Monday, March 31, 2008
If you don't like bloody stuff don't watch the above excerpt of Yukio Mishima's one and only film he directed and wrote "Patriotism." Often compared to Jean Genet's short film, this is based on a short story by Mishima. Ask for me (Tosh) at the bookstore and i will lead you to the book. Criterion is going to be putting this out in June 2008.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
A somewhat recent artistic phenomenon features the deconstruction, reclamation and reconfiguration of texts. Oftentimes, the artist will incorporate and play on the themes of the literary work.
Uncovered by Thomas Allen is a prime example.
Artist Alex Itin premiered an animated piece entitled, "Orson Whales," which incorporates two copies of Moby Dick laden page-by-page with Itin's drawings. The audio is apparently taken from a Welles reading juxtaposed with Led Zeppelin.
A work by Robert The:
Accumulation is another common style in this particular medium.
A large scale installation entitled "The Defrauder" by Jonathan Callan is a great demonstration of this:
This particular work by Barton Lidicé Beneš is one that I am even more smitten with. His play on the ancient African practice of object accumulation as collected memory is brilliant.
The most prominent style, I would say, is the eradication of books to create an entirely new object.
One example from Cara Barer's porfolio:
Vito Drago's "Which Direction":
A work by Doug Beube:
My final example is from the Moleskine notebook exhibition at Detour. The clip features artist Antonio Jorge Gonçalves:
I must mention that this is one of countless examples. The exhibition is really worth investing time in.
It is nearly impossible to reference all of the contemporary artists who are working with this medium, and if there is an artist that you feel is worth noting that I've left out, I encourage you to make a note of them. This style of artwork is one that I find to be provocative and relevant to avid readers for its obvious qualities and correlations, as well as a refurbishment of a familiar concept and object.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Norman Mailer vs. Rip Torn
Norman Mailer on the Gilmore Girls
Mailer vs. smart women
Mailer reading his last novel
Thursday, March 20, 2008
It may have been Horsley's clothing (he was reported to be wearing a top hat and painted nails) or the nature of his 'past' life. Nevertheless we here at the U.S. are losing the opportunity to see and hear what i think is a remarkable author. Surely he will be allowed in the U.S.?
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
A week ago Slate published a wonderfully comprehensive article by Jim Lewis on Juan Rulfo's Pedro Paramo, (read it here), our book club selection from last August. Mr. Lewis consistently publishes some of the best articles on the web about forgotten/ignored/new books, and we have very little to add but to plug Rulfo's collection of short stories --The Burning Plain: and Other Stories-- and second Jim's opinion that this one of a kind masterpiece is not to be missed.
And to be honest with you, I go on Goodreads while working at Book Soup. Yes, as I am helping you the customer at the back counter I am actually on the computer writing a review for Goodreads at the same time. And yes, I will find or order that book for you at the same time. But to be honest with you my mind is on Goodreads.
An old Book Soup co-worker Marion invited me to join Goodreads. Of course I totally ignored the first invitation, and for the sake of manners the second as well. But sometime in September 2007, I flipped out. It may have been due to a financial crisis I was going through at the time, or an ongoing plumbing problem, but I had the urge to put my entire library online and I thought 'why not on Goodreads.' Being a private person I thought it was a unique way for me to meet others as well as sort of write a memoir based on my book collection.
So the little librarian in me went over my entire collection and put it on the Goodreads website. After that I thought, "that's not enough. I need to write reviews for all the books on Goodreads." But even that's not enough. I had to add friends. And who are these friends? Some are obsessive people like me that have a dramatic need to document their reading habits as well as the occasional lonely soul looking for love, companionship and so forth. And to my surprise I actually found old friends –even an old love or two. I thought that they hated me, but alas not true. They were just slightly disappointed in me for not calling back about 25 years ago. My how time flies.
Obviously Goodreads has only served to accentuate my book obsession. And I do have a book obsession-- I work at a bookstore full-time as well as publish books and spend a lot of my time just thinking about books. And let's be honest it's a sickness. And Goodreads is basically (and let's be really honest) a collection of sick souls sharing a sick obsession. These sickos live everywhere from Pasadena to Iran (I actually have a lot of 'friends' in Iran) as well as distant towns and villages in the U.K. It's awesome that one can spend hours behind their computer and yet express themselves so widely to the world regarding their book fetishes.
The question you may be asking is why?
Since I can't answer the question for the millions on Goodreads, I'll try to answer it for myself. There is something intimate about a book that can't be shared. Unless you like to read with someone over your shouldey you – like most of us - read alone. And I think it's the alone part that adds to the pleasure of reading. The social part comes afterward, sort of the reward for one who spends their enduring time to read a book. Humans need to share. I for instance like to share my manager's girlfriend, but that's another issue. But books are for better or (never) worse the ideal object to get lost in – and I think the Internet is another medium to get lost in. So the combination of solitary reading and sharing something on the Internet is quite natural.
My name is Tosh; I read books and am part of the Goodreads family.http://www.goodreads.com/profile/Tosh