November 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Paul Gorman, “What We Wore: An Intelligent and Egalitarian Celebration of Our Collective Visual Invention,” Paul Gorman Is 30 October 2014

Paul Gorman has posted several pictures of Nina Manandhar’s What We Wore: A People’s History of British Style on his website. I appear in this one, across the page from Tracey Emin:

Towards Blankness

November 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Thom Cuell, Rev. of The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure by C. D. Rose, The Workshy Fop 10 November 2014

In his introduction, 3:AM Magazine editor-in-chief Andrew Gallix notes a tendency in modern art towards blankness, exemplified by ‘the white paintings of Malevich…as well as John Cage’s mute music piece’. The literary apotheosis of this trend is Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the scrivener who stopped, er, scrivening. If we accept this theory, then we must accept that the writers Rose commemorates have inadvertently achieved greatness, ‘through their work being censored, lost, shredded, pulped or eaten by pigs’.
The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure 300dpi

Red and Black

November 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Daisy Woodward, What We Wore: A People’s History of British Style, Another Magazine 5 November 2014.

…Andrew Gallix, writer… “I was only 11 when I got into punk, which was very young, even back then. The first punk garment I bought was a green t-shirt with a cheesy transfer of the words ‘punk rock’ daubed onto an unconvincing brick wall… The picture above is of me and my best mate Yannick. These red and black jumpers, knitted by Yannick’s mum, were part of our own distinctive style. They had a zip down one side or on the shoulder so you could put them on and take them off easily. The colours were those of the anarchist flag.”

The same picture appeared in Clash on 7 November 2014.

What We Wore

November 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Nina Manandhar, What We Wore: A People’s History of British Style (London: Prestel, 2014)

There’s a small photobooth picture of me on the cover. I also appear on pp. 24, 40-41 (with some text), and 104.

Heading For the Final Shore

November 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

“Just as the man who is hanging himself, after kicking away the stool on which he stood, heading for the final shore, rather than feeling the leap which he is making into the void feels only the rope which holds him, held to the end, held more than ever, bound as he had never been before to the existence he would like to leave.”
- Maurice Blanchot, Thomas the Obscure

Unaltered By Perception

November 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Nicholas Rombes, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing

For I’ve come to see, in retrospect, that there was a void at the heart of the films that Laing destroyed, and that through his description of those films he was attempting to fill, somehow, that void, as if talking about the films might fill in the meaning that they themselves lacked. I also came to understand that Laingn didn’t think of the destroyed films as “lost treasures” at all, but instead as something more dangerous, as expressions of pure nothingness. A nothingness that goes beyond nihilism, beyond philosophy, a sort of absence that’s so seductive and so powerful that to look upon it is to corrupt a part of your soul (p. 67).

“…I’d watched them, all right, and seen something in them that should never be seen, and I’m not talking about a real-life killing on camera or a dangerous, evil idea convincingly expressed by an otherwise sympathetic character or anything like that. What I mean is that there was something there, in between the frames, something that wasn’t quite an image and wasn’t quite a sound. It was both and neither of those things at the same time. In other words, an impossibility that, because it expressed or represented a new way of being, had to be destroyed. An extreme, undiluted truth, that’s what I’m talking about” (p. 69).

As Laing looks down at the picture I think about the missing children, the ones in the news, and that Laing’s reasons for destroying the films only made sense if you believed there was such a thing, as he had called it, as undiluted truth because in fact, well let’s face it, we’re luckless when it comes to truth because there’s just no way to grasp it without polluting it or mucking it up with ourselves, as if the observer effect didn’t only apply just in physics, but in metaphysics as well because, sure, you can coax it out, the truth, but the moment it shows or reveals itself to you it’s changed in response to being detected, and maybe that’s what Laing meant, after all, that somehow, against all reason, the films in question had actually managed to capture the truth unaltered by perception and that’s why they had to be destroyed… (pp. 60-70).

The shoebox seemed to vibrate there on my lap, like a dying wasp, and I imagined opening it right there and unleashing a terrible fury and blaze that was meant for some apocalyptic future, like some carefully erased sentence slowly re-appearing across the page (p. 76).

See also Guillaume Apollinaire, Yves Bonnefoy (here and here), Stan Brakhage, Karl Ove Knausgaard (here and here), Steven Millhauser (here and here), and Simone Weil.

Scholarly Introduction

November 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Michael Dirda, Rev. of The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure by C. D. Rose, The Washington Post 5 November 2014

After a scholarly introduction that touches on such topics as blankness, the whiteness of the page and the ontology of fiction, Rose opens The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure with an account of the life of Casimir Adamowitz-Kostrowicki.
The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure 300dpi


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