Monthly Archives: September 2015

Women standing in front of trees

found woman tree 2   found woman tree 1

Found Photos ( from The Junk Company, Elizabeth Street Melbourne,Australia)

Maira Kalman illustrated a book , Girls Standing on Lawns (see here) . She painted pictures of girls standing on lawns from vintage photographs

These vintage photographs are waiting to be put into a book Women Standing in Front of Trees. (This looks like the same woman in each of the photographs)

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Dream after seeing a photograph

‘The Seminole/Muskogee/Navajo woman photographer Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie has recorded a beautiful dream of George Trager’s famous 1891 photograph of Big Foot, lying frozen in the snow after the massacre at Wounded Knee:
I had a vivid dream of this photograph. In my dream I was an observer floating – I saw Big Foot as he is in the photograph, and my heart ached.

I was about to mourn uncontrollably when into the scene walked a small child, about six years old. She walked about the carnage, looking into the faces of those lying dead in the snow. She was searching for someone. Her small moccasin footprints imprinted the snow as she walked over to Big Foot, looking into his face. She shakes his shoulders, takes his frozen hand into her small, warm hand, and helps him to his feet. He then brushes the snow off of his clothes. She waits patiently with her hand extended, he then takes her hand and they walk out of the photograph. This is the dream I recall when I look upon this image of supposed hopelessness.

 

(Eliot Weinberger:Oranges and Peanuts for Sale)

 

(see photo here, scroll down) 

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To hang like an affliction

“I might enjoy being an albatross, being able to glide for days and daydream for hundreds of miles along the thermals. And then being able to hang like an affliction round some people’s necks.”

Seamus Heaney (from here)

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The territory between fiction and non-fiction

We all talk with the dead, whether we’re daydreaming about impossible conversations of asking deceased loved ones for solace and advice. In dreams, too, many of those with whom we want to converse seem unable to, as if they are shy or too busy. I liked the idea of mixing fiction with non-fiction, with the existing history of a person’s life.

. . So what does it mean to interview someone who is dead? We want the dead to give us information, provide revelations, tell us something they didn’t know when they were alive. We want to believe that they know more than we do, can advise us, help us. Where are they? Is there a God? How scared should we be? We want to ask the dead why they did what they did. We want them to say sorry. We want to say sorry to them. Above all, I think, we want to believe it is possible to talk after we die. Indeed, we want this more than anything else: more than love and food and warmth. We need to tell stories because stories are love, even if it’s dark and we are lost, and so we continue, regardless, blind, talking to those who may not hear us. Dead people never truly die, until we are all dead. And when is that? The dead are outside time, the time we inhabit, and this crack of light between two eternities is confounding to us.

However it happens, putting words into the mouth of someone who is no longer with us finds its way, naughtily, inevitably, into the actual ‘life’ of the subject. We know it is fiction and yet . . . this is the way we create our histories (when we lack family data), as well as history itself, which is nothing if not a erratic sequence of narratives patched together by the living and the dead.

Dan Crowe, (editor) Dead Interviews: Living Writers Meet Dead Icons, Granta 2013

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The broach on the wall

Teju Cole instagram

Photo: Teju Cole from instagram

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Remembering

What we remember from childhood we remember forever  — permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.  Cynthia Ozick

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The moon’s phases

Maria_Clara_Eimmart's_Painting

Maria Clara Eimmart (1676-1707)
Phase of the Moon, Phases of Venus, Aspect of Jupiter, Aspect of Saturn, late 17th century
Bologna, Museo della Specola, Università di Bologna, inv. MdS 124e, MdS 124g, MdS 124i, MdS 124l

Short Talk on Homo Sapiens

With small cuts Cro-Magnon man recorded
the moon’s phases on the handles of his
tools, thinking about her as he worked.
Animals. Horizon. Face in a pan of
water. In every story I tell comes
a point where I can see no further.
I hate that point. It is why they
call storytellers blind—a taunt.

Anne Carson

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The unsayable

Trying to express that, it’s inexpressible, and poetry is really to say what can’t be said. And that’s why people turn to it in these moments. They don’t know how to say this, [but] part of them feels that maybe a poem will say it. It won’t say it, but it’ll come closer to saying it than anything else will.

I think there are always two sides, and one of them is the unsayable. The utterly singular. Who you are; who you can never tell anybody. And on the other hand, there is what you can express. How do we know about this thing we talk about? Because we talk about it. We’re using words. And the words never say it, but the words are all we have to say it.” W.S Merwin

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Affinities

We feel an affinity with a certain thinker because we agree with him; or because he shows us what we were already thinking; or because he shows us in a more articulate form what we were already thinking; or because he shows us what we were on the point of thinking; or what we would sooner or later have thought; or what we would have thought much later if we hadn’t read it now; or what we would have been likely to think but never would have thought if we hadn’t read it now; or what we would have liked to think but never would have thought if we hadn’t read it now. Lydia Davis, Almost No Memory

 

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On the process of writing a book

You don’t do all the writing at your desk. You do it elsewhere, carrying the book with you. The book is your companion, you have it in your mind all the time, running through it, alert for links to it. It becomes your chief companion, in the real sense of the word. You can talk to it quietly. It becomes your sole companion. The writing may go on for ten days, as with Georges Simenon, or weeks, or months, or years. It’s the same thing for everyone. . . There should be no prohibitions to what you are allowed to think or imagine.

James Salter, Life Into Art, The Paris Review , Fall 2015

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