“If I could make one wish for the members of my profession, college and university professors of literature, I would wish that for one year, two, three, or five, we would give up readings. By a reading, I mean the application of an analytical vocabulary — Marx's, Freud's, Foucault's, Derrida's, or whoever's — to describe and (usually) to judge a work of literary art. I wish that we'd declare a moratorium on readings. I wish that we'd give readings a rest.”
The Brothers Quay chat with poet Ish Klein about their touring exhibition "Dormitorium," during the 2009 Philadelphia Film Festival/CineFest:
“Walter Benn Michaels, the punchy professor of American literature and theory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, came to New York last week and delivered an emphatic message to novelists: Please start writing more about class issues and the social order of contemporary life!”
“Should Literary Novels Be More Like The Wire?” By Leon Neyfakh
“Eternity No More: Walter Benjamin on the Eternal Return” by Tyrus Miller
"I like to structure a story as "three disasters plus an ending". Each of the disasters takes a quarter of the book to develop and the ending takes the final quarter."
Randy Ingermanson explains "How to Write a Novel: The Snowflake Method"
“We live in a world of too many books. There's not enough time to read the books we have to read, never mind the books we should read or the books we want to read.”
"And somewhere around 1985, my friend Kathy Acker took me to a party/book launch/some kind of event somewhere in London and I met William Burroughs and Jim Ballard, stood there and chatted as they reminisced about London in the 1960s. I don't know what or who I had been expecting, but Jim Ballard, then, and whenever I met him after that, was terrifying in his ordinariness, like the protagonists of his high-rises and drowned worlds, like the man on the motorway island."
"J.G. Ballard and the way the future was" by Neil Gaiman
Right now David Lynch is producing three films: one for Alejandro Jodorowsky (who hasn't directed a film in nearly twenty years!) called King Shot, one for his daughter, Jennifer Lynch, called Surveillance :
And one for Werner Herzog called My Son, My Son, What have ye Done?, for which no trailer yet exists; I did, however, find Alana Kearns-Green's audition tape for the role of Ingrid:
"Even the most subtle and complex artists can’t escape the crudity of synopsis."
"Tribus is a sculptural tag, a mass-produced object for the street. It is a work with such a strong and direct shape and color language that a signature is unnecessary. The expression is the signature and the link between the art pieces."
"Literary texts emerge from cognitive evolution, which is a localized creative awareness. Languaging is their most essential process. They exist as products of reading/writing and might even be considered “alive” in that they are taking part in the evolution of Life as long as they are being written/read."
"The natural world seems intent on synchronizing. Schools of fish, flocks of birds, herds of wildebeest, and swarms of fireflies all effortlessly coordinate their actions with one another. A recent study published by Scott Wiltermuth and Chip Heath of Stanford University in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that humans are no different."
Perhaps I will begin using titles for these posts. I've not used titles before. Titles seem like they could be fun.
"A Black American" by Smokey Robinson
Def Poetry Jam, 3rd Season, May 16, 2003
"There is indeed a Hegelian spirit hovering over much of my work, aimed at reconciling false antitheses. But it is tempered by another, countervailing spirit, which insists on the reality of conflict and opposes premature reconciliation."
"What is the best book for those who want to learn how to read English poetry? Were the ancient Greeks passionate and conflicted or just coldly rational (and why should we care)? How should we interpret landscapes, from Pembrokeshire to Papua New Guinea? And where can we find the most authoritative analysis of what is going on between men and women, not least within universities?
To answer such questions, Times Higher Education asked leading scholars - in disciplines ranging from anthropology and architecture to social policy and international relations - to select a title from their personal canon. Their reflections are an inspirational introduction to a weekly series that will in time cover most of the academic landscape.
Our writers were asked to choose a key text that defined their subject, set their personal academic agendas or even changed their lives. A single formative reading experience can often launch a long and distinguished academic career."
"The avant became the post-avant the minute poets began to think of themselves as part of a broader avant-garde tradition, given that avant-gardism is a fundamentally synchronic move within the arts and tradition is fundamentally diachronic, rendering “avant-garde tradition” an oxymoron of practice."
