Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013


"Browned, corners and edges slightly bumped outside, edges slightly bent outward from smoking household, clean inside and no registrations or marks!"

(description from seller on Abebooks of the copy of Schuyler's The Crystal Lithium I've just ordered for a pittance. Postage is double the cost of the item. Of course I have the text in the Collected but I want to see how the poems appeared on the page in the original collection. I'm guessing, but somehow "browned" and the "bent edges" and "smoking household" would appeal to Schulyer's wry sense of humour? "Clean inside", too, no doubt).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Like many people these days (no?) I come to Norman Douglas via Elisabeth David (in this instance her pieces collected in An Omelette and a Glass of Wine). Siren Land arrived this morning & I have just read the first chapter 'Sirens and their Ancestry' which - according to Ford Maddox Ford - was the most beautiful thing the English Review ever printed. One can see why. Pound, Olson, Davenport, Lawrence (D.H.) seem to be in attendance along with that other very distinctive Douglasian note.

.

Also worthy of mention is the re-release of Rip Rig & Panic's original albums in Extended Edition CDs (plenty of bonus tracks). I Am Cold has long been a favourite of mine from the cover in (that wonderful solo piano track ...). Although what Norman would have made of 80s punk-jazz outfits God alone knows ...

.

A line in George Herbert's poem 'Affliction (4)':

"My thoughts are all a case of knives"

In my case, blunt pencil stubs?

.

Rain off & on throughout the day. A distinct chill to the air. September declares its hand.


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

"Here are two telltale words: abstraction and control. To manage a cloud there needs to be a monitoring system that controls its functioning, and this system is by definition hidden from users. The more the small item (smartphone) I hold in my hand is personalised, easy to use, "transparent" in its functioning, the more the entire setup has to rely on the work being done elsewhere, in a vast circuit of machines that co-ordinate the user's experience. The more our experience is non-alienated, spontaneous, transparent, the more it is regulated by the invisible network controlled by state agencies and large private companies that follow their secret agendas."

Zizek in today's Guardian.



-

Sunday, September 01, 2013







Discussion over dinner concerned the phrase 'papier-machine' which, it seems, isn't used here in Belgium. The English equivalent would be 'typing paper' or - currently - 'printer paper'. The point being that Derrida is setting in motion an object-word play with which to put in question an apparent opposition between the 'spiritual' nature of the blank sheet and the technologically corrupted apparatus of printing. L. offers 'papier mâché' (which has its possibilities, too). However, on being asked whether she knew anything at all about Derrida's work said - with remarkable authority for a 13 year-old - "well, he's bonkers".

.

Last night, left to my own devices, I watch All About Eve on DVD. Marvellous. & now I know where Peter Sellers got the voice for Gryptype Thynne - Addison DeWitt aka George Sanders.

.

A definite chill in the air. We're into September ...

Then ... Monday evening ... . . . Dweezil Zappa at the Bozar . A really impressive performance - two hour...