Friday, July 30, 2010

another find

Notebook Fetishism (ii)

(from a notebook written while waiting for the train to London 29/6/2010)

Notebook Fetishism

After a request from our correspondent in Cheshunt, here are some pages from various notebooks that are on the go/stalled/ etc..

& as the old playground adage goes : I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours ...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Will Australian Rob please contact me on my e-mail? I've left details in a reply in Comments on the Sticky Pages site. Very happy to do an exchange!


Spent most of this morning mucking about with one of the characters from a previous set of asemic writings. Another collection in the offing ...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

this is post 992.

1,000 looms.


reading Vitruvius & Bataille (a strange combination, I accept)


last night watched Tournage dans un Jardin Anglais - or to put it another way, Michael Winterbottom's film of Sterne's Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy


the past two weeks in Rome starting to make sense


shirts to iron

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

& further to yesterday's post:

"He worked usually on large sheets of paper, writing down his thoughts in evident haste, with many alterations, erasures, transpositions, sometimes setting down the words so that they looked more like poetry than prose. ... Each of the large sheets of paper might contain up to nine entries, not necessarily connected, which became, physically, fragments, strips, when Pascal cut them in order to file them, using a system common at the time. He threaded a string through the corner of all the fragments allotted to a given dossier, putting a tag at the top with the title, and tying the string to secure the liasse or bundle.


... the heading ‘Nature is Corrupt’, to which neither copy allots any fragments, is clearly integral to the general argument, but the various fragments concerned with corruption (e.g. 449) are scattered over several dossiers."

(from the Penguin Classics Introduction to Pascal’s Pensées)

I heard this on the radio on Sunday morning & felt sure it was Stina Nordenstam (a new CD?). Turns out it's the Icelandic-Italian singer Emiliana Torrini. Off the album Fisherman's Woman - and easily the best track. The CD version is stronger.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The penny drops finally: the necessity to work in multiple. Haunted by memories of the very first school (preparatory - but for what?): surrendering the exercise book as proof of thorough work. The back cover ceremonially torn by the Headmaster's secretary. Later, ritual humiliation by the Maths teacher: "I've finished mine as well". "As well? But he has finished his better than you!". Pedantry and pedagogy. Always the spectre of wasting paper: "don't scribble on that ...".

Which is as much to say to have several notebooks on the go. Another self-crippling strategy - what must go where? It doesn't matter! Or, alternatively, have many places. Before it was easier: the commonplace book. Copperplate handwriting, the cultivated flourish, cellar book, quotations maturing over time. Now, so many options: handwritten scrawl, the xeroxed copy, cut & paste from Word. Why even bother with the notebook? Why not the netbook, iPod, iPad, Blackberry, the virtual page? Is the Blog the notebook by other means?

So I'm abandoning the idea of the one volume kept going through thick and thin and ultimately getting stale and boring - work is getting too dispersed, convoluted, various and downright awkward. Instead:
  • A4 jotter for daily writing: plenty of empty space to squander and not feel 'precious' (the 3-pages a day regime if nothing else)
  • dedicated A4 notebooks for specific projects or periods of time
  • little notebooks for quick writing, stuffed in the pocket, a train journey, off the cuff
  • lever-arch files for anthologizing articles
  • Moleskine A5s for the school terms - good size & compromise
  • cheap jotters/ the old school exercise books - for economy and space - it was stupid in Rome to lug a thick volume around in my bag everyday
  • orihons, folded papers, special formats for asemic writings
And some rules:
  • movement between and across the notebooks: by means of xeroxing, scanning, cutting and pasting
  • a page is not 'done' - it can be added to, excised, reworked
  • blank pages are not a crime
  • projects and notebooks can be left 'fallow' and reopened later
& etymologizing ...

... Thoreau's pond.

"a small body of still water of artificial formation" (noun) ... "to hold back or dam up a stream ... to pound ..." (verb).

Closely allied to 'ponder':

"to weigh" ... "to estimate the worth, value, or amount of; to appraise" ... "to weigh (a matter, words, etc.) mentally ... to think over, meditate upon" ... "to consider, meditate, reflect ... muse over ...".

Penned water.

It occurs to me that what is Thoreau's Journal but a pond? The act of writing an act of movement in, over, through reflection. The ripples sent from each entry: the Journal: the house: Walden pond: the local: the surrounds:

(((((( . ))))))

Why echoes fascinate Thoreau - what might we sound in tranquillity?

To construct not necessarily one's own cabin but to maintain a daily routine of pondering. The page into which one looks.


"We wake the echo of the place we are in, its slumbering music." (September 19, 1850).

Jan 26 1840 : No definition of poetry is adequate unless it be poetry itself. The poet does not need to see how meadows are something else than earth, grass, and water, but how they are thus much ...

... The poem is drawn out from under the feet of the poet, his whole weight has rested on this ground.

Its eccentric and unexplored orbit embraces the system.

(from The Journal 1837-1861, Thoreau)


I was reading this prior to leaving for Rome & making notes. Now's the time to go back through - I'll post some of the more striking entries. (Promises, promises ...).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The new Sticky Pages line in designer coffee cups? Sadly no ... this is from a station cafe.

We're - well, at least three quarters of us - are back in the Brussels HQ. Rome was great. But it's also great to be back. And the cats seem to have forgiven us.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The first volume now done. The cover is a revised image of the one for Gary Barwin.

What else to do with the past week's work but collect it into a book (or books).

So ... The Barcode Variations vols. I, II & III - and I'm assembling them in reverse order.

They'll go together as THE BARCODEX (neat, huh?).

If you'd like a copy or set let me know.


As I'm doing the scanning & arranging there's Silent Alarm by Bloc Party on the stereo. New to me - although I gather it's won awards and has been played to death on BBC radio. Who cares? It's just the music for summer holidays. And this is a catchy one ... (despite the predictably cliche-ridden video ...).

Saturday, July 03, 2010

So Brazil are out. The 'beautiful game' degenerating into lack of discipline, stupid fouls, and the inevitable red card.

And England are out. Over paid, over played, over praised.

'That' goal was an uncanny repeat of Geof Hurst's and confirms the need for some kind of electronic 'referee'. Fifa, it seems, argues that they want to keep the game democratic - a kick around in the park and the World Cup should be one and the same. Who are they kidding?

I lost faith with football many years ago when Maradonna 'scored' against England by handing the ball into the net. He was later awarded Player of the Tournament. There have been other examples since.

Surely, during a kick around in the park there'd be agreement - nice try, but it was handball or the ball did go over the line. Is it so naive - or plain stupid - to imagine that a goalkeeper, a fullback might turn around and admit the referee's judgment was at fault and the correct decision made? What value has a victory if it is based upon cheating or a falsified result? Where's the dignity in that?

The word behind it all is - of course - sportsmanship. And this World Cup confirms to me that there's little - if any - of that left in football.

Friday, July 02, 2010

barcode (xvi)

The Game

first play

second play

third play

fourth play

fifth play

sixth play

seventh play

eighth play


barcode (xi)

explication du texte

barcode (xii)


barcode (xiii)

rhyming couplet

barcode (xiv)

pwoermd (for Geof Huth)

barcode (xv)

for John Cage

. Driving into work the other morning with 'Village of the Sun' playing & humming & drumming along  & think...