Monthly Archives: April 2011

Working the Room By Geoff Dyer

Once you’ve read the essays in Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, there is little need to also buy Working the Room, but I am a Geoff Dyer completist. Additional are essays on photographers Larry Burrows, Jacob Holdt, Martin Parr and … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Otherwise Known as the Human Condition by Geoff Dyer

My memories of reading Geoff Dyer’s first essay collection Anglo-English Attitudes is bathed in the glow of idyllic location. We had driven for several hours from the Massif Central, south-central France, to find we were a day late for our … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Dodecahedron or A Frame for Frames by Paul Glennon

Inspired by the deliberate writing constraints of Oulipo writers, Paul Glennon uses a dodecahedron as scaffolding for his collection of short stories The Dodecahedron or A Frame for Frames. In ‘Some Clippings for my Article on Machine Literature’, an interview … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Shared Reading | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The Function of the Arts

The wonderful quote below is from a Paris Review interview with poet John Hall Wheelock: Most of us pass through life in a state of semi-anesthesia, with life itself blotted out by the business of living. We shut out life … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Autodidact

A cliché: he read avidly, Everything he could. Spotting someone reading a book on unfamiliar, offbeat subjects people sometimes ask, “Why are you interested in that?” To which, for an autodidact like [William] Gedney, there was only one reply: because … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The Uncanny

Freud in his famous essay mentions “the constant recurrence of the same thing” as a symptom of “the Uncanny.” In [Idris] Khan’s picture of every page of the recent Penguin edition, the black gutter at the centre throbs like a … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Poem Without Forgiveness

The husband wants to be taken back into the family after behaving terribly, but nothing can be taken back, not the leaves by the trees, the rain by the clouds. You want to take back the ugly thing you said, … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What’s the Best Time to Visit Nevada?

Have you been to Black Rock Desert, Nevada? Its source convinces me of the authenticity of this photograph. The caption reads, “Minerals, algae, and cyanobacteria give this geyser in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert its brilliant colours.” It takes my breath away. I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

In The Blue Corner

In addition to a welcome speed boost, LibraryThing’s latest upgrades include a host of useless, but  entertaining statistics. Today I’ve learnt that my library, weighing in at over 2000 pounds, would be worth $35m if replaced by equal weight in gold. … Continue reading

Posted in Personals | 7 Comments

Surface meets Surface

Growing up in an obscure far eastern country, I never acquired the taste for television. A neighbour acquired a black and white set, bolstered by an obscenely long aerial, and once a week all the kids in the neighbourhood would … Continue reading

Posted in Personals | Tagged | Leave a comment