Saturday.

May. 30th, 2015 02:13 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Today is turning out to be a day for playing with technology, and seeing if I can get it to work better for me. Hopefully it won't end in tears. I will stop if I start going around in circles.

I am now quite won over by my Kobo! It's lovely being in bed with a library. Really.Very.Nice.

*giggles bashfully*
splodgenoodles: (Penelope intro)
I now have enough graphic novels to need to think about where they should go.

When I only had a few zines done by my friend Jo, they went in with the art books. Then I got a bunch more, and they've gone in a nice file box, largely because they are just little paper pamphlets and I want to keep them nice.

But now I've got actual *books*.

And I don't feel they really belong with the art books, since they are stories, and not reproductions.

Should I shelve them with my general fiction (which is roughly alphabetical)? Or would I lose something if I shelve them this way, as graphic novels and pure text aren't the same? How else might I shelve them?

Hey and while I'm about it, for those of you who do a fiction/non fiction arrangement in shelving, how strict are you with it? I ask because I wonder about my Vikram Seths and my Truman Capotes: some are fiction, some are not, but dividing them up seems wrong because the authorship is more significant than the fiction/non fiction division.

And there is another reason for authorship first: sorting out non-fiction categories is even harder and when I get it wrong, I can't find things. And it's not that I often need to find things but if I suddenly wonder where a book has gone, I can't rest until I know where it is. This usually happens at 2AM, which sees me wafting through a zillion other books while looking for that *one* book that I am certain is in the house, and running through the various categories it might belong. It's a great pleasure, but like sex, I feel it's best kept to daylight hours.

Do other people like to ponder such questions while staring at a pile of books, or is it just me?

Putting the graphic novels with "humour", which includes cartoons and Peanuts books, is obviously way inappropriate regardless of what humour lies within.
splodgenoodles: (Penelope intro)
I can't recommend this book enough. It deals with some pretty hefty stuff: war, human rights abuse, murder, oppression. All through autobiography by a woman who was 10 at the time of the overthrow of the Shah of Iran.

The sense of truth is palpable. The images are affecting. It carries a punch that can be lacking from pure documentary. And it claims no objectivity, which probably helps.

The more I look at comic art, the more I realise that the combination of image and words seems to have an explanatory power that for me (liking both forms) has an effect greater than the sum of the two. I also realised, just yesterday (while watching a lecture about the impact of seeing a painting for real compared to a reproduction) that I love it for its accessibility. There's no value in seeing the original, it doesn't matter that not everyone can travel.

Saturday.

Aug. 17th, 2013 09:01 pm
splodgenoodles: (The delinquent daisy)
Watching: Cold Comfort Farm, about half way through. It's cute but I got distracted by dishes. Which I guess means that cute does not equal compelling.

Reading: that biography of Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun. Prior to French revolution, she made a lot of money as a portaitist, but as the earnings of women belonged to their husbands, she was screwed. On the plus side, when she fled France (just in the nick of time, given her friendship with Marie Antoinnette) she left him behind and supported herself as a working artist to the aristocracy elsewhere in Europe. He divorced her a couple of years later because her emigre status put him at risk. (He was no revolutionary, just an everyday pragmatist). Also, you do see that gender and class warfare don't necessarily go hand in hand. hmm.

Listening: The Stone Roses just then. And now Psy because Gangnam Style still kicks arse. Earlier today: Breeders, Nirvana, Flaming Lips who are kind of dull, Depeche Mode again. Oooh, and now I'm up to The Riptides. I love my youtube playlist.

Sucking: nicabate lozenge, because cock is so last year.





.

Heh!

Mar. 22nd, 2013 05:36 pm
splodgenoodles: (Penelope intro)
More books unboxed and sorted! (The lovely [livejournal.com profile] ms_kilian is reponsible for the latest flurry of activity, and I suspect only one more volunteer session will be needed for the books to be done).

