Saturday, January 06, 2007

Nanaimo Townsite Arbutus

Rainbow from the "Queen of Oak Bay" Jan 3rd

Truly fantastic score over the holidays, found in the basement of the Literacy Nanaimo store for a measly 5 bucks during half-price boxing week, all ten volumes of an in-decent-shape late 40's edition of The Children's Encyclopedia edited by Arthur Mee, which I must have checked out of the libraries of Ayr a thousand times. I've been looking for a set for some time, but not for the 100 plus shipping I'd found it for online. Just how formative these books were to the development (for good or ill) of my mental habits and worldview didn't become fully clear until I curled up with them, each deeply etched illustration finding its latent impression in my mind--not to mention, the wandering Oxford commas...for a Quicktime movie version look here...
cold comfort from Bill Knott--

"But hey, don't let me stop you, poets. Go on, go ahead and kiss-ass praise the millionaire Pynchon, the millionaire Jasper Johns, praise all the success-practitioners of the Master arts, the crumbs from their tables may fill you yet. It's your duty as slaves to curry favor with those above you, to flatter and obsequiate your betters. And praise most those writers who began as poets but abandoned poetry, who betrayed poetry for the chance to move up the foodchain of the arts, after all if you could hum a tune you too might get rich like Leonard Cohen and fuck moviestars; you'd do it if you could, wouldn't you. Of course you would. Because, let's face it, who would want to be a poet when they could be a novelist or a songwriter or a screenwriter or a rockstar or a Cindy Sherman or a what's his name, that Brit artist who cuts sharks in half,—who would want to remain a poet, the lowest puke on the cultural totempole? Only a fool, a masochist, a scumbag, who can't weasel their way into any of the real arts, who has to sink to the bottom of the bard-barrel, the pegasus-dregs. Poetry, the most ignored, the least compensated of the arts. . . but you already know this; why am I wasting my time telling you what you already know..."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Boundary Bay Trees

The ugly truth about Peter Rabbit ...

"So far, my daughter and I have found Beatrix Potter to be a proselytiser for sadistic punishment, a sartorial fascist, a property-upholding reactionary, an obsessive-compulsive nutcase (or rather nut-kin) and, conceivably, a bystander in the face of an intolerable natural dystopia that, with her sick (though gifted) writer's mind, she culpably imagined. As an adult reader, I must say, I'm beginning to like her..."