It is a romantic landscape but it is all grey and quite depressing It is vast tidal mudflats, a city in the distance Yes, probably this is New York But I don’t know and I don’t care I am not comfortable in the fully open landscape
On reading these words, I had a sense of the space they charted, though I’d never been there and neither had their author, Mattias Forshage, a longtime member of the Stockholm Surrealist group and author of the thoughtful Icecrawler/Heelwalker blog. New York has been shouting for his attention though he’s never had an attachment to the place and now it’s invading his dreams. When Mattias sent me his dream text, it was clear from the first line that there was a walk here analogous to that he’d dreamed.
And this passion unearths a world of colonial knavery. Time and again, we learn of juries stacked against Nationalists, of an Establishment so incensed by Irish claims to self-determination that the Law, held rigorously apart from policy in Great Britain, becomes an instrument of oppression when Ireland is involved and extrajudicial considerations are brought into play. In Dungan’s words, “the establishment sought to subvert its own laws for political purposes”–much as we saw a later empire/democracy of similarly split character, George W. Bush’s United States, treating Guantanamo inmates as “enemy combatants” to sidestep a Due Process that, properly observed, is the envy of the world.
from my review of Myles Dungan’s book on C19 Irish political trials, Conspiracy
If novels could write, they would write Bolaño novels. His work glints with literary likenesses. Rare is the writer who combines the formal cool of Alain Robbe-Grillet with the thrills of Robert Louis Stevenson: Roberto Bolaño is that happy alchemist…
On this date 72 years ago, André, Jaqueline and Aube Breton, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Wifredo Lam and Helena Holzer, and Victor Serge and his son escaped Vichy France onboard the Capitaine Paul-Lemerle in Marseille bound for Martinique.
During the previous months there, Breton, Max Ernst,…
Étienne Léro—born in Lamentin, Martinique, a student in Paris, and the first black surrealist—founded the journal Légitime Défense in 1932 during the days of the Scotsboro trial to draw on the revolutionary energy in the movement and condemn the culture and administration of his colonial…
In June, 1942, André Breton officially launched Surrealism Overseas with the publication of the first issue of VVV in New York. He and Max Ernst advised David Hare and Lionel Abel in selecting and editing articles for the…
“Every good human quality is related to a bad one into which it threatens to pass over; and every bad quality is similarly related to a good one. The reason we so often misunderstand people is that when we first make their acquaintance we mistake their bad qualities for the related good one, or vice versa: thus a prudent man will seem cowardly, a thrifty one avaricious; or a spendthrift will seem liberal, a boor frank and straightforward, an impudent fellow full of noble self-confidence, and so on.”—Schopenhauer, On Ethics (via liberumarbitriumindifferentiae)
“Mr. Simpson said the technology was originally designed for shipping goods and for cattle. “It was never intended for people,” he said.”—Chammah and Swartsell, “Student IDs That Track the Students”, New York Times: Oct 7th 2012 [via New-Aesthetic Tumblr]
“I didn’t know how close [the Short Story form] is to song, how much it depends on rhythm. When I learned that I was rather pleased that something could come to me as an image and that I could work with that, that I was working much more from rhythm and images than, say, from characters, plots, and ideas.”—Colm Tóibín, Penguin Podcast, May 2012: URL
"We’re close to a world where culture automatically and magically creates infinitely more culture." -Mike Rugnetta, “Are Memes & Internet Culture Creating a Singularity?”, PBS Ideas Channel, 22 Aug 2012: URL
“I happen to believe that the filter process in apps like Instagram and now increasingly pervasive across digital photography is a semi-conscious process of legitimisation in time, engraining disposable images of the moment with a patina of memory and experience, in order to save and justify them.”—James Bridle, June 2012: booktwo.org
via Rourke, this image is a Somatotopic representation of the human homunculus or Cortical Homunculus.
The cortical homunculus is a visual representation of the concept of “the body within the brain” that one’s hand or face exists as much as a series of nerve structures or a “neuron concept” as it does a physical form.
“If you want to stay hale and healthy,stop worrying about trifles and do not allow anger to take hold of you. Do not drink too much wine, and do not overeat. Have a light lunch and skip the afternoon nap. Have a pee before your bladder gets too distended and do not strain too hard when at stool. If there are no doctors around, do not worry: the best doctors are a happy mind, the absence of stress, and moderation.”—Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum (c1300)
It is thanks to Joyce that we have a much clearer idea, not only of what went on in people’s inner lives in Dublin in 1904 but in urbanized life everywhere: these men and women’s secret trials and triumphs, their uncensored desires and fears, were hidden from view before brave artists such as Joyce (and Tolstoy and Flaubert before him) broke Victorian taboos and demolished the line of propriety.
“Xorandor, for example, concerns a sort of sentient silicon pebble which overdoses on Caesium, becomes convinced it is Lady Macbeth and threatens to destroy the world. The work is narrated in the form of an invented technological slang dialogue between a pair of twins and their computer.”—
Obituary of Christine Brooke-Rose 1923-2012 [Telegraph]
“…a piece of writing will struggle to be any good unless you insert at least the tiniest piece of your very ‘being’ inside it. The great trick with doing this is that this ‘drop of blood’ is at its most potent when it can’t be seen by the reader. It needs to be like some herb or spice going into a stew, totally assimilated, never to be seen again, but still flavouring everything.”—Ken Armstrong, kenwriting.com, October 2011
You can do worse than sit on a Tuesday afternoon in a little cafe about 20 yards from the Coliseum and watch five Chinese tourists getting their photos taken with three chain-smoking Italians dressed up as Roman gladiators. There is something poignant about looking at the Italians in the epicentre of the greatest empire Europe has ever seen, pimping themselves out to the free-spending consumers of the world’s coming empire.
On November 13th, Eno, Kapoor, and Sellars spoke at length at the New York Public Library, at times responding to one another, at others launching into a monologues they’ve been building over the years. Here are some quotes.
When you repeat a thing, it becomes a different thing. It…