It's amazing how much seeing my books again lifts my spirits. I have some interesting stuff on my shelves, it's good to browse again.

~~~

Of course, I can tangle myself up no end when I try and sort out non-fiction categories. So I do. Endlessly.

Shall I start with my issues around "biography" as a category, compared to the anonymous case study or often anonymous biographies of people that are anonymous because they are members of an oppressed group and therefore not considered worthy of a name? Or how anthropology becomes a problematic category and stuff should be placed in history as an acknowledgement of the inherently oppressive discipline of anthropology in it's concept about the 'other', compared to the right of the 'other' to have the status of something that is not a static entity?

And hey, when is it politics and not history? As soon as I got old enough to see that stuff I thought of as current was also a part of the ongoing process of history, this became a problem.

And curse the history lecturer who once pointed out that everything in the entire world has a history, so yay! for the discipline of history. Even history has a history, but you'll be pleased to know I have no problem picking which books come under historiography. (Well let's face it: "What Is History" is a bit of giveaway title.) On the plus side, it means everything can go under history, which would make things a lot quicker.

And I wonder if the works of some authors should be kept together as one collection, regardless of whether a particular work is fiction or non-fiction. Gita Mehta is a good example of such a writer.

And I guess this endless pondering is why I am okay about owning too many bloody books. It's like jumbling up the artwork occasionally, or the music you listen to. You think about things anew when the context is different.
splodgenoodles: (Penelope intro)
Fleming's a purve. Not a perve, a purve. A purvey purveypants.

*slow nod*
splodgenoodles: (Default)
The story of Jack Shepphard, as told by Christopher Hibbert, is incredibly sad. I'm nearing the end of it now and I don't really want to keep reading.

By my standards, he was a young kid. Okay, a young adult. But he had no chance in that world, public notoriety before his inevitable death was the only good thing he could get from life.

This was a society that hung children for petty theft, that had people starve to death in its prisons. Where child prostitution didn't exist only because there were no children: "women" awaiting execution could get a reprieve if they were with child - but this could only happen if they were old enough to conceive. Hibbert points out that people could, and did, make honest livings, but also that failure to do so was horribly easy, and rehabilation was impossible if you weren't wealthy.

Death by cheap and nasty alcohol. Death by violence. Death by disease, malnutrition. Death by government order.

He had more smarts than his contemporaries, but when he legged it to the country, he only ever stayed a few days because the world was only as big as the town of London, and that town was not yet big enough for him to find another safe space within it.

So in a few pages he will die. He could survive by naming an accomplice but he won't - loyalty being something worth dying for. The crowd of London are singing songs about him, and the injustice and corruption of their society isn't lost on the balladeers, but what can they do except sing?
splodgenoodles: (Default)
It was Wild's intention that each gang should be specially trained in a particular form of crime and have its recognised zones of activity and its accredited leader.

Later:

Ideally each parish would have two or three gangs specialising in street robberies or housebreaking, others specialising in confidence tricks or blackmail, others attending to the exploitation of vice, the collection of protection money from shops and brothels, coining or murder.

pp78-9

Christopher Hibbert, The Road To Tyburn, the extraordinary story of Jack Shepphard, the "greatest prisonbreaker in the annals of this country". Panther, 1959.

I keep expecting to find "Pterry was here" scrawled in the margin. And that's only because his name and number aren't already handwritten on the front page.
splodgenoodles: (Lock stock stoner eyes)
Just finished I Shall Wear Midnight by the beloved Pterry Pratchett and yes, what a thoroughly satisfying read.

~~~

So I jumped to something completely different and I'm reading Getting Rid Of Mister Kitchen, reviewed here by someone who hated it because ti's about a man having an appalling day, but the ways in which the day is appalling are just too implausible.

But I think that reviewer is kind of missing the point. It's not about a man having a really fucked up day and an implausibly fucked up one at that, it's about a psychopath (or at best, a really malignant narcissist) telling you the mess he's in is all about him having a really bad day and how terribly unfair the world is being to him. He has no emotional connection to how anyone around him is going.

The protagonist is a truly appallingly selfish man, and it reads as though his chickens are coming home to roost.

And because he's an arsehole, the reader doesn't mind, which makes this reader feel kind of grubby.