Many thanks to my brother for sending me this in addition to the countless other cool things that he sends me that appear here at BSC:
"Pop surrealist, graffiti, tattoo, lowbrow, comic and underground artists Shag, Marc Ecko, Amanda Visell, Tim Biskup, J. Otto Seibold, Gary Baseman, Joe Ledbetter, Urban Medium and Jeff Soto, among others, show their allegiance to the dark side by customizing Darth Vader helmets" [now showing at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh]:
"It is not the literal past that rules us, save, possibly, in a biological sense. It is images of the past. These are often as highly structured and selective as myths. Images and symbolic constructs of the past are imprinted, almost in the manner of genetic information, on our sensibility..."
"Let's call it the D-S expedition [Dada-Surrealism]. Between 1915 and about 1947 an unruly group of writers and painters made a collective attempt to reach a new territory of mind. They said that they wanted a revolution and that they were ready to leave literature and art behind..."
Christof Migone is a performer, curator, writer from Montreal. Vex is "a collection of radical electroacoustic vignettes" ["vex" short for Vexations, Erik Satie’s most minimal work for piano] & is comprised of 3 parts, each devoted to a french writer: ZONE SATIE (with Michel F Côté), ZONE ARTAUD (with Gregory Whitehead), ZONE DELEUZE (with Louis Ouellet).
Received my april 15 trio from ml press. Three chapbooks, each about the size of my hand:
(green) aaron burch : MOLTING (pink) ken sparling : ISN’T THIS WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR? (ivory) david ohle : THOSE BONES
This was easily my favorite of the trios I have received from ML Press since beginning my subscription a few months ago. Previous trios have been hit or miss for me, but these three are all outstanding.
Burch's MOLTING is a strange kind of relationship story, which begins:
"MY HANDS ARE TURNING INTO BIDS, Penny said, & I said, REALLY? BIRDS? CAN'T YOU BE A LITTLE MORE ORIGINAL?"
[All of the dialog is capitalized, which typically indicates shouting but I'm not sure it's supposed to be understood as shouting: ML Press seems to have certain "house styles" - of which this may just be one. Either way, shouting or not, it's interesting.]
Sparling's ISN’T THIS WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR? is a complex assemblage of strange passages, some of them almost seem to pertain to archeology - maybe? Here is a passage, not especially archeological in nature:
"I was in the loop. I would say it was a loop. I began where I was standing, ran north, then curled back & ran parallel to myself till I came back to where I was standing. I would call that a loop."
Ohle's THOSE BONES, we are told, is an excerpt from a memoir. Given that I abhor most memoir, I would likely not have read beyond the title page were it not for the name Ohle. But now I am glad that I did. Unlike most memoir, this is actually interesting. Here is a passage:
"I cringed in the back seat, looking up at all those dead cows in the trees & the hundreds of vultures feeding on them...For years afterward, their bones fell like fruit from the trees, piling up in white rings around the base."
There's a giveaway going on at Blake Butler's place, which includes a copy of my chapbook, Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously. Many thanks to Blake and Jereme Dean for their kindness. Fainthearted beware, the guidelines for the giveaway require you to channel your inner Marquis de Sade.
Johnathan Mann writes a song every day, usually by request (you can submit requests at his website). he also encourages people to remix his work.
Here is song #33: "I Love Battlestar Galactica"
For those of you compiling your list of best albums of 2009, likely you've got Pierre Yves Macé's Passagenweg on that list, now add Emily Loizeau's Pays Sauvage and you'll be on your way -- [again, click words to find free download]:
Talita Hoffmannis a 20 year-old artist, illustrator, and graphic design student from Porto Alegre, Brazil:
"In 1967, I hired Frank Zappa for $2,000 to do the sound track for this animated tv commercial that I was animating and producing. It won a clio award for “best use of sound.” it was the beginning of a two year relationship that had me filming 14 hours of footage to be used for a film he called “Uncle Meat”."
"Crossing the Zone: Mathias Énard’s 517-Page, One-Sentence Train Journey"
Extracts from the opening of their performance entitled "then the silence increased" 19th May 2007. Filmed by Steve Hunt
[Annoyingly, they have disabled embedding, but here's the link]
"The World of Chemistry"
Directed by Hungry Man’s Roderick Fenske this spot was commissioned by agency Media Consulta and producer Till Drier for the Marie Curie programme which provides funding and logistical help to students who study science.