splodgenoodles: (Default)
Donald MacCampbell, Reading For Enjoyment, A Macfadden Book, 1964.

From "Chapter Two: How to Read."

Restlessness is another of the state which should be overcome before sitting down to read. That predilection commonly known as "the fidgets" is produced by a will that is anything but dormant - a will that cries out like an irritable infant, in protest or longing. In an oversexed woman, it may cry out for a man. In an oversexed man, it may hunger for a woman. Constipation, and the damage it may wreck upon the nervous system, may harass the will into aimless activity... (p. 33)

The person of ordinary endurance.... tires much sooner than the properly trained reader, who keeps his torso in a straight line from shoulder to hip..." (p.34)

The temperature best suited for reading purposes lies somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees: depending on the quality and pressure of one's blood." (p.35).



I had no idea it was so complicated. But he has left out the trouble caused by diarrhoea, I guess that wasn't really an issue in mid-century America.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Bedtime reading at the moment is the No Fear Shakespeare edition of The Tempest.

I'm loving it. Perfect for me - reading plays(instead of watching them) is weird at the best of times, and I'm not good at comprehending the language.

Caliban is great. Caliban is a slave of Prospero, Caliban's mum pretty much owned the island before Prospero and his daughter arrived. Caliban hates their guts. And he says so, frequently and often, which really elaborate descriptions of just what sort of blisters and boils he'd like them to suffer from.

If I were putting on a production, I think I'd have Caliban portrayed as a really arrogant waiter. Not physically aggressive, but horribly sneering.
splodgenoodles: (Lock stock stoner eyes)
I just finished reading this. I only recently discovered Capote, when I was thoroughly absorbed (and freaked out) by In Cold Blood.

According to the afterword (which I wish I'd read first) Summer Crossing was found in a box of stuff, sometime after his death. It seems he never thought it fit for publication, the trustee of his estate decided it was worth publishing as more of an exercise in literary history than anything else.

I'm inclined to agree, and now don't feel so sad about the fact that I didn't like it much.

It was the ending I did not like. It seemed to happen in a hurry and it just didn't seem to make sense. It was a bit too melodramatic for my tastes, which I guess means he didn't say enough in the earlier stages of the story for me to empathise with the later drama.

But having said that, I did love the start and the middle. For the characters more than for any developing storyline. It seems, after two books, that I do like the way Capote writes about people.

Unfortunately, he apparently got too cynical and cutting for most of his friends, and possibly for himself, as his life unfolded and fell apart. A great pity.
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)
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.

Crip_crit!

May. 7th, 2010 06:06 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
*looks pointedly at [livejournal.com profile] bookgirlwa*

crip_crit

Already it's adding things to my read/re-read/watch list, dammit!

Crip_crit!

May. 7th, 2010 06:06 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
*looks pointedly at [livejournal.com profile] bookgirlwa*

crip_crit

Already it's adding things to my read/re-read/watch list, dammit!

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.

Oh and -

Jan. 1st, 2009 06:12 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
It took nine months for my mother to die, and each day except for the last three she was conscious. Conscious that the days were, as they say, numbered, and that the number was not a big one. And the feeling of being robbed of all the things you were going to do in the future, but seeing at the same time that they were not important, it was simply the future itself, a bigger number, that was.

From Stasiland by Anna Funder.

This quote seems like a tangent but the book is about a lot more than its title suggests.

It is about the Stasi of East Germany, and about Funder's experiences doing this research.

I finished a book, hooray!


(Although I totally don't understand what the cover is about. No apparent relevance to the contents whatsoever. Anyone who has read the book and can provide a plausible explanation wins a pony.)



PS: I've had two nights of decent sleep. Double hooray!

Oh and -

Jan. 1st, 2009 06:12 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
It took nine months for my mother to die, and each day except for the last three she was conscious. Conscious that the days were, as they say, numbered, and that the number was not a big one. And the feeling of being robbed of all the things you were going to do in the future, but seeing at the same time that they were not important, it was simply the future itself, a bigger number, that was.

From Stasiland by Anna Funder.

This quote seems like a tangent but the book is about a lot more than its title suggests.

It is about the Stasi of East Germany, and about Funder's experiences doing this research.

I finished a book, hooray!


