falling in love with those moments in the first place."
100- Bladerunner [saw this on the big screen this spring]
115- "In order to destroy the world it becomes necessary to save it."
120- "...testament to the abyss of a parent's greatest fears. The fear of leaving your child alone, of dying before your child has reached adulthood and learned to work the mechanisms and face the dangers of the world, or found a new partner to face them with."
124- King's College Cambridge [I stayed here a few nights while studying abroad]
125- H. P. Lovecraft [read about him recently in The Believer magazine]
132- "Perhaps all short stories can be understood as ghost stories, accounts of visitations and reckonings with the traces of the past."
133- Lawrence Weschler [just read one of his books]
137- Julius Knipel's regrets
139- "In the end it isn't nostalgia but loneliness of an impossible beauty and profundity that is the great theme of Knipl."
-clubs- "'Fellowship,' as a loyal member of the Holey Pocket League tells Mr. Knipl, 'is the only thing we crave.'" [I'm a big fan of clubs and fellowship- well when they're for the right things like pickles and corduroy.]
146- "I missed Pittsburgh."
151- "this time The Great Gatsby read me."
Monday, August 4, 2008
While I don't usually post short stories (well ones not in books) or magazines I can't resist mentioning this one since it fits into this theme of writing about music I've become immersed in once again. My friend Megan passed along this is a story of a Ukrainian woman who needs to get out of the Ukraine- needs to get out. Her favorite band is Inward Path, a "dark metal" band. Natalia corresponds with a man through a mail-order bride service, Montana Bob. They start talking about music and it turns out he likes Bruce Springsteen. I'll let you read the story before giving it all away. Let's just say it matters that he likes Bruce Springsteen. Natalia is fabulous.
A few bits:
257- "she isn't much of a smiler"
267- (gloomy poster images) "...they make her happy, these things. Or, to be more precise, they don't make her unhappiness any worse."
-"Explaining what makes great music great is impossible, especially in a foreign tongue, but she can at least give him a flavor of Inward Path's poetry."
275- "What does it matter what music anyone likes?"
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Everything That Rises A Book of Convergences
I was aware of this book when McSweeney's released it, but at the time I didn't have time to read it. This fall I had time to listen to Weschler's talk from U of M's Penny Stamps lecture series and now by August I've finally finished reading the book. There are four very different sections of this book. I found the first two the most interesting in the connections the essays explore between works of art and other things. One of my favorites is a photo of the moon that Weschler compares to a late Mark Rothko painting. I also appreciate that he also puts forward such observations without trying to tie them up into perfect explanations or lines of influence.
Before this book I've experience synchronicities with material I've read and things in daily life, but this book led to a great one. On page 99 there's a reproduction of Velazquez's Aesop. Unfamiliar with this painting until encountering it here, while reading this book I saw a copy of Aesop's face by John Singer Sargent (a copy of the original Velazquez) at the Ackland Museum of Art. (I also have some photos from when I was younger that look somewhat similar to the photo on page 79 which is just creepy.)
15- "What's interesting to me is that history repeats itself, not only in how people arrange themselves but in how the portraits of them stands in relation to them."
22- Joel Meyerowitz: "...one is always carrying a chapbook of images around. ...For a street photographer like myself, randomness is everything, because that's one thin the world has in abundance and I am just passing through it with my share."33- "The artist's task is not to alter the world as the eye sees it into a world of aesthetic reality but to perceive the aesthetic reality within the actual world."
-James Agee: "how deep and deft creative intelligence must be to recognize, foresee and make permanent [that world's] best moments."
42- Benjamin: "...There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism."
47- Rothko: "The people who weep before my paintings are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them."
-Rothko "If you are moved by the color relationships then you miss the point."
-"it draws you out and gives nothing back. Its presence, like that of a black hole, is of such density that you might lose your self there."
-"For those Rothkos do not make a statement; rather, they raise a demand, or more precisely maybe, a question."
-"There is a moment in looking at those paintings when we stop looking at them and they start looking at us- and if we are not careful, if there is not enough of us there, straight through us."
-"Rothko keeps bleeding out of aesthetical categories and into ethical ones. Not, is it beautiful? But rather, how should one lead one's life?"
-p. 46 and p. 49
-"And yet on the moon, there was nothing there...A vast interminable emptiness: a howling airless silence. A vacuum of meaning: absolute silence."
-W.H. Auden: "Out apparatniks will continue making/the usual squalid mess they call History:/all we can pray for is that artists,/chefs and saints may still appear to blithe it."
-footnote- Larry McMurty (Lonesome Dove) (forefathers) "What they dreamed, we live and what they lived we dream."
53- "Funny the way mirrors (time or otherwise, canvas or crystal) are constantly doubling and redoubling possible significations in a vertiginous regress."
-Magritte, La reproduction interdite, 1937
54- Diebenkorn- solitary women
-"Abstraction: to be lost in thought, lost to thought transported out of oneself. But out of oneself toward what?"
57- trains- standard time
-Einstein- theory of relativity- trains- "one of the principal motifs in the exploration of simultaneity"
58- Einstein- day job- Swiss patent office- "mindless drudge work, something to help pay the bills while the real work of genius transpired late at night and around the margins."
-Georg Simmel's Philosophy of Money, 1900
-GS: "The meaning of money lies in the fact that it will be given away."
59- "As a tangible item, money is the most ephemeral thing in the external practical world; yet its content is the most stable since it stands as the point of indifference and balance between all other phenomena in the world..."
69- (Edward Snow- Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring) LW- "Has she just turned toward us, Snow asks, by way of entry into the image, or is she just about to turn away?"
-"Capture and release. A punctum."
80- poster tribute to Bruno Schulz
89- (Herb) "He'd be my best reader and I was writing for him."
93 (Vermeer's Lacemaker) "...how everything in it is slightly out of focus, either too close or too far, except for the very thing the girl herself is focusing upon..."
133- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Midnight clock [currently it's 5 minutes to midnight]
159- (heart bumper stickers in 1981) "The phenomenon seemed at once naive and a bit hopeless- another American effort to single yourself out, to differentiate yourself (and your car) from the hordes of apparently identical beings and things. At the same time, it seemed like an attempt to reach out across the asphalt to signal your humanity (through what you hearted) to other souls..."
169- Persian proverb- "Fear those who fear you."
182- Rhonda Roland Shearer wrote in 1999 about Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q.- "Duchamp had subtly superimposed a photo of his own strangely feminine face onto Da Vinci's portrait, before pencilling in the wicked little moustache and goatee."
-decades speculation about Da Vinci superimposing his face on the Mona Lisa
220- every cell in our bodies replaced every 7 years
223- W. G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn- "The greater the distance, the clearer the view..."
232- Lao-Tzu- "...We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want..."