I am finding it grimly amusing but given my track record with reading these days, who knows what will happen.

~~~

Am trying to pull myself together to think about dinner. Luckily I have no plans tomorrow - I think I need serious splodge-time.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Today I went out the front and found a Miriam-Webster dictionary - one of the big editions - on the verandah.

How cool is that?



(I suspect someone paid 10B to throw it out, but he could never do such a heathen and wicked thing).



Later: turns out he got it from an op shop, good man!

Later later: and it was a pressie for me, good good man!
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Today I went out the front and found a Miriam-Webster dictionary - one of the big editions - on the verandah.

How cool is that?



(I suspect someone paid 10B to throw it out, but he could never do such a heathen and wicked thing).



Later: turns out he got it from an op shop, good man!

Later later: and it was a pressie for me, good good man!
splodgenoodles: (Lady Penelope's car.)
I just ordered a book through Abebooks. It cost one US dollar, plus nine postage. Therefore a bargain. But suspiciously so.

I'm half expecting a to find out it's mysteriously out of stock already but that they have a new edition for more. I almost didn't bite, but the cheapest elsewhere is about $23 with postage so just this once I am taking the risk.
splodgenoodles: (Lady Penelope's car.)
I just ordered a book through Abebooks. It cost one US dollar, plus nine postage. Therefore a bargain. But suspiciously so.

I'm half expecting a to find out it's mysteriously out of stock already but that they have a new edition for more. I almost didn't bite, but the cheapest elsewhere is about $23 with postage so just this once I am taking the risk.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Last Christmas I was in London, and Mark Haworth-Booth (Assitant Keeper, Department Of Prints, Drawing and Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum) had come round to get me to talk on the tape recorder about Bill Brandt's photographs - specifically those in the book Literary Britain. Many of the photographs are very striking - there's one of Top Withens in Yorkshire, which is a very dramatic photograph. I looked at this one for quite a while, and I started asking him some questions about it. I said:'There's a very bright light in the sky back there, but the grass in the foreground has also got a very bright light coming towards it here. He must have used a flash of some sort.' And he said:'Ah the sky is from another negative'.

Well, this horrified me, and I suggested this was Stalinist photography. It was a collage, really, but there was no evidence of it being a collage. There's nothing wrong with collage at all, but it should be quite clear that one thing is stuck on top of another. This photograph was not like that, and so people would assume that it had been made from a single image. When you can tell that the sky is from another day and yet you pretend that it's not, then I think you can talk about Stalinist photography. The reason that Stalinism works in photography is that we do believe what is there in front of us. When Trotsky is next to Lenin, and then he's taken out, the picture suggests that Trotsky was not there at all. Painting is not the same. You can paint a picture of Lenin making a speech and never put Trotsky there, as though you never noticed him. But the camera is not like this, and so you're back to the point that what you depict should be in front of you. So these techniques seem deceitful to me.


p48, Hockney on Art - Conversations With Paul Joyce.Little Brown, UK 2008.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Last Christmas I was in London, and Mark Haworth-Booth (Assitant Keeper, Department Of Prints, Drawing and Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum) had come round to get me to talk on the tape recorder about Bill Brandt's photographs - specifically those in the book Literary Britain. Many of the photographs are very striking - there's one of Top Withens in Yorkshire, which is a very dramatic photograph. I looked at this one for quite a while, and I started asking him some questions about it. I said:'There's a very bright light in the sky back there, but the grass in the foreground has also got a very bright light coming towards it here. He must have used a flash of some sort.' And he said:'Ah the sky is from another negative'.

Well, this horrified me, and I suggested this was Stalinist photography. It was a collage, really, but there was no evidence of it being a collage. There's nothing wrong with collage at all, but it should be quite clear that one thing is stuck on top of another. This photograph was not like that, and so people would assume that it had been made from a single image. When you can tell that the sky is from another day and yet you pretend that it's not, then I think you can talk about Stalinist photography. The reason that Stalinism works in photography is that we do believe what is there in front of us. When Trotsky is next to Lenin, and then he's taken out, the picture suggests that Trotsky was not there at all. Painting is not the same. You can paint a picture of Lenin making a speech and never put Trotsky there, as though you never noticed him. But the camera is not like this, and so you're back to the point that what you depict should be in front of you. So these techniques seem deceitful to me.


p48, Hockney on Art - Conversations With Paul Joyce.Little Brown, UK 2008.
splodgenoodles: (This world is too confusing.)
Yeah, I've been staring at one of my bookshelves again.

I have so many interesting books on so many interesting and useful topics! From the sublimely intellectual, to the inspiringly beautiful and fantastic right through to the delightfully practical. I have them all.

~~~

I've even got a fine collection of highly thought-of books on how to manage chronic illness that I haven't read yet.

I'm glad I noticed these ones during my bookshelf-staring session, because just before New Year's (when I'd decided that in 2010 I'll drastically reduce spending on books) I had my last internet binge and bought what I believe could be a really useful and relevant book on how to make the most of what brainpower you have. (It's called "Mind Perfomance hacks" or something).

