Monthly Archives: January 2014

Patti Smith in FT Magazine

Patti Smith interviewed by Simon Schama for FT Magazine:

Patti Smith’s memory bank is a cabinet of keepsakes, each object trapping a moment or a place. “Some serve you, some are magical,” she says. . . . For Patti no object is ever completely inanimate. When it was time for her mother to buy her a new toothbrush, little Patti, “heartbroken”, asked, “But what do I do with the old one?” “Throw it away,” came the reply. “But I can’t,” she said. “It took such good care of my teeth.” “You thought its feelings would be hurt?” I ask. “Yes, exactly,” she laughs.

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Reading Recommendation: “The Lady of the House of Love,” Angela Carter

How much do I love Angela Carter? The answer is, uh, a lot.

At last the revenants became so troublesome the peasants abandoned the village and it fell solely into the possession of subtle and vindictive inhabitants who manifest their presences by shadows that fall almost inperceptibly awry, too many shadows, even at midday, their shadows that have no source in anything visible; by the sound, sometimes, of sobbing in a derelict bedroom where a cracked mirror suspended from a wall does not reflect a presence; by a sense of unease that will afflict the traveller unside enough to pause to drink from a faucet stuck in stone lion’s mouth. A cat prowls in a weedy garden; he grins and spits, arches his back, bounces away from an intangible on four fear-stiffened legs. Now all shun the village below the chateau in which the beautiful somnambulist helplessly perpetuates her ancestral crimes.

— Angela Carter, “The Lady of the House of Love,” The Bloody Chamber

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Reading Recommendations

Remember when I said all my friends were on fire recently? I wasn’t kidding.

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Sunday Six

I’m a little late, but here are six sentences for Sunday, January 19th:

I was at first quite an interloper in your house. Your children’s mother was only three years buried when we were wed, and Frances and young John looked at me with coldness when I came. We did not represent, let us say, a united and contended group.

For your part, you cared little what your children thought, or what I thought, for that matter. You cared little for anything that wasn’t your garden or the Ark.

Oh, the Ark: all things in creation, a safeguard against the Deluge, a world of wonders in one closet shut.

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Review of “Time, the deer”

Natalie Joelle’s review of Amy Cutler’s exhibit “Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig” is out in Dandelion, and she makes thoughtful mention of my book arts project “The Hollow“:

Carlea Holl-Jensen’s The Hollow is a handmade book that conceals part of its narrative between uncut bolts and folded quires. The work is unavailable for reading unless dissected, just as the age of a tree becomes legible only when felled. ‘The trees are just as tall as I remember, and they all seem to be leaning down to peer over my shoulder’, the text begins. The figure of leaning suggests the modern train passenger’s space – encroaching reading of another’s news; the attempt to access words at a remove. The Hollow’s attempted readers share this sense of trespass.
Trespass is also part of the aesthetic of the exhibition. In the low-lit space, a canopy of tree-pieces lean down over visitors’ shoulders as much as we lean inquisitively towards them. No forest clearing offers an unobstructed view, nor are there more landscaped prospects that offer the spectator scope to scrutinize without themselves seeming to come under scrutiny. Like The Hollow, the form of the exhibition stimulatingly performs the opacity and density of its forest subject. Cutler trusts the viewer to meet the challenge of concealment with commitment: to incline themselves as required by the tight space in order to cut their own path. The risk is that dim conditions and the pressure of proximity diminish some small press works. The interesting ambiguity of whether the reading stand or table display placement of works alongside The Hollow do in fact invite opening to read is also the logistical complication that these texts may be subject to either too brief a view or mishandled.

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Sunday Six

I’ve been remiss in posting my Sunday Six for a whole, but let’s at least start off the new year right, with six sentences for Sunday, Jan. 5:

At sunset, Albie ran down to check on the progress of the slow-moving cloud. “Look!” he called. I followed him down the lawn. The cloud, big and soft and columnar, was now pink and gold with sunset, but it had hardly moved an inch across the sky.

“We’ll keep it,” Albie said, moving his flag forward across the ground. “It’ll be ours.”

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Reading Recommendations

Continuing the theme of “everyone I know is on fire recently”:

You are all excellent.

 

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