The popularity of silhouettes and shadow theatre should be sought in the suggestion of substance which memory and imagination relish to fill. This no doubt is a considerable part of the attraction of abstract concepts; to attribute it only to their communicative utility would be as mistaken as explaining the appeal of shadow puppets by their low cost of production. The enchantment of conceptual abstraction can be profound and elaborate—like that of the human shadow play in Dreyer’s silent Vampyr. As long, that is, as you never try to touch or sink your teeth into such concepts in hopes of getting fed.
Excerpts from S.D. Chrostowska‘s forthcoming Matches.
We find a bench that allows me to have the station sign in frame. I go to reference my two pages of typed notes, carefully assembled from a binge back-to-back reading of London Overground and Black Apples of Gower but an easterly gust of wind hoists them into the sky and over the high wall into the garden of the Geffrye Museum. Iain laughs. Don’t worry I assure him, the impressions of both books are firmly stamped on my mind, I probably had too many questions anyway – we’d freewheel it, follow the drift of conversation.
Iain Sinclair returns to 3:AM while John Rogers keeps the camera running.
On the facts revealed on tape so far, Officer Encinia stopped Sandra Bland falsely, threatened to “Light Her Up” with a taser for smoking in her car, took her out back, and – her words on the tape are convincing evidence – beat her. The passerby’s tape has him kneeing her limp body on the ground.She was taken to jail, her medical condition ignored, and two days later she was dead. Her cell phone has disappeared; the tape of the pursuit was edited (the audio is complete, but the video has gaps).
Alan Gilbert on US Police Racism.
Nightwalking is a meticulously researched yet eminently readable and entertaining guide to London at night and on foot – with a radical heart. It is also a sweeping history of London, from the Middle Ages to the late-Victorian period.
Julian Hanna reviews Matthew Beaumont‘s Nightwalking.
According to Artaud, madness spreads; it’s contagious to the very people who surround it. And between the publication of these early texts, and the later texts, in 1937, Artaud became, in Sylvère Lotringer’s words, ‘ a manic lunatic, who spouted mystical writings by Saint Jerome and invoked the magical powers of the universe to protect himself’. Lotringer’s book speaks to the way that Artaud’s madness spreads. It discusses the way in which Artaud, during his own lifetime and his complex cultural legacy, has infected those around him, with the very same madness that Artaud himself claimed he was not touched by.
By Tristan Burke.
Germans have commendably put up holocaust memorials – there is nothing like this in terms of lynching in the American South as Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative has rightly emphasized. Germany has many intelligent, common good-sustaining welfare programs – no student debt for university training, compared to the vast post-1990 mortgages on the future of students – a sabotaging of democratic education by the banks – in the United States. Many Germans are anti-racist. I hope that these understandings, which go far in some respects, will finally be turned, before it is too late, to the ideology which has possessed its leaders.
Alan Gilbert on the Greek Crisis.
The Utopia of Rules calls for a revolution, but revolutions are often impractical. Graeber asks us to question the ideologies that underpin bureaucracies of every kind, and such questioning is essential. We must ask not just whether our bureaucracies are functioning as we want them to function in areas like higher education, healthcare, or finance, but also whether the beliefs underpinning them – beliefs in transparency, regularity, meritocracy, technocracy, administration, rationality, efficiency – are the kind of beliefs that would best benefit society.
Timothy Kennett reviews David Graber’s The Utopia of Rules.
I can’t recommend Tom Drury’s Hunts In Dreams strongly enough. If I carved “READ TOM DRURY” into granite slabs, a ton for each letter, and dropped the lot on your front lawn, I wouldn’t be recommending it strongly enough. If I threatened to have your insides chewed out by rats if you didn’t run out, buy a copy and read it today, I wouldn’t be recommending it strongly enough. If I gave you my kidney for reading it, I wouldn’t be recommending it strongly enough. Honestly. Just go and read it. Don’t even bother with this review. Go on. What are you waiting for? In case you are still here — although you shouldn’t be, and I’m very disappointed in you — I’ll attempt a few more words of persuasion.
Sam Jordison reviews Tom Drury‘s Hunts in Dreams.
“At night, I watch for the slick yolks of her eyes bulging from the corner and mimic them now as I lie on my own floor still webbed by the black threads of her hair. I can no longer be sure what is true or how long I have lived here, my toes tangled by the knotted ropes I could once reassure myself with certainty that I had never intentionally swallowed.”
New fiction by Jacque Staub, with art by Sophie Herxheimer.
Prozac code named:
Zachary, the mascot
of the slippery brain
sodality although he
was not slippery but
leaping all about the
table, never to leave.
By Julia Lewis.