(Although I totally don't understand what the cover is about. No apparent relevance to the contents whatsoever. Anyone who has read the book and can provide a plausible explanation wins a pony.)



PS: I've had two nights of decent sleep. Double hooray!

Book meme.

Apr. 19th, 2008 11:31 am
splodgenoodles: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] quatrefoil.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.,
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Use what's actually next to you. (Does this include catalogues?)

If I do leave, I'll have to leave everything - Committee, house, furniture, the employees - behind at loose ends.

Rabe, John The Good German of Nanking, The Diaries of John Rabe, edited by Erwin Wickert.

Book meme.

Apr. 19th, 2008 11:31 am
splodgenoodles: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] quatrefoil.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.,
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Use what's actually next to you. (Does this include catalogues?)

If I do leave, I'll have to leave everything - Committee, house, furniture, the employees - behind at loose ends.

Rabe, John The Good German of Nanking, The Diaries of John Rabe, edited by Erwin Wickert.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Yesterday I was listening to the audio of Frederick Forsyth's The Avenger. Set during the reign of Slobodan Milosevic and containing various testimonies about the goings on that are of course fictional, but very well researched and based in fact. (This is Forsyth). Painful reading.

10B is the first person to turn off a depressing documentary about how horrible people are, but he is a big fan of Forsyth. Largely, I suspect, because at least Forsyth gives you some sort of resolution. Someone does the right thing, somewhere. Humanity is redeemed. At least this has always happened in the other books by Forsyth that I've read, I'm still waiting with this one.

Then last night I was doing some of my now customary evening knitting, and watching real TV because our DVD player has died. I found myself watching this documentary on the horrific Rape of Nanking but turned it off after a little while. While I'm interested in various themes of this documentary: early C20 Chinese history, oral testimony, the human capacity for evil, paradigms of masculinity...but I was starting to feel like I'd never be able to sleep again.

I might have switched it off last night, but now I am a bit miffed to learn that I can't obtain the documentary on account of not being an educational institution, and if it's actually produced by someone else, somewhere else, that information is not readily available. (If anyone knows more about this, please do let me know).
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Yesterday I was listening to the audio of Frederick Forsyth's The Avenger. Set during the reign of Slobodan Milosevic and containing various testimonies about the goings on that are of course fictional, but very well researched and based in fact. (This is Forsyth). Painful reading.

10B is the first person to turn off a depressing documentary about how horrible people are, but he is a big fan of Forsyth. Largely, I suspect, because at least Forsyth gives you some sort of resolution. Someone does the right thing, somewhere. Humanity is redeemed. At least this has always happened in the other books by Forsyth that I've read, I'm still waiting with this one.

Then last night I was doing some of my now customary evening knitting, and watching real TV because our DVD player has died. I found myself watching this documentary on the horrific Rape of Nanking but turned it off after a little while. While I'm interested in various themes of this documentary: early C20 Chinese history, oral testimony, the human capacity for evil, paradigms of masculinity...but I was starting to feel like I'd never be able to sleep again.

I might have switched it off last night, but now I am a bit miffed to learn that I can't obtain the documentary on account of not being an educational institution, and if it's actually produced by someone else, somewhere else, that information is not readily available. (If anyone knows more about this, please do let me know).

Thursday.

Apr. 10th, 2008 02:55 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
We have too many pumpkins!

I didn't even plant any, they just appeared.

~~~~

I am still reading that book on the Etruscans. Written in the 70s, so I don't know if it's been completely superceded by now, but it's what I found on the shelf when I was hungry for the learning last time I was in the library.

Point being, the Etruscans had an amazing amount of knowledge and skill in agricultural technology: they transformed the landscape with irrigation and drainage, enabling intensive and varied food production and took that part of Italy out of the Bronze Age. Yet they also believed in fate and predestination to a degree that astounded even the other fairly fatalistic cultures around them. I suppose it's not that contradictory really. Predestined to advance and flourish and change and transform - or not. Ultimately other forces decide how far you can go with that.

And they read thunderstorms. And livers. Big on the livers. I wonder why people don't read livers now? After all these were wise people - scientists, even. And afterwards you could have a nice lunch.

~~~~

I did my customary glance over the internet for ME/CFS research the other day - I do it every so often in the vague hope that someone has found a cure. I can't say I hold my breath when I do, but I'd feel like a right berk if everyone else had found and taken the Magic Pill and I was still slouching round at home when I could be out jogging and building rocket ships and all those other things that need doing, so I do the right thing and have a bit of a look before going back to watching the paint peel and wondering about livers. Needless to say, no one's come up with anything yet although some of the anti-viral research looks promising and there's a new major split in the research community, including bonus arguments over a new latest definition of CFS, shoot me now.

Rather than detail this, I'll just refer anyone curious to Phoenix Rising, Cort Johnson's excellent newsletter, scroll down for the article.

The other thing I found was Etiology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Testing Popular Hypotheses
Using a National Birth Cohort Study.


Journal: Psychosom Med. 2008 Mar 31 [Epub ahead of print]

Authors: Harvey SB, Wadsworth M, Wessely S, Hotopf M.
Affiliations: Institute of Psychiatry (S.B.H., S.W., M.H.), King's
College London, London, UK; Medical Research Council's National
Survey of Health and Development (M.W.), Department of Epidemiology
and Public Health, Royal Free and UCL Medical School, London, UK.

PMID: 18378866


Objective: To review the etiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
and test hypotheses relating to immune system dysfunction, physical
deconditioning, exercise avoidance, and childhood illness
experiences, using a large prospective birth cohort.

Methods, results: )
Conclusions: Individuals who exercise frequently are more likely to
report a diagnosis of CFS in later life. This may be due to the
direct effects of this behavior or associated personality factors.
Continuing to be active despite increasing fatigue may be a crucial
step in the development of CFS.


Given the authorship of this article, maybe a few diehards are finally coming to their senses. They will cling on to the importance of pysch and personality issues, of course - that's their baby, that's what they've devoted their lives to. And I guess they might be right, up to a point - I don't think we know enough to know yet. But the 'evidence based' overturning of the excercise phobia myth is a good start.

~~~~

Thursday.

Apr. 10th, 2008 02:55 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
We have too many pumpkins!

I didn't even plant any, they just appeared.

~~~~

I am still reading that book on the Etruscans. Written in the 70s, so I don't know if it's been completely superceded by now, but it's what I found on the shelf when I was hungry for the learning last time I was in the library.

Point being, the Etruscans had an amazing amount of knowledge and skill in agricultural technology: they transformed the landscape with irrigation and drainage, enabling intensive and varied food production and took that part of Italy out of the Bronze Age. Yet they also believed in fate and predestination to a degree that astounded even the other fairly fatalistic cultures around them. I suppose it's not that contradictory really. Predestined to advance and flourish and change and transform - or not. Ultimately other forces decide how far you can go with that.

And they read thunderstorms. And livers. Big on the livers. I wonder why people don't read livers now? After all these were wise people - scientists, even. And afterwards you could have a nice lunch.

~~~~

I did my customary glance over the internet for ME/CFS research the other day - I do it every so often in the vague hope that someone has found a cure. I can't say I hold my breath when I do, but I'd feel like a right berk if everyone else had found and taken the Magic Pill and I was still slouching round at home when I could be out jogging and building rocket ships and all those other things that need doing, so I do the right thing and have a bit of a look before going back to watching the paint peel and wondering about livers. Needless to say, no one's come up with anything yet although some of the anti-viral research looks promising and there's a new major split in the research community, including bonus arguments over a new latest definition of CFS, shoot me now.

Rather than detail this, I'll just refer anyone curious to Phoenix Rising, Cort Johnson's excellent newsletter, scroll down for the article.

The other thing I found was Etiology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Testing Popular Hypotheses
Using a National Birth Cohort Study.


Journal: Psychosom Med. 2008 Mar 31 [Epub ahead of print]

Authors: Harvey SB, Wadsworth M, Wessely S, Hotopf M.
Affiliations: Institute of Psychiatry (S.B.H., S.W., M.H.), King's
College London, London, UK; Medical Research Council's National
Survey of Health and Development (M.W.), Department of Epidemiology
and Public Health, Royal Free and UCL Medical School, London, UK.

PMID: 18378866


Objective: To review the etiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
and test hypotheses relating to immune system dysfunction, physical
deconditioning, exercise avoidance, and childhood illness
experiences, using a large prospective birth cohort.

Methods, results: )
Conclusions: Individuals who exercise frequently are more likely to
report a diagnosis of CFS in later life. This may be due to the
direct effects of this behavior or associated personality factors.
Continuing to be active despite increasing fatigue may be a crucial
step in the development of CFS.


Given the authorship of this article, maybe a few diehards are finally coming to their senses. They will cling on to the importance of pysch and personality issues, of course - that's their baby, that's what they've devoted their lives to. And I guess they might be right, up to a point - I don't think we know enough to know yet. But the 'evidence based' overturning of the excercise phobia myth is a good start.