Now, at the very least, I know where I can put in when it arrives.

~~~

OH dear. Bugger the list, I feel a profound need to lie down with a pillow over my head.
splodgenoodles: (This world is too confusing.)
Yeah, I've been staring at one of my bookshelves again.

I have so many interesting books on so many interesting and useful topics! From the sublimely intellectual, to the inspiringly beautiful and fantastic right through to the delightfully practical. I have them all.

~~~

I've even got a fine collection of highly thought-of books on how to manage chronic illness that I haven't read yet.

I'm glad I noticed these ones during my bookshelf-staring session, because just before New Year's (when I'd decided that in 2010 I'll drastically reduce spending on books) I had my last internet binge and bought what I believe could be a really useful and relevant book on how to make the most of what brainpower you have. (It's called "Mind Perfomance hacks" or something).

Now, at the very least, I know where I can put in when it arrives.

~~~

OH dear. Bugger the list, I feel a profound need to lie down with a pillow over my head.

Link Dump.

Nov. 15th, 2009 02:06 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories are turning me to the dark side. They are the ones that do DIY Cylon Eyes.

The Well Trained Mind. I'm not about to get into it (I have enough on my brain already), but the conversation was fascinating so I'm putting it here so I don't lose the reference.

Regina Holliday and her mural re-the American health care problem and her husband's death. It's a good looking piece of work, I'm hoping she (or someone) will produce a print of the actual mural.

Alexander Calder, kinetic sculpture. Wire sculptures. ArtGuy suggested I look at his stuff. Like this wire stuff especially.

Link Dump.

Nov. 15th, 2009 02:06 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories are turning me to the dark side. They are the ones that do DIY Cylon Eyes.

The Well Trained Mind. I'm not about to get into it (I have enough on my brain already), but the conversation was fascinating so I'm putting it here so I don't lose the reference.

Regina Holliday and her mural re-the American health care problem and her husband's death. It's a good looking piece of work, I'm hoping she (or someone) will produce a print of the actual mural.

Alexander Calder, kinetic sculpture. Wire sculptures. ArtGuy suggested I look at his stuff. Like this wire stuff especially.
splodgenoodles: (Lock stock stoner eyes)
Last week we went to Borders. 10B had a book in mind he was after, and I was keen to get out of the house but not quite up to seeing 'District 9', which I really, really do want to see and on the big screen too please.

Figured that a trip to Borders would be safe, as 10B could buy his book while I had a snack from one of the many tiny establishments nearby and then maybe a tiny browsette which wouldn't be a problem as I've really gotten sensible about books in recent times and no longer feel an overwhelming urge to add to the huge pile of things I've never read and probably never will whenever we are within sniffing range of such places.

Alas, I was wrong. Not only was 10B obliged to sit and wait for me until closing time, but I bought stuff.

Then I came home thinking about books I'd like to have and that have been on my wishlist for a while. So I got more the next day at the secondhand place round the corner, then got onto the online book store of the Brotherhood of St. Laurence and bought more there. Two of there were already on my wishlist but I assure you that all the other ones I purchased would have been on my wishlist if I'd known about them before I saw them.

Of course, buying from Brotherhood Books is totally okay as they are a great organisation. They've a long history of providing excellent services for homeless and low income people of Melbourne and I'm more than happy to throw money at them.

The list:

From Borders-
Cate Kennedy, The World Beneath. Ecks bought me her book of short stories Dark Roots a while back and it helped changed the way I feel both about short stories and about local authors taking inspiration from present day local life. She managed to get past my defensive shell, for which I am grateful.
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
William S. Burroughs, Jumky
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality vol. 1
(The last three were all $10 apiece).

From the secondhand place around the corner I got a large book on Indian folk art which is presently out of reach so I can't tell you who it's by but as well as being a good book for the pictures, looks like it has a wealth of information and analysis as well, which doesn't always happen with art books.

Also from the secondhand place: Xin Ran The Good Women Of China. [livejournal.com profile] bookgirlwa told me of Xin Ran just a few weeks ago, so this was a lucky coincidence. I can add it to my reasonably large collection of books about the status of women in China.

From Brotherhood Books I have ordered several vintage knitting books. Also Susan Cooper, The Boggart and Ben Grahams, The Intelligent Investor, both have been sitting on the wishlist for some time.

I am _so_ not buying books again for a while.

Oh and I've just started reading For The Term Of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke.

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