Archive for March 2006

Writers reading

…things – a book in its red binding, like all the rest – at the moment we notice them, turn within us into something immaterial, akin to all the preoccupations or sensations we have at that particular time, and mingle indissolubly with them. Some name, read long ago in a book, contains among its syllables the strong wind and bright sunlight of the day when we were reading it.

(p. 193 of Ian Patterson’s translation of Finding Time Again.)

Via a stimulating piece on object nostalgia by Dan Visel at if:book. Dan comments:

There’s something else interesting here which doesn’t usually get remarked upon, though this is a famous image in Proust’s work: the book that the narrator picks up isn’t the book he read as a child. It’s another copy of the same book. He’s not in his childhood home, but rather in the library at the house of a friend, and this is another copy of François le champi. … in a way, Proust is illustrating what might be the central artistic crisis of the twentieth century, the problem of human response to mechanical reproduction.


From a review by Rober Alter of Reiner Stach’s new book on Kafka at Powell’s Review-A-Day. Kafka is in a hotel room with his fiancée for the first time:

When the two met in a hotel in a town on the German-Austrian border at the end of 1914, Felice was evidently ready for sex, or she would not have permitted herself to go to a man’s hotel room, but Franz was not. What he did instead, astonishingly, was to read out loud to her, from the manuscript of The Trial, the episode “Before the Law.” Stach tartly observes: “Was he not also standing before an open gate? And not entering. Instead he read her a story about entrances, doorkeepers, and waiting in vain.”

Cited by Scott Esposito at Conversational Reading.

Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Dave Lovely

March 24, 2006 at 8:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Pigment patterns

Zebrafish mutants, from the Parichy Lab, at the University of Washington. How come there isn’t one called Bonnard, guys?

"Bonnard’s slow, planned application of color next to color or superimposed one on the other, forces the viewer to actually do the color mixing and see the world in skillfully contrived contrasts. The result is a sophisticated color ‘mechanism’ which convinces with painterly deception, as Bonnard himself confessed: ‘II faut mentir’ (one must lie)."

Mark Harden’s Artchive: "1925" – Bonnard

"If there is one motif that expresses Bonnard’s reclusive situation in an exemplary way it is the small tiled bathroom at Le Bosquet, with Marthe lying stretched out or kneeling in the tub, as if captured, exposed to the play of light and reflected colour that transforms the space into a place of mysterious regeneration and recreation."

Pierre Bonnard: Observing Nature, at the National Gallery of Australia

Parichy’s zebrafish found, first via a search on IngentaConnect for the word "glitch", thence to a glance through the titles of articles in Current Biology, Volume 13, Number 24, 16 December 2003, and finally, a Google search for "Parichy". Oh, the places you’ll go, indeed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

March 16, 2006 at 10:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Fly Danger

Source: public health posters at the Universiteitsmusem Amsterdam. Via (roundaboutly) peacay.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

March 16, 2006 at 4:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Lapp Maps


Maps of Lapland by Olof Tresk (d. 1645).

Tresk lived the life of a travelling surveyor right up to his demise in 1645 and indeed complained in his letters to the his superiors at the National Land Survey that he lacks permanent domicile or decent apartment. The tough way of life took its toll on Tresk’s health. His death in 1645 was decades earlier than his elder brother Anders who passed away in 1688.

From Old Maps of the Arctic Region of the Nordic Countries, taken from the map collection of the Provincial Library of Lapland. Fifteen other maps, dating from 1539 to 1804 are also browsable here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

March 12, 2006 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

But it wouldn’t melt, so they let her off…

The case of the Wife of Poil Watson:

They produced more butter with their 2 cows than their neighbour with 7 cows. Very suspect.

Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database. Via Metafilter.

Tip: In “search options”, the “Search for cases of witchcraft by date and characterisation” links you to a search form with cultural categories and motifs. Such as “Insect Devil”, “Urine (stale)” and “Kisses devil’s bottom”, say. Purely random examples.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

March 11, 2006 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Moving Briskly Along

photograph of CR reading in a Brooklyn bus

photograph from A Reznikoff Photo Gallery at the Modern American Poetry site. I like the ‘National Poetry Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1972’ photo too (Duncan, Reznikoff, Oppen, Rakosi, Enslin, Ginsberg).

Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976) was born in Brooklyn, the son of Russian immigrants. He was "an original, a blood-and-bone New Yorker who walked the city’s waterfronts and breathed the life of the Jewish tenements into a lifetime of remarkable poetry." Black Sparrow Books has just reissued his complete shorter poems – all of his poetry except the book-length works Testimony and Holocaust – scrupulously edited, with notes, by Seamus Cooney.

Something to see here, then, via LitKicks: Poetry:

(Having been fired from the American Law Book Company for being, in this book’s editor’s terms, "an unproductive perfectionist" (we pronounce that "poet" where I come from) …)

From a review, "moving briskly along with good rhythm and a smart undertone" (never bad things, either of them), by Joshua Clover at the New York Times Book Review.

See also The Poems of Charles Reznikoff 1918-1975, reviewed at Powell’s Books – Review-A-Day by Adam Kirsch.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

March 11, 2006 at 8:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

People to find out more about, #1

Phill Niblock

colour photograph of fruit-seller

Phill Niblock creates thick, loud, atonal drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres that generate many other overtones by pulsing against each other in the performance space. Simultaneously, he presents films/videos that look at the movement of people working, or computer-driven, black-and-white abstract images floating through time.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Phill Niblock has been a maverick presence on the fringes of the avant garde since the late 60s. Though his compositions are "minimalist" in the classic sense, based around monolithic blocks of sound that slowly peel and fold in on themselves across time, his music is much more visceral and intense than, say, that of Terry Riley or Philip Glass".[David Keenan]

From the catalogue notes for "Touch Works, for Hurdy Gurdy & Voice".

Niblock’s films are, characteristically, "painstaking studies of manual labour, giving a poetic dignity to sheer gruelling slog of fishermen at work, rice-planters, log-splitters, water-hole dredgers and other back-breaking toilers."

Biography of Phill Niblock at touchmusic.org: "What I am doing with my music is to produce something without rhythm or melody, by using many microtones that cause movements very, very slowly."

Phill Niblock at The Database of Recorded American Music.

Phill Niblock homepage.

Alvin Lucier.

photograph of Alvin Lucier

Music With Roots in the Aether.: A seminal series of interviews and performances conceived and realized by Robert Ashley in 1976, consisting of 14 hours worth of video and audio. Subjects and performers include: David Behrman, Philip Glass, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, and Robert Ashley. Robert Ashley says: Music with Roots in the Aether is a series of interviews with seven composers who seemed to me when I conceived the piece-and who still seem to me twenty-five years later-to be among the most important, influential and active members of the so-called avant-garde movement in American music, a movement that had its origins in the work of and in the stories about composers who started hearing things in a new way at least fifty years ago."

" By phasing sounds into a room over and over again, you reinforce some of them more and more each time and eliminate others. It’s a form of amplification by repetition. " – Alvin Lucier.

(Quote found originally at lecsonic lexicon.)

Waggish: "I Am Sitting in a Room," Alvin Lucier

(Paul Morley’s book Words and Music brackets Lucier with Kylie Minogue in a search for the true history and meaning of modern music.)

There is an interview with Alvin Lucier at Musica Ukrainica.There’s another, plus Lucier’s own text "My Affairs with Feedback", taken from texts on improvised and experimental music from Resonance magazine archived at the London Musicians Collective.

Alvin Lucier at The Database of Recorded American Music.

Alvin Lucier homepage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

March 10, 2006 at 9:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized