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Current research interests: things to read, see and hear before you die

Currently reading: Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s (1969) - Philippe Jullian

Web www.jahsonic.com

2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Introducing spurious

Via The Reading Experience comes this and this interesting and well-written posts by Spurious. An excerpt from the first:

How to get through the day? How to link hour to hour? To work: no, that's impossible. I can't concentrate; can't gather myself together; the hours do not offer themselves as that propitious pathway along which work can progress. One day, another - and something might be written.

What is written here, of course, never counts for me as work, but nor too as its opposite. A kind of supplement, that comes with work. With it, set in motion by it like a spinning top. Something incidental the wind of work touches and sets into motion. Only it is always a borrowed motion; it does not exist for itself. Like the moon, it is bright only because of the sun.

See also: philosophy - literature - fiction

2006, Aug 08; 20:05 ::: MP3

Via 20 jazz funk greats comes Shuttle Cock (Private Tapes Version), an excellent Manuel Göttsching track.

OK, an epic aural journey to end then. 'Shuttle Cock' has been re-issued on a rather too expensive 12" but this is the real shit, twice as long and therefore twice as better, standard. Its from 'The Private Tapes Vol.2' and its a series of laser-guided hypnotic melodies, spinning and undulating, rippling with delicate flourishes through the ether, freezing hot like God, touch it, owie it burns!

See also: music

2006, Aug 08; 20:05 ::: Difficult women

If Sylvia Plath maintains that "every woman adores a fascist," it is equally true that every man adores a femme fatale, bad girl or difficult woman. The archetypical difficult women in world literature are Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina. [Aug 2006]

Reading tip: Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women (1998) by Elizabeth Wurtzel.

Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary: escapism and the dangers of reading:

Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary live out their dreams and fantasies through reading novels which serve as palliatives for their painful lives. Reading novels is not the primary theme in their lives nor is it the primary reason they kill themselves. But their use of reading as an escape from reality is critical to Anna and Emma's characters. It is Anna and Emma's reading of novels which allows them to abandon their husbands and pursue their fantasies both in life and in their minds. It is reading which prevents them from using reason to correct their troubles. It is reading which distorts their reality and forces them to become dissatisfied and bored with the ordinary pleasures of life. Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary are books ironically about the dangers of reading.

See also: escapism - women

2006, Aug 07; 20:05 ::: Wonderfreaks (2001) - Jan Wildt

This looks like an interesting read:

Wonderfreaks, a short story by Jan Wildt, originally appeared in New Genre’s second issue in 2001.

“Wonderfreaks” opens with Steve, the 25-year-old protagonist, picking up a young woman in a Seattle bookstore, ostensibly for casual sex. As they drive off, it becomes clear that they have something else in mind. Inside her apartment, they “osculate”, and then both lose consciousness. On awakening, each now knows things previously known only to the other person. They have shared information.

Steve and the woman (he belatedly learns that her name is Lisa) are “wonderfreaks” (or “freaks”), and they have just engaged in a telepathic form of brain-intercourse with is both pleasurable and addictive. As we follow Steve’s downward arc, we learn about the strange subculture in which he lives, where freaks pursue their “fixes”. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderfreaks

See also: 2001 - American literature - speculative fiction

2006, Aug 07; 20:05 ::: A Box of Matches: A Novel (2003) - Nicholson Baker

In search of plotlessness.

Via The Beiderbecke Affair's post on the literary history of peeing & shitting our attention is drawn to Nicholson Baker's novel A Box of Matches: A Novel with a rather intriguing opening sentence:

"Good morning, it's January and it's 4:17 a.m., and I'm going to sit here in the dark...".

Wikipedia has this:

Nicholson Baker (born January 7, 1957) is a contemporary American novelist, whose writings focus on minute inspection of the narrator's stream of thought. His unconventional novels deal with topics like voyeurism and planned assassination, but generally de-emphasize traditional aspects of plot. Baker's enthusiasts appreciate his ability to candidly explore the human psyche, while critics feel that his writing wastes time on trivia (Stephen King has notoriously compared Baker's work with fingernail clippings). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholson_Baker [Aug 2006]

See also: 2003 - American literature - everyday life

2006, Aug 07; 20:05 ::: This Is Not a Novel (2001) - David Markson

In search of experimental literature

This Is Not a Novel (2001) - David Markson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Quoting from The Sharp Side:

The title of This Is Not a Novel puns on Magritte’s painting entitled This is not a pipe, which was one of the 22 paintings included in the artist’s first one-man show in the USA, in New York in January 1936. It was a copy of an earlier, almost identical work Ceci n’est pas une pipe painted in 1929.

The joke in the Magritte title is to do with representation and reality. Magritte’s immaculate painting of a pipe is not a pipe because it is a painting. The joke subverts all titles claiming to offer a window on to a real object. This Is Not A Hay Wain. This Is Not The Mona Lisa.

Markson adapts the joke to the genre of the novel. His book is not a novel because it has no characters and no setting. It does not tell a story. Its form is fractured. It consists largely of facts and quotations, separated by spacing. For example:

Flaubert died of what was then called apoplexy, i.e., presumably a stroke.

If its length is not considered a merit it has no other, said Edmund Waller of Paradise Lost.

Thomas Hardy wrote a carefully sanitized third-person biography of himself and left it behind for his widow to pretend she was author of.

This Is Not A Novel is more or less an anthology of bits and pieces.

Biographical details from Wikipedia:

David Markson is an American author, born in Albany, New York in 1927. He is the author of several postmodern novels, including This is Not a Novel, Springer's Progress, and Wittgenstein's Mistress. His work is characterized by an unconventional approach to narration and plot, that is very much his own. While his early works draw on the modernist tradition of William Faulkner and Malcolm Lowry, his later works have almost completely stripped away plot in favor of a fragmented internal consciousness consisting mostly of scraps of historical, artistic, and biographical "facts". Dalkey Archive Press has published several of his novels.

In addition to his novels, he has published a book of poetry and a critical study of Malcolm Lowry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Markson [Aug 2006]

The whole set-up reminds me a bit of my own site and of a quote by Walter Benjamin: "I have nothing to say, only to show." Publisher's weekly says this:

Lacking plot or characters, this darkly humorous assemblage resembles a commonplace book or a notebook, such as Coleridge's or Emerson's, with entries noting odd facts, quotes and ideas. These entries averaging around 10 per page have the air of memoranda pointing to some future, more fully realized passage that might never materialize. Occasional appearances by someone called Writer ("Not being a character but the author, here") add a note of self-consciousness, reminding us of the performative nature of any work of art. Themes soon emerge: illness, art, fame and hygiene are obvious preoccupations.

Two of Markson's novels are listed in the anthology 1001 books you must ....

See also: the antinovel - experimental literature - 2001

2006, Aug 07; 20:05 ::: Some Films About Time

The question of cinematic time has been a concern of mine since some time. I found the article below citing Rashomon and Marienbad as mid-20th-century experiments. The cinematic time issue also ties in with the question of modernist cinema - which just like modernist literature - deals with fragmentation and disjointed timelines which are incidentally two features of postmodernism as well.

In classical narrative structure we have a clear sense of objective reality — that is, linear time and causal relationships. In a classical film we may have fantasy sequences and flashbacks or even flash-forwards, but these are contained within a particular character's point of view. Increasingly though we're seeing films - even wide-release American films that seem to juggle time and space in a way that's not so logically contained. This isn't a new idea — it goes back to Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, Surrealist and Dada films, and of course a long literary tradition. But what is perhaps new is the increasingly widespread acceptance of this kind of fragmentation — whether we're conditioned by TV commercials, music videos, science fiction, computer games, chaos theory, or simply boredom with predictable, conventional storytelling. We can't go into depth here about subjective time and space in contemporary film, but I will present a quick survey and then look a little more closely at a few recent examples.

It's possible to divide movies roughly into two categories — classical linear narrative structured around the Protagonist's subjectivity, and non-linear cinema structured around the Filmmaker's subjectivity. Two enormously influential temporal experiments have been Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950) and Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad (1961). --Patricia Gruben via http://www.praxisfilm.com/en/libraryresources/praxisnewsletters/fall2002newsletter/default.aspx [Aug 2006]

See also: Last Year at Marienbad (1961) - fragmentation - cinematic time - nonlinearity

2006, Aug 07; 20:05 ::: The Invention of Morel (1940) - Adolfo Bioy Casares

The Invention of Morel (1940) - Adolfo Bioy Casares [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Invention of Morel (sometimes translated as Morel's Invention) is a 1940 novel by Argentine fiction writer Adolfo Bioy Casares. Arguably his most famous work, it's a classic example of Latin American Science Fiction. The 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad was inspired by this novel--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Invention_of_Morel [Aug 2006]

Book Description
The Island of Doctor Moreau inspired this 1940 novella. Set on a mysterious island, The Invention of Morel is a story of suspense and exploration as well as an unlikely romance, where every detail is both crystal clear and deeply mysterious. Susan Jill Levine's revision of Ruth Simm's translation offers a new experience of an uncanny work of genius. --from the publisher

Book Description
Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of The Screw and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy's novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.

