:: Buzzwords Archive: September 2012. Click here for the latest posts.

The Missing Links (published 30/09/2012)

The novel, the non-place and the airport. * Lars Iyer reads from Dogma. * Charles Dickens‘s library of fake books. * Joshua Cohen: “A writer stands outside a story yelling, “Open Sesame!” and the story, as if a seed, opens. And treasure is found inside. That treasure, of course, is just another story, and it all begins again”. * Hipsters and low-tech. * Aleksandar Hemon on Borges‘s “Funes the Memorious”. * The mattering of matter. * David Winters (who should be learned by heart rather than simply read) reviews Tor Ulven‘s Replacement: “Nothing is artificially emphasized; all is equally weighted, whether people or things, or even the most microscopic physical processes. The end result is less like reading a novel than listening in on the background noise of the universe”. * Every single David Lynch documentary available online. * A video compilation of post-punk ladies. * Will Wiles on the New Aesthetic. * James Bridle‘s New Aesthetic Tumblr. * Do we need Adorno? * Theodor Adorno: “It starts with the loss of the semi-colon; it ends with the ratification of imbecility by a reasonableness purged of all admixture”. * The Bad BrainsH.R.. * David Bellos on Georges Perec. * Teaching in the margins. * Deborah Levy talks to the Observer: “I am more interested in repression than depression”. * Deborah Levy shortlisted for BBC prize. * Deborah Levy‘s Swimming Home highlights indie publishing. * Jenni Diski on Levy in the London Review of Books: Deborah Levy has recently had a new novel out, good enough to make you want to read it again as soon as you’ve finished it. Numerous mainstream publishers decided not to take it on because, as she explained, ‘the fear among those who admired it was that Swimming Home was too literary to prosper in a tough economy — to be fair, there was quite a bit of agonising, but in the end Marketing and Sales won the argument.’ One mainstream publisher offered to publish it, but proposed edits designed to improve its market appeal. She decided against it”. * Deborah Levy‘s Freud: The Case Histories. * Deborah Levy on Lee Miller. * Lee Miller interviewed, 1946 (audio). * Lee Rourke in the Proust seat. * Pictures from the NPG‘s Man Ray exhibition. * Jarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan. * The Brautigan Book Club. * Lee Konstantinou on the legacy of David Foster Wallace. * Will Self introduces and reads from Umbrella. * Trailer for Flytopia, based on a Will Self story. * Will Self on Las Vegas. * Aesthetic resistance. * Literary non-fiction. * “Le roman en tant que genre est sa propre question.” * Hermann Nitsch. * Kafka and the shameful lowlands of writing. * The Ramones live at CBGB, 1974 [via Nicholas Rombes]. * “The Ramones are rubbish”: Morrissey in 1976. * David Byrne on how music works. * A new translation of Clarice Lispector‘s debut. * Roots of the Anarchy shirt, part two. * The Sex Pistols‘ “Holidays in the Sun” finally gets a video. * Sam Jordison on Ben Myers‘s Pig Iron. * Renata Adler back in print. * The filming locations of Annie Hall. * Brian Dillon on Tino Sehgal. * A review of Charles Bernstein‘s Attack of the Difficult Poems. * On Peter Hook‘s Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. * Que Faire? by Guillaume Apollinaire, 1900. * An interview with Sam Riley. * Greg Baxter‘s The Apartment reviewed. * Patricio Guzmán pays tribute to Chris Marker. * Moby Dick‘s internet voyage. * Jah Wobble and Keith Levene‘s Yin and Yang album reviewed. Read our interview with Wobble. * The opening page of Nabokov’s copy of Ulysses. * James Joyce: “In other words we must write dangerously”. * Petite histoire du ticket de métro parisien. * Miklós Szentkuthy translated. * Britishisms in American English. * John Ashbery‘s Norton Lectures (1989-90) including one on Raymond Roussel [via David Winters]. * Page Three: the art edition. * The art of naked protest. * [Pic: Ellsworth Kelly: Blue, from the series Line Form Color, 1951. Via.]

