gistofthegrist

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Archive for the month “January, 2014”

Box mining

Of course the granddaddy of these book mining endeavours is arguably Joseph Cornell? Who also often used book pages of text or images in his shadow boxes.

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Book Carving

book mining II

Yesterday I was minded of Brian Dettmer‘s book carving work.

Deutsche-Litteraturgeschichte-view3EM

book mining

Finally got around to ordering the presently out of print [but more due in Spring] Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer. I love Bruno Schulz so it will be very interesting to see what cutting up his Street of Crocodiles has resulted in?

Kapow!

VE4_Kapow!_05_lr

click image to visit site

I love the bookworks of Visual Editions. There seem to be very few publishers that are really trying to do anything different with literary fiction. Yes there are mainstream hits now and then with some ‘unorthodox’ innards; House of  Leaves, Raw Shark Texts etc but by and large it is business as usual unfortunately.

With the printed word now perhaps facing a long slow extinction event maybe this is the way forward for actual physical books? Make the wordy material more than just the words ie really big up the objectness of the textual container.

Dark Satanic Mills

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Dark Satanic Mills, The Sedgwick brothers

What with my love of all things post-apocalyptic, I read this futuristic graphic novel last week [the title comes from William Blake’s poem Jerusalem and there are many Blakean influences and ‘quotes’] It’s a road-trip-come-morality tale described as ‘a punked-up Wizard of Oz for a new generation’.

Set in a drowned London,  a derelict Alton Towers and a radioactive wasteland that is a dried out Lake District, [with illustrations by comic artists who worked on the likes of Judge Dredd] this narrative follows the dystopian religious  state model; which in some ways is its biggest weakness, but on the other hand is merely a hook on which to hang the story. How such a bunch of religious zealot baddies could take over a whole country always leaves me perplexed. Always seems just a conceit too far.  

The ‘dark satanic mills’ of Blake’s poem of course do not refer to the factories of the industrial revolution as often supposed, but to the orthodox church of the time; with its oppressive system of enslavement in orthodox religious belief.

absence of occupance II

Another photographer with a love of empty architecture? This time more sci-fi than horror? Not hard to imagine Bruce Dern in Silent Running motoring up and down the space freighter corridors of Valley Forge on his buggy chasing Huey, Dewey and Louie in this locale.

Nick Frank, Munich underground.

Nick Frank, Munich underground.

absence of occupance

Beautiful photographs of empty tube stations. Too sublime to be mere horror movie / post-apocalypse shots. But one can certainly imagine that scenario.

James Whatley, Liverpool Street

James Whatley, Liverpool Street

Oh poetry how I hate thee.

Started to try to read Anne Sexton – The Complete Poems. But how hard I find most poetry these days. There seems to be no ‘iconic moments-‘ or epiphanies resident in most of what I read, merely personal insight that is not very insightful. The conversational and the confessional on the whole leave me cold.

Rene MagritteThe Empire of Light

Rene Magritte, The Empire of Light

I long for the tasty word combo ‘butchered time’, the great phrase ‘hope is the thing with feathers’, an at least half decent metaphor ‘the moon was a ghostly galleon tossed on stormy seas’, some striking visual imagery ‘ Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, / Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge’; a compactness, a concreteness, a completeness.

Perhaps I was exposed at too young an age to imagism and metaphysical conceits? If Magritte’s The Empire of Light is the poetry I seek then a house, a tree and a lamppost is just a list of three objects. What is lacking? Some element of mystery, puzzlement, wonderment.

Most poetry to my palate now reads like the bad jokes or overly sentimental swill you get in cheap greetings cards.

Enigma Emulator

Enigmafront

click image to download emulator

Super on-line simulator of various Enigma coding machines. Superb!

 

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RunTheTube

Running the entire tube network to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK and War Child

Big American Night

The Notebook of James A. Reeves

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A curated glimpse into a world of infinite beauty and creativity.

The Woodring Monitor

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SFF Chronicles

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Jacket Mechanical

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Discovering London

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TextOfTheDay

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