Inspired by Bioy Casares's fascination with the movie star Louise Brooks, The Invention of Morel has gone on to live a secret life of its own. Greatly admired by Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, the novella helped to usher in Latin American fiction's now famous postwar boom. As the model for Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet's Last Year in Marienbad, it also changed the history of film. --from the publisher

On its surface this is a detective novel, that genre which Borges praised many times - including in the preface to Mr. Bioy Casares' 1940 collection of short stories, ''The Invention of Morel'' - as preferable to the ''plotless'' psychological novels of such writers as Balzac, Proust or the 19th-century Russian novelists. --Mary Morris, New York Times, 1988

See also: Last Year at Marienbad (1961) - magic realism - novel - South America - 1940

2006, Aug 04; 20:05 ::: Nova Classics, Vol. 4 (2003) - Various Artists

Nova Classics, Vol. 4 (2003) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Ever since seeing Gegen die Wand Wendy René's After Laughter (Comes Tears) has been playing in my head. It appears that the track is featured on this Radio Nova Classics compilation. Here is the rest of the track listing:

1. The Bottle - Gil Scott-Heron 2. Fever - Roy Ayers 3. Music at Night - Brandi Ifgray 4. Funk It Down 5. Spandex Man 6. After Laughter (Comes Tears) - Wendy Rene 7. Use Me 8. Lost the Feeling - Latyrx 9. LFO - LFO 10. Take Your Partner by the Hand - Howie B 11. Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack 12. Move Your Body - Marshall Jefferson 13. No Way Back - Adonis 14. Sounds of Time - Pressure Drop 15. But I Ain't No More (G.S.T.S.K.D.T.S.) - Vera Hamilton 16. Just Like a Baby - Sly & the Family Stone

See also: Nova Classics

2006, Aug 04; 20:05 ::: Unfilmability

After reading that Winterbottom had made a film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1895 novel Jude the Obscure I encountered the term unfilmable and its noun unfilmability. I had already been confronted with the term unwatchable in relation to films which are considered anti films because of their unwatchability (think Warhol's Empire, Sleep and Debord's Hurlements en faveur de Sade.)

Apparently, there is a site named Unfilmable.com which deals with film adaptations of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. A quote by Lovecraft greets us:

"It is not likely that any really finely wrought weird story - where so much depends upon mood, and on nuances of description - could be changed to a drama without irreparable cheapening and the loss of all that gave it power." --Lovecraft

Other novels or novelists which have been said to be unfilmable include Jim Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (adapted by Terry Gilliam), Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure (adapted by Winterbottom), Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy (adapted by Winterbottom), In Search of Lost Time (adapted by Raoul Ruiz) and Burroughs's Naked Lunch (adapted by Cronenberg). The apparent paradox being that novels are only considered unfilmable after they have been through a film adaptation.

Some quotes on unfilmability with regards to this post

After adapting JG Ballard's Crash and William Burrough's Naked Lunch, Spider yet again supports his reputation as the director who films "unfilmable novels"

Michael Winterbottom adapts the best book you've never finished ... Winterbottom takes the source material's essential unfilmability as a given. ...

Winterbottom has thought long and hard about Shandy’s “unfilmability”. The book worries away at unrepresentability

Indeed, the publicity material makes a great deal of the book's "unfilmability", and the finished product lives up to all that Winterbottom, the audience or ...

MARCEL PROUST'S Remembrance of Things Past would certainly seem to stand out at the head of that notorious literary genre known as the "unfilmable novel."

Gilliam and his co-writer, Tony Grisoni, solved the "unfilmability" problem of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote by taking the bits they liked and weaving a quixotic story around them that "maybe even Cervantes would be pleased with".

Yet, Hollywood occasionally attempts to turn supposedly 'unfilmable' novels into blockbusters. The Hours, Fight Club, American Psycho, and even Adaptation, were all based on what were said to be unfilmable books; although all were adapted into critically-acclaimed movies. --http://www.hollywoodlitsales.com/cf/journal/dspJournal.cfm?intID=2766

See also: film - novel - adaptation

2006, Aug 04; 20:05 ::: Open endings in 19th century literature

I recently gave the concept of a happy ending some attention in a post concerned with feelgood films and romantic comedies. When I was writing that post I was thinking about the concept of 'open endings' but could not find much (the nearest being cliffhanger plot device in serial fiction). Today, by chance, after finishing a page on Thomas Hardy's 1895 novel Jude the Obscure. I found an article by Robert Schweik commenting on 'open endings' in 19th century novels such as Madame Bovary (1857) The Sentimental Education (1869) and Jude the Obscure (1985).

