Saturday, March 28, 2009

empire burlesque
The great perplexity involved in reading Negri comes from the sense that surely his concepts must, sooner or later, enter sublunary orbit, and hover over the terrain of politics, and provide something resembling an actual plan of action. But this is not quite what happens. The problem is not that the framework is abstract. Rather, it is that the system is just too beautiful. When actualities run counter to the theory, they are absorbed, and the theory instantly corrects itself by making flaws into features...

from p. 21 of the Samuel Beckett Letters:

I have been doing a little tapirising & reading Keats, you'll be sorry to hear. I like that crouching brooding quality in Keats - squatting on the moss, crushing a petal, licking his lips & rubbing his hands, 'counting the last oozings, hours by hours.' I like him the best of them all, because he doesn't beat his fists on the table. I like that awful sweetness and thick soft damp green richness. And weariness. 'Take into the air my quiet breath.' But there's nobody here to talk to, & it's so rarely one is enthusiastic, or glad of something...

Friday, March 27, 2009

25 years after the coal miner's strike--Remembering Britain’s forgotten civil war
‘I don’t think we could have gone back with any dignity at any time. So it was all out, it was out to the end, win or not. To do a year on strike was not easy, I don’t want to look back with rose-tinted glasses. But given the chance I’d have done exactly the same, I’ve no regrets at all. I just wished that we’d lamped a few more Bobbies.’

easy to forget that country music was as much a Canadian as an American invention: the link between Jimmy Rodgers & Hank Williams a certain Mr. Hank Snow of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, heard here at his relaxed best...

"Chilliwack Magnolia,2009" from Anodyne

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Bergotte pleased to hear Marcel has read every word he's written..."

from Resemblance: The Proust Portraits


Anita Carter

But more than the
cuts -- produced in Nashville and New York by Jerry Kennedy, Shelby
Singelton, and Milt Okun -- this recording reveals that Carter's voice
is one of the purest and most expressive vehicles either country or
folk ever produced.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Local trees

Beckett & Eisenstein
Three months beforehand, in March, 1936, he had written—and this is hard to believe, even as one reads it—to Sergei Eisenstein, in Moscow, confessing to an interest in “the scenario and editing end” of cinema. “I am anxious to make contact with your mastery of these, and beg you to consider me a serious cinĂ©aste worthy of admission to your school,” he added. There was no reply, and we are left to ponder what unholy offspring might have resulted from their collaboration, and what the director of “Battleship Potemkin” would have made of Beckett’s hope that “the industrial film will become so completely naturalistic, in stereoscopic colour and gramophonic sound, that a back water may be created for the two-dimensional silent film that had barely emerged from its rudiments when it was swamped.”

Monday, March 23, 2009

Local trees

Allen Lane and the paperback revolution

The ‘paperback revolution’, as it is still occasionally referred to, was not ultimately about books or those paper-thin profit-margins, never mind about Penguin: it was about answers - and about people who had never needed them so badly on such a scale. It was about a world that had never spun so giddily nor cried out so urgently to be made sense of. Anyone with a paperback in their hands is holding the history of
the last hundred years or so in their hands, whether they know it or not...