Sunday, 18 January 2015

Even Bad Books….

…contain good things.

On a winter evening amidst a driving snowstorm a man on horseback arrived at an inn, happy to have reached a shelter after hours of riding over the wind-swept plain on which the blanket of snow had covered all paths and landmarks. The landlord who came to the door viewed the stranger with surprise and asked him whence he came. The man pointed in the direction straight away from the inn, whereupon the landlord, in a tone of awe and wonder, said, ‘Do you know that you have ridden across the Lake of Constance?’ At which the rider dropped stone dead at his feet.

This is the legend that Kurt Koffka, the German Gestalt psychologist, uses to demonstrate the difference between two different modes of reality - that which exists in nature, and that which exists inside a person’s head.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Critic as Clerk: An Update

The piece is so long.  With enough space between the words it would make a small book; one imagines Zone Books publishing it.  So long.  And I was lazy.  I rushed to post...

...but it was only a draft.

Later I felt guilty.  Then there was Xmas.  I was, I realised, giving away shoddy goods. So I rewrote it, and added a great deal of new material.

Finished at last.  My Critic as Clerk is ready to meet the world.

Because the piece is very long, and because it has a complicated and confusing structure - there are far too many nested footnotes -, I have made a PDF version. It is available on request.

Monday, 22 December 2014

A Short Sprint

What’s the best way to snipe at the middle classes?  You stare at the screen. Pick your nose.  And look at my words blankly. The middle classes? I ask again and you scratch your head, and move to click to another website…

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Friday, 12 December 2014

Left Behind

The film feels a little strange.  It feels… We grasp for an image as it flies past the window.  Stretching out we…we strain, we grab, we…we…we’ve got it!  Bringing it back into the room we open our hands and see: a crazy editor high on amphetamines.  Cutely diminutive he trembles in our palms.  “What’s wrong”, we ask.  “The director was odd and manic, and I couldn't stand it so I started taking a shed-load of tablets halfway through the editing.”  He became frenetic with insight and he cut with woeful extravagance; scene after scene falling to the floor, where they waited for the cleaner and her big black bag.  She never missed a morning.  Always there at six o’clock each day.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Two Girls Go Crazy

They’re larking about.  This piece could finish now.  The whole movie described by a single word: fun.  

Is there more to this film than two girls going crazy?  An early shot of a psychedelic apple tree suggests that a moral fable exists amongst the wonderfully confusing images of this odd movie.  The two characters, who are both called Marie, themselves say they have gone to the bad, and proceed to indulge - and to delight in indulging - their own and other people’s sin.  Although there is the suspicion that their acts are only anarchic parodies of a life they do not wish to lead. Is it all just a game?  Is nothing for real?

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Reader Against a Black Background

The black is everywhere.  There is a pink table.  A mirror.  A painting.  A vase of free flowers bursting out into the room.  There are some sketches.  A woman is sitting on a chair.  She is reading.  Although she could be asleep; her arm and elbow on the table, her fist is resting against her head.

Her black skirt moves as her skittle legs swing.

The words on the page, invisible to us who can read only a white blank, are revealed by these curious legs.  They look like skittles and exist half-way between crossed and astride.  The right leg.  In the act of swinging?  Or is it coming to rest on a knee...  Both legs are red with flaming life; as is the face, arms and neck.  This woman is glowing.

Here is movement.