A greater willingness to find new kinds of endings was one notable consequence of the growing rage for innovation in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art, and those innovations were put to an enormously wide range of artistic purposes. Among these was the use of a complex of devices for creating a more open-ended art work--one which, in Robert Martin Adams' phrase, included 'a major unresolved conflict with the intent of displaying its unresolvedness'. ...

Some few signs of an increasing willingness of novelists to exploit such endings began to appear after the middle of the nineteenth century in England and on the Continent. For example, in both Madame Bovary (1857) and The Sentimental Education (1869), Flaubert gave the final words to a character who speaks simplistic banalities that leave the reader with no concluding authorial overview which might create a surer sense of resolution. Of the multiple endings Dickens wrote to Great Expectations (1861), the first would have denied readers the sense of resolution that comes from the conventional use of a marriage to suggest an achieved happiness. Hardy, too, claimed that in the composition of The Return of the Native he had intended to have a more 'open' ending--again without a marriage--but was discouraged from doing so by the conventions required by serial publication. --http://www.yale.edu/hardysoc/VPBOX/robert.htm [Aug 2005]

Now, the keyword in the quote above is unresolvedness, a concept which I have been giving a lot of thought after having encountered it when researching the grotesque and the fantastic:

Todorov holds that fantastic literature involves an unresolved hesitation between a supernatural (or otherwise paranormal or impossible) solution and a psychological (or realistic) one.

Philip Thomson holds that the basic definition of the grotesque: the unresolved clash of incompatibles in work and response.

I have been referring to this unresolvedness, hesitation, ambiguity or ambivalence as limbo (the no man's land before you go to hell, also known as purgatory) and I have been using it in genre theory referring to some genres as limbo genres. The theory being that cultural products are often at their most interesting when they defy classification (see previous post by Spamula entitled miscellaneity) and when you do not quite know what to make of them.

See also: ambivalence - ambiguity - 1800s literature - modernist literature

2006, Aug 04; 20:05 ::: Testing


2006, Aug 04; 20:05 ::: Head-On (2004) - Fatih Ak?n

Head-On (2004) - Fatih Ak?n [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

I saw Gegen Die Wand (English title Head-On) at the free shows of Zomer van Antwerpen. This German/Turkish drama film concerns a man and a woman who meet in the hospital after a suicide attempt. She proposes a marriage of convenience threatening to re-commit suicide if he does not consent.

The uncle is hilarious. The love story ends unhappily but is beautiful and uplifting, a welcome change to my usual darker fare.

The last cinematic portrayal of Turkey I had seen was Alan Parker's Midnight Express (1978) and Head-On represents Turkey in a rather more friendly way.

The soundtrack's highlight is Wendy Rene's Stax classic After Laughter (Come Tears), the only piece of black music in an otherwise 'white' collection of late seventies and early eighties punk and new wave. [Aug 2006]

Amazon plot keywords: Female Frontal Nudity | Stabbing | Attempted Suicide | Tradition | Male Nudity | Sex | Accidental Killing | Accident | Drugs | Family | Haircut | Hairdresser

Is it a romantic comedy? Yes and no. In the words of Noel Megahey:

The premise [the marriage of convenience] is intriguing, the characters are interesting as is their circumstances, but the film does then tend to slip into the predictable Green Card formula that has little to do with their backgrounds – a marriage of convenience, each of the partners are free to do what they like, sleep with who they like, but have to maintain the appearance of being a married couple. The inevitable tensions creep into the relationship as, not unexpectedly, there is an undeniable attraction between Cahit and Sibel – but they are unable to sleep together, since consummation of the marriage will really make them husband and wife. Such a situation is usually played as a romantic comedy, and while there are one or two incongruously funny moments around the unlikelihood of such a union (particularly in Cahit’s visit to Sibel’s parents to ask for her hand in marriage), the characters are so wild, volatile, violent and unpredictable in their behaviour that the routine plot is rather subverted, often to quite shocking effect. --Noel Megahey via http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=58267

The reason for my sudden interest in romantic comedies being Daniel Shaw's remarks in my article on ambivalence which says:

Like tragedy, the horror genre generates an ambivalent reaction in its appreciators. Our enjoyment of horror is clearly more problematic than, say, indulging in the pleasures of a good romantic comedy. -- Daniel Shaw

And in my current mood - and despite of always having maintained that I want to celebrate the darker sides of the human condition since that has always been my predisposition - it may be better to stick to films such as Gegen die Wand, because while obviously not as happy as for example As Good as it Gets or Serendipity, it is certainly more cheerful as the recently viewed The Machinist with a feelgood factor of about 1/10.

