"Joseph, Holland's alter ego, is obviously meant to be a Christ figure, saving the girl in the story from herself"
I know the only bad review is the one you don't get ... but really?
Joseph, who didn't save shit ... who only has the vaguest ideas of how he'll accomplish anything, let alone the 'rescue' of the prostitute who is fooling him, whom he categorically fails to rescue ...
Or could the "Christ figure" be the girl herself. The one who bears miraculous wounds that come and go; the one who rescues Zhuan and Joseph both from fantasy and profligacy, the one who is tortured, suffers in silence, and who redeems the men around her, the one of whom her sister says 'By her wounds we are healed" The one who's on the fucking cover in an unraveled crown of thorns.
Could she be the one?
For fuck's sake
David Icke played in goal for Coventry City and went on to call Match of the Day for the BBC. He ran for the British Green Party and went to a psychic in Bristol who claimed she could heal his arthritis. On their third session she had a vision of a Chinese Mandarin she called Wang Lee and the Greek philosopher Socrates standing beside Icke, informing her that he should toss the football commentary and pursue his special calling to educate the earth: for he would initiate the age of a new kind of flying machine that would make time irrelevant.
He has written best selling books and given lectures to thousands in Times Square and Oxford.
He claims that the moon is an old discarded space ship.
He says that humans descend from a reptilian race of aliens called Anunnaki, while some, of purer reptilian bloodlines, are the 'Reptilian Brotherhood' or 'Red Dresses', whose members include George W. Bush, the Queen of England, and Boxcar Willie - their ultimate goal is to insert microchips in the global populous' (sheeple's) heads and thus dominate the earth ...
He believes the collective human consciousness, our sense of reality, is beamed to us from the moon. "We are living in a dreamworld within a dreamworld," he says, "—and it is being broadcast from the Moon. Unless people force themselves to become fully conscious, their minds are the Moon's mind ... "
We await the time machine promised by Socrates ... and perhaps, after all, the arthritis persists ... but I ask you, is it possible to be a complete nit wit and cool as shit at the same time?
I have one. The one in the picture. And I like it, for all the obvious reasons. I'm carrying about 300 books around in my back pocket, but a couple of curious things ...
1. I start many more books than I finish on the ereader. In fact, in about 6 months of ownership, I've only managed to finish one. The temptation of holding a whole library in your hand, accessible without even having to get up out of your chair, is too great a temptation for the over-active mind (never confuse an over-active mind with an intelligent one).
Then, without being able to hold what is gone in the left hand and what is too come in the right, it is possible to feel a little lost in an electronic book, to loose your sense of progression through the pages as well as the plot, and perhaps this causes me to give up on books I otherwise wouldn't. I know I have more success on the ereader with books I have already read many times, where the words themselves remind me of where I am in relation to the front and book covers of the now incorporeal book, than with books that I've taken up for the first time.
2. I remember comparatively little of what I read on an ereader. Not only do I forget the details, but plot twists and minor characters. Perhaps the smell of the page, the feel of it, its colour and texture, the sense of its weight in our hands, are all triggers for memory, or even essential to it. I know sometimes I will look for a sentence in a printed book, and have a very clear notion of whether it was in the upper middle or lower part of the page, or whether that page was on the left or right, without ever having made a note of it at the time of reading.
A book of 11 Hemingway Stories
1. Calvino said Hemingway was at his worst when he was at his most lyrical. He was wrong. The Snows of Kilimanjaro
2. The patient stops breathing in the cave while the doctor and officer argue over him. Then comes the line of genius. "You see. We argue about nothing?' A Natural History of the Dead
3. A lot of people say that when in Ten Indians Nick wakes and has to think for a while before he remembers what has broken his heart - the little Indian girl - that it means the love and the heartbreak were things of boyhood, not true. Those people have never had the thing happen to them.
4. The stupidity of prohibition and the importance of craftsmanship and duty. The Wine of Wyoming
5. Some are born great, and some have greatness thrust upon them ... and some get neither, and no stage to perform, but are great nonetheless. The Capital of the World
6. Remember how much fun drinking was when you were a kid and you weren't meant to be doing it. And why are winds thrilling? The Three Day Blow.
7. A soldier afraid his soul will escape into the dark if he falls asleep. Now I Lay Me
8. Who else can bring a sad night-time cafe to life like this. Certainly Hemingway appreciates an honest, human fear of the dark. A Clean Well-lighted Place.
9. Why does simple food always seem like it must be delicious when Hemingway writes it? A leg of ham in his room that airman and soldiers cut slices off. The Night Before Battle
10. "I have the face of a Russian and it's getting me into trouble." Under the Ridge
11. I sometimes turn my radio way down, when I don't want to understand the talk, but want the comforting sound of a human voice. Hemingway understood fear of silence as well as fear of darkness. The Gambler the Nun and the Radio
Neo Classical: Arvo Part and Giya Kancheli
Jazz Piano: Dave Brubek and Marcin Wasileski
Ambient Piano: Vassilis Tsabropoulos and Chris Abrahams
Jazz Sax: Arve Henriksen and Charles Lloyd
Bop: Miles Davis and John Coltrane
Chamber Jazz: Thomas Stanko Quartet
Neo Byzantine: Nick Tsiavos
Ambient: John Broaddus and William Basinski
Trance/House: Johan Malmgren and Daleri
Chillstep: Ghosts of Paraguay and Owsey and EvenS
Folk: Dirty Three and Nick Cave
Cowboy: Willie Nelson and Jimmy Webb and Johnny Cash
Rock : The Tragically Hip
Post Rock: Rheostatics
Comedy Rock: The Beards
The recent release of Peter Carey's new novel had me thinking about titles. If I am ever capable of a title as soppy as The Chemistry of Tears I hope the people around me have the good grace to pull me up. I have no idea what's between the covers of that book, perhaps it's very good. I haven't read Carey since I was in my late teens, when for some strange reason all things quirky seemed artistic.
Once I was working with a pleasant American lady in her sixties and it was Friday afternoon. Knock off time.
'Thank God,' she said swinging back on her chair.
'Too right,' I said.
Said the American lady, 'I'm going home to put a hot water bottle under my knees, a cat on my lap and watch Midsummer Murders.'
'My God,' I thought, 'You and I have a different idea of fun.'
That is how the title of Peter Carey's book makes me feel.
While it's rare that a really great writer is capapble of a title as poor as that, good book's don't necessarily have
wonderful titles. Dostoyevsky wasn't great at it: Crime and Punishment sounds like an American TV series; Tolstoy seems
not to be even trying: War and Peace could be an undergraduate history essay - it needs only the sub-title 'in 19th Century
Ireland' to make it perfect.
Graham Greene was hit and miss, the very ordinary titles Heart of the Matter and Honorary Consul (both superb novels) are
counterweighted by the Power and the Glory, which manages to be both ironic and sincere by turns, and the subtly beautiful
and also ironic, The Quiet American.
Hemingway was superb: A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Death in the Afternoon, A Moveable Feast all beautiful and strange phrases with deep resonances.
Who is making great titles today? So far as I can see, no well known writers - at least, none consistently. Just one film maker comes to mind: the director or Bottle Rocket, The Life Aquatic, Darjeeling Limited. In books and films good titles are thin on the ground.
And yet, I have noticed that composers of contemporary electronic ambient music are uncannily good at it. Take
shoegaze outfit Belong: 'Remove the Inside' from the verse that says 'Remove the outside and you find the inside, remove
the inside and you see the soul' or 'I Never Lose, Never Really' .. Or Last Days: 'Saved by a Helicopter' or 'I remember When You Were Good'. Truly for the next book of stories I write I must pinch some of these.
If anyone needed any further reason - and they can't - to completely dismiss the Oscars as a genuine arts prize then the fact that Steve McQueen's Shame is not nominated for a single one of them should do it.
By my reckoning, of films released in the last 12 months, this one contains the best performance by both an actor and actress, the best direction, the best cinematography, the best score (albeit with a large tip of the hat to The Thin Red Line) and it is, without doubt, the finest film.
The subject matter is sordid. The treatment superb, The performances wrought with unspoken pain with McQueen apparently subscribing to Hemingway's dictum that 9 tenths of the iceberg is underwater, therefore a work gains power by what is unsaid as much or more than what is. This film speaks its depths with a series of subtle poetic gestures, not surprisingly as McQueen started out as a visual artist, and indeed its best scenes contain no dialogue at all (the one thing the director doesn't do terribly well is dialogue), but at told in the faces of Fassbender and Mulligan and the movement of McQueen's camera.
Tinker, Tailor ... is nominated plenty. Which is telling of the people who judge such prizes: I can only assume their thinking goes something like this: British intelligence in Cold War = serious; New York professional with a sex addiction = not serious. Ergo, the former goes through. Tinker, Tailr, despite the gravity of the men's faces in frame, despite the grandiosity, is nothing more than an amusing cerebral game, every Agatha Christie book is as good. And to make the whole business a complete joke, that great turkey slap of a film The Tree of Life is nominated.
In fifty years time people will still by watching Shame; they'll probably be remaking Tinker, Tailor or something very like it with concessions to the nostalgic tastes of the day (I was 4 years old in 1980 - people didn't dress like they do in that movie - didn't see any crimped hair or tie-dye in frame); and the Tree of Life will come on once a decade on a community channel in Venezuela at 2 in the morning.
This first collaborative effort by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, Bottle Rocket, is a kind of road, outlaw, comic romance with modern day Don Quixote, Dignan (Owen Wilson), in the lead. Never has the romantic spirit, that very best quality of America, though it cause them ever so much trouble (think Jack Kerouac, Jesse James, John Muir) been so crystalised in a film and in a character. Throughout the film Wilson delivers some of the most beautiful, touching and hilarious lines you’ll ever hear – you can’t quote them, they need Wilson’s note perfect delivery, but after seeing Bottle Rocket you’ll know why people call out ‘Ka kaw ka kaw’ in public (and in other films) and think it’s tremendously funny. I can't watch those films where multiple casinos, banks, governments are knocked off by teams of supernaturally gifted experts - more fantastical and far more unrelatable than unicorns; there are just two heists in this film: a successful one of a book shop after hours and a disasterous one of a chemical plant. Bottle Rocket has cult status these days, and it deserves it.
The introduction of the most recent translation of Meyrink's Golem reminds us that the author brilliantly reproduced the atmosphere of 19th Century Prague. Kafka agreed. The introducer goes on to say, however, that 'if this were all it did, then the novel could only have limited interest for us today. More importantly, The Golem was an assault on the values of the bourgeoisie of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in its last days.'
What an extraordinary thing to say. Do even the great grandchildren of the Austro-Hungarian aristocrats care about the socio-politics of the day? But who among us would not like to have walked among the stalls of the alchemists and Jewish magicians in the Jewish Quarter of Prague, or met an eastern girl in a tryst in view of Charles Bridge or Hradcany Castle as the dusk gathered and lamps were lit.
How and why do academics learn the inability to read?
Pensees - spelling and punctuation mistakes and all ... I believe at least three quarters of what I say. ... And the good stuff only stays posted for an hour or two.