~~~~
splodgenoodles: (Default)
We have had some real, proper rain.

My mentality has changed so much. Rain is now luxuriant. Hot, sunny dry weather is oppressive, bleak and depressing. When it's sunny I feel afraid for our future, dry and exposed.

Of course I never liked the north wind much anyway, but now I love clouds and showers and wet more than I ever thought possible.

~~~

I am still fascinated by knitting and becoming convinced it's doing good things for the brain.

~~~

I've just finished reading Northern Lights, which is the first of Pullman's His Dark Materials and the basis of the film The Golden Compass which I've not yet seen. Enjoyed it heartily once I passed the first few chapters and my customary reticence to give over and enter another reality. (I wish I knew what that reticence is about.) Enjoyed it enough that I'm reluctant to read the second book as it might overwhelm me (there it goes again) or worse, might disappoint me.

He does some good unexpected twists, definitely not in the mould of C.S. Lewis.

I've just begun a tome on the Etruscans called (wait for it) The Etruscans, by Keller, first published English in 1975... I'm taking notes on cards, just like I did back at uni, to help me remember and process information, rather than allow myself to glaze over and get foggy. Also, I'm doing my reading in very small chunks, alternating with knitting, staring at things and desultory conversation when available.

Doing stuff on cards is also an attempt to pull myself away from Dave more, lovely though he is, because I feel that sitting in front of Dave has just become too automatic and my default way of being. That and I seem to have forgotten how to write. You know, with a pen.

~~~

Language learning is on the back burner - I've loaded both Chinese and French stuff onto Dave but now feel like I've got enough other stuff on my brain-plate for a while.

~~~

These days I seem to feel very quiet a lot of the time. Not distressed, quite comfy and content a lot of the time. But quiet.

~~~

Medical. )
splodgenoodles: (Default)
We have had some real, proper rain.

My mentality has changed so much. Rain is now luxuriant. Hot, sunny dry weather is oppressive, bleak and depressing. When it's sunny I feel afraid for our future, dry and exposed.

Of course I never liked the north wind much anyway, but now I love clouds and showers and wet more than I ever thought possible.

~~~

I am still fascinated by knitting and becoming convinced it's doing good things for the brain.

~~~

I've just finished reading Northern Lights, which is the first of Pullman's His Dark Materials and the basis of the film The Golden Compass which I've not yet seen. Enjoyed it heartily once I passed the first few chapters and my customary reticence to give over and enter another reality. (I wish I knew what that reticence is about.) Enjoyed it enough that I'm reluctant to read the second book as it might overwhelm me (there it goes again) or worse, might disappoint me.

He does some good unexpected twists, definitely not in the mould of C.S. Lewis.

I've just begun a tome on the Etruscans called (wait for it) The Etruscans, by Keller, first published English in 1975... I'm taking notes on cards, just like I did back at uni, to help me remember and process information, rather than allow myself to glaze over and get foggy. Also, I'm doing my reading in very small chunks, alternating with knitting, staring at things and desultory conversation when available.

Doing stuff on cards is also an attempt to pull myself away from Dave more, lovely though he is, because I feel that sitting in front of Dave has just become too automatic and my default way of being. That and I seem to have forgotten how to write. You know, with a pen.

~~~

Language learning is on the back burner - I've loaded both Chinese and French stuff onto Dave but now feel like I've got enough other stuff on my brain-plate for a while.

~~~

These days I seem to feel very quiet a lot of the time. Not distressed, quite comfy and content a lot of the time. But quiet.

~~~

Medical. )

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