Finally, Cahit reminds me of Leaving Las Vegas - the character portrayed by Nicholas Cage.

Rating: psychological realism 8/10, oddity value 6/10, feelgood factor 8/10

See also: alcohol - German cinema - eroticism in mainstream film - suicide - drugs in film - drama - 2004 - love

2006, Aug 04; 20:05 ::: Beauty will be convulsive or not at all

La beauté sera convulsive ou ne sera pas. -- André Breton, the last sentence of Nadja

Beauty will be convulsive or not at all.

Nadja (1928) - André Breton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Nadja is an influential book written by the French surrealist André Breton in 1928. It starts with the question "Who am I?"

It is based on Breton's interactions with an actual young woman (Nadja) over the course of 10 days, and is taken to be a semi-autobiographical description of his relationship with a mad patient of Pierre Janet. The book's non-linear structure is grounded in reality by references to other Paris surrealists such as Louis Aragon, and by 44 photographs.

The last line of the book provided the title for Pierre Boulez's flute concerto ...explosante-fixe...". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadja_%28novel%29 [Aug 2006]

See also: mental illness - André Breton - 1928 - beauty

2006, Aug 04; 20:05 ::: What's on

pHinn has an obituary on Arthur Lee and a video special on Danger: Diabolik.

Il Giornale Nuovo features a piece in praise of miscellaneity ("I WRITE in praise of miscellaneity, and in particular of assortment and variousness in books; of motley volumes; of mixed-up, impure works which nevertheless accord with the mess & disorder of nature, of life.") and revisits Nero's Golden House.

K-punk welcomes Bacteriagrl to the blogosphere with their joint reflections on the use of narrative structure in the television detective series Columbo.

Steven Shaviro has listened to the new New York Dolls album.

Further on the music front, Woebot comments that so little British electronic music is to be found.

The Reading Experience has a piece on experimental literature.

Dadanoias draws our attention to this series entitled topless in Paris.

Via PCL Linkdump comes this series of Youtube B movies trailers.

I've just included 20 Jazz Funk Greats to the links section.

Likewise for Girish, who recently posted on What is "realistic"? (When I'm talking movies with someone—let's say it's about a movie I happen to like—the one response I dread more than any other is this: "But the movie was so unrealistic....") and a special on Joseph Cornell linked to the Avant-Garde Blog-A-Thon.

And finally, Greencine daily gives a round-up of the latest issue of Bright Lights. [Aug 2006]

2006, Aug 04; 20:05 ::: Empire (1964) and unwatchability

Empire (1964) - Andy Warhol

Jonas Mekas once claimed that if everyone could sit through Andy Warhol's Empire there would be no more war. It is no overstatement to say that Empire makes bold use of pure real time; a static movie camera records the Empire State Building for eight continuous hours. Like Morgan Fisher's "Production Stills" (1970), Warhol's "Empire" (1963) exemplifies the structuralist film genre, but Empire is also the number one anti-film. Supposedly the very unwatchability of the film was an important part of the reason the film was created.

Empire is a silent, black and white film made in 1964 by Andy Warhol. It consists of eight hours and five minutes of continuous footage of the Empire State Building in New York City. Abridged showings of the film were never allowed; supposedly the very unwatchability of the film was an important part of the reason the film was created. However, a legitimate Italian VHS produced in association with the Andy Warhol Museum in 2000 contains only a 60 min extract. Its use of the long take in extremis is an extension of Warhol's earlier work the previous year with Sleep.

It was filmed on the night of July 25-26 from 8:06 p.m. to 2:42 a.m. from the 41st floor of the Time-Life Building, from the offices of the Rockefeller Foundation. It was shot at 24 frames per second but is projected at 16. The film begins with a totally white screen and as the sun sets, the image of the Empire State Building emerges. The floodlights on its exterior come on, the building's lights flicker on and off for the next 6 1/2 hours, then the floodlights go off again in the next to the last reel so that the remainder of the film takes place in nearly total darkness.

