All posts in Miscellany

“I’m still very interested in testifying against the self-promotion obsessively imposed by the media….”

“I’m still very interested in testifying against the self-promotion obsessively imposed by the media. This demand for self-promotion diminishes the actual work of art, whatever that art may be, and it has become universal. The media simply can’t discuss a work of literature without pointing to some writer-hero. And yet there is no work of literature that is not the fruit of tradition, of many skills, of a sort of collective intelligence. We wrongfully diminish this collective intelligence when we insist on there being a single protagonist behind every work of art. The individual person is, of course, necessary, but I’m not talking about the individual — I’m talking about a manufactured image. What has never lost importance for me, over these two and a half decades, is the creative space that absence opened up for me. Once I knew that the completed book would make its way in the world without me, once I knew that nothing of the concrete, physical me would ever appear beside the volume — as if the book were a little dog and I were its master — it made me see something new about writing. I felt as though I had released the words from myself.”

Elena Ferrante, “Art of Fiction No. 228,” Paris Review (via thisobscureobject via fansylla)

“A lot of this job is about learning how the inside of your own head works. You spend a lot of time…”

A lot of this job is about learning how the inside of your own head works. You spend a lot of time alone, in small rooms, eyes closed or staring at the ceiling, poking around at the machinery and peering into all the nooks and crannies. Finding out how all the machines turn, and realising how little you really know about those machines. Picking through the litter of the culture that blows in through your ears and eyes and arranging it by date and colour and sound.

And sometimes you end up doing anything else possible to drown out the sound of the machines in your head, because you know too well how they grind.

Warren Ellis, Learning How The Inside Of Your Head Works

“On earth, the terrible things and the beautiful things continue to happen beside each other. On…”

On earth, the terrible things
and the beautiful things
continue to happen beside each other.

On the moon in the darkness, nothing.
On earth in the darkness, sometimes
rain swells like applause.

Jeffrey Morgan, from “All Night No Sleep Now This” published in BOAAT (via pigmenting)

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play,” the French…”

““A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play,” the French writer Chateaubriand is credited with saying. “He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.””

Ray Bradbury on Failure, Why We Hate Work, and the Importance of Love in Creative Endeavors | Brain Pickings

Currently alive to similes. (at Objectifs – Centre for…

Currently alive to similes. (at Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Filmmaking)

at Singapore Art Museum

at Singapore Art Museum

For anyone who that might be interested: yes, I’m…

For anyone who that might be interested: yes, I’m currently in Singapore… (at Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant)

“We like to test each other on who knows what a Blue is, and what a Joker is, but since nobody can…”

“We like to test each other on who knows what a Blue is, and what a Joker is, but since nobody can memorize everything in the GigaUnknown, much less the YottaUnknown, we all pass some tests and fail many others.”

Are You Smart? — Medium

“Others who have died have strengthened me in all kinds of strange ways. With their lips that had…”

“Others who have died have strengthened me in all kinds of strange ways. With their lips that had fallen silent, before the earth covered them for ever, they quickly spelled out to me what probably matters most as long as we’re breathing: that love is attention. That they are two words for the same thing. That it isn’t necessary to try to clear up every typo and obscure passage that we come across when we read the other person attentively—that a human being is difficult poetry, which you must be able to listen to without always demanding clarification”

Edwin Mortier, Stammered Songbook (via alantrotter)

Today’s workshop: Ways of Seeing— writing with the…

Today’s workshop: Ways of Seeing— writing with the photographer’s eye. @thewritingsquad Happening today, in Oxford Circus, Deptford and EC3…

“Anything we do with care, curiosity, and feeling will be good. Time spent working with words is…”

“Anything we do with care, curiosity, and feeling will be good. Time spent working with words is never wasted.”

Corita Kent and Jan Steward, Learning by Heart (via nicolefenton)

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired…”

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”

Octavia E. Butler, “Furor Scribendi” in Bloodchild and Other Stories (via wordswilling)

artblackafrica: When I log into tumblr i ask myself the following questions: Where am I?What…

artblackafrica:

When I log into tumblr i ask myself the following questions:
Where am I?What discourse am I situated in?Why am I in it?Does it serve my people?Who/What does it serve?

“While the sharing economy offers workers the boon of flexibility, it does little to protect them if…”

“While the sharing economy offers workers the boon of flexibility, it does little to protect them if things go wrong—no unemployment benefits if the work dries up or workman’s compensation if they’re injured. Often, they pay higher taxes—both the employee’s and employer’s contributions to Medicare and Social Security. As for long-term security, forget about it.”

[The Insecure World of Freelancing – The Atlantic](http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/07/building-social-safety-net-freelancers/399551/
)

Dear poet: you cannot live on words alone.

“The absurdity of that is that a writer is always working as long as they’re awake. The mind is…”

“The absurdity of that is that a writer is always working as long as they’re awake. The mind is always spinning and looking for things to grab on to that it can make a story with. It spins and jumps and glares and claws. No peace for you, host creature.”

Warren Ellis

“I call a theorist someone who constructs a general system, either deductive or analytical, and…”

“I call a theorist someone who constructs a general system, either deductive or analytical, and applies it to different fields in a uniform way. That isn’t my case. I’m an experimenter in the sense that I write in order to change myself and in order not to think the same thing as before.”

Michel Foucault (via ubuwaits)

“Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I…”

“Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. It is the halfway cultivation that leads to ornamentation.”

Bruce Lee, via Refspace

Dear Poet— apply this thinking.

Marian Bantjes’s criteria for success in her work

Does it bring joy (in the viewer as well as myself)
Is there a sense of wonder?
Is it unusual? (I want people to see things that they maybe haven’t seen before)
Bonus point: is it funny? (Not a gag; things that make you laugh without actually lau…