And beyond (published 26/09/2012)

Lee Rourke reviews Gabriel Josipovici’s Infinity in the Guardian:

Artists today, he claims, are only interested in “showing off their noses” in newspapers and magazines, rather than “reaching down into the heart of mystery and bringing it out into the light of day, undefiled, still mysterious”.

Yet Infinity isn’t all posture and opinion – it’s cleverer than that. We are also given glimpses of Povone’s heartbreaking marriage, not to mention the often skewed but solid friendship between Massimo and Pavone himself. For all of Pavone’s braggadocio there is a sense of fragility within him: “Why is it that men are so ashamed of being seen to be vulnerable?’ he asks. “It is not as if others do not know it, since we all come down to the same thing in the end.” It’s in questions like these that Josipovici is at his most compassionate.

The golden hour in unexpected hour (published )

The New Inquiry run a brilliant piece by Teju Cole on Magnum photographer Gueorgui Pinkhassov on Instagram:

What kind of activity are we engaging in when we look at images in a gallery? Something of that activity is certainly about participating in “culture,” about having good taste, and how good that makes us feel about ourselves. If the work exists nowhere but on the screen of an iPhone (in this case, on the screens of 2,307 iPhones — Pinkhassov’s risibly small number of Instagram followers; compare this to Dmitry Medvedev’s fifty-five thousand) then we have to adjust our expectations about the satisfactions a photograph can give. Squeezed in between sandwiches and anodyne sunsets, a Pinkhassov image (or any other image propelled by thought) must satisfy on its own merits. Thoughtfully made photographs, photographs that try to continue the conversation begun by Niépce and Atget, must somehow compete for attention among billions of other images presented in the same way. The images are not pre-credentialed by being hung on a wall at the International Center for Photography or the Leica Gallery.

We are left with optical discriminations and optical pleasures, and it is in this private space that the work regains its aura. In this sense, digital photography and social media, even though the tiny little screen can be irritating, are helping to introduce new criteria: there is no editioning, no signature, no date of printing. It will be a headache for curators in the future, but it’s a pleasure for the pure lover of the image: while lying in bed in the morning, you can see the latest work from a photographer you find interesting. The image comes to you.

Portrait of an artist as a work of art (published )

Via HUH, the trailer for Corinna Belz’s Gerhard Richter Painting.

Mourning & melancholia (published )

In Mute, Nathan Brown writes on origin and extinction in Terrence Malick and Lars von Trier:

The problem of von Trier’s film is thus ultimately the same as that of Malick’s The Tree of Life: no less than the problem of the relation between matter and spirit. In their treatment of this problem, the two films are practically mirror images. Malick’s film is concerned with the origin of life; von Trier’s with its end. The narrative motor of The Tree of Life is analepsis; that of Melancholia is prolepsis. The materialism of Malick’s film strains against its dalliance with Christianity; that of von Trier’s film against its pseudoscientific scenario. But both are concerned with the affective experience of loss, with the material conditions of possibility for such experience, and with the hope of spiritual restitution through collective ceremony. Perhaps also, at a meta-filmic level, through aesthetic experience. In a word, one is a film about mourning; the other is a film about melancholia.

And insofar as one is concerned with ancestral time, the other with the time of extinction, both are concerned with the problem of dia-chronicity: of a temporal disjunction between being and thinking. Life and mind, feeling and thinking, have a beginning and an end, and since these do not correspond with that of the cosmos, to think their origin is also to think what remains after their negation: material oblivion. Thus von Trier’s film answers Malick’s, insofar as it is not the affective projection of a world beyond (heaven) that enables something like spiritual restitution, but rather the imminence of the end of the world, without experiential remainder. A confrontation with this ending – at an ontological rather than an existential level – is what makes possible whatever collective communion takes place in Melancholia: the being-in-common of what has not always been and what will not always be.