In 2004, "Empire" was added to the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress in recognition of the cultural, historical and aesthetic significance of the movie, as well as the risk of the original movie reel "no longer being preserved" (even though the Andy Warhol Museum's own preservation of the huge Warhol film/videotape catalogue is somewhat unique in the world of underground film). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_(1964_film) [Aug 2006]

See also: structural film - anti-film - Andy Warhol - American cinema - 1964

2006, Aug 03; 20:05 ::: Blind Beast and Coming Apart

Saw Blind Beast and Coming Apart with Dominique. Was looking very much forward to Blind Beast but Coming Apart (which is very reminiscent of La Maman et la Putain satifisfied to a greater degree.

I've been thinking about a rating system for the films featured on Jahsonic and one possible axis could be psychological realism/oddity value.

Blind Beast: psychological realism 3/10, oddity value 9/10
Coming Apart: psychological realism 7/10, oddity value 9/10 [Aug 2006]

2006, Aug 01; 20:05 ::: Boredom

"There is plenty of writing on indifference and boredom in and around philosophies of everyday life. For recent work, see Joe Moran's _Reading the Everyday_ (Routledge, 2005), and the opening dozen pages (and more) from Ben Highmore's _Everyday Life and Cultural Theory_ (Routledge, 2002). Ben also excerpts Kracauer's Boredom [1924] in the _Everyday Life Reader_.

Giorgio Agamben's chapter on 'profound boredom' in _The Open: Man and Animal_ (Stanford, 2004) has stuck to me, like a tick. Just read Ben Anderson's 'Time-still space slowed: how boredom matters' from the journal Geoforum (35), 2004, pp.739-754, and it is really terrific. And all of these more recent essays will point you to other work of course. For indifference, I'd suggest Maurice Blanchot (perhaps _Writing the Disaster_ but lots of other work)"

Greg Seigworth via cultstud-l@comm.umn.edu

See also: boredom

2006, Aug 01; 20:05 ::: Spaghetti westerns, kung fu films and Lee Perry

Eastwood Rides Again (1970) - The Upsetters [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Listen to a 20 minute special on these instrumentals by Mick Sleeper.

In the late 1960s, Lee Perry was mainly concentrating on instrumentals, because in his own words "too many vocalists were acting so 'stink' and so rude. With his house band the Upsetters Lee Perry recorded a series of instrumentals inspired by spaghetti westerns and B movies: Return of Django, For a Few Dollars More, Eastwood Rides Again, Wolfman, The Vampire and many others. ... These instrumentals show a very creative side of Lee Perry's production's style at the time. Weird spoken word intros, distorted instruments, and some pre-dub special effects in the mix. The spaghetti western instrumental became kind of a subgenre in reggae for a short time. So did the kung fu instrumentals.

See also: Lee Perry - influence of kung fu films - influence of spaghetti westerns

2006, Aug 01; 20:05 ::: 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2006) - Robert Dimery

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2006) - Robert Dimery [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Along the lines of 1001 Films (2004) and 1001 Books (2006) Universe has published 1001 Albums (2006). A rather rockist list. Where is Lee Perry? Here is the complete list, and here is the list on Wikipedia. Although I like these kind of lists, I very rarely buy albums, I prefer singles and compilations.

See also: rockism - music - album - list

2006, Aug 01; 20:05 ::: Radio Nova

On the ring around Paris, I head the pleasure of listening to Radio Nova live. Today, back in Antwerp, I'm listening to it via the net. Click here to tune in. Now playing: Llegue, llegue by Los Van Van.

2006, Aug 01; 20:05 ::: Recent reading

In France I read Fear of Flying, Anatomie de l'horreur (Danse Macabre by Stephen King) and Le Vallon (The Hollow) by Agatha Christie (which came recommended on the front cover by Michel Houellebecq). I've also tried to read Bruno Schulz's Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass but had to abandon it because I found it "unreadable".

I had bought Fear of Flying by Erica Jong in a bookstore just across Demian (currently the best second hand bookstore in Antwerp) on account of its first sentence: There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan Am flight to Vienna and I'd been treated by at least six of them...". I read the book in three days in Mauriac, while the children were attending "recreational activities". A very, very enjoyable read. Since almost any supermarket in France carries a good selection of mass market paperbacks, I picked up Stephen King's Danse Macabre which is his history of American horror of the 1950-1980 periods. Curiously it refers to Erica Jong's baise sans brague (I read it in French) twice. [Aug 2005]

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