I Can’t Believe 2012 Is Over // I Can’t Believe I’ve Lived In California for a Calendar Year // The Critical Nature of Commentary vs Experience PART TWO
Sorry that it’s now a week into February of 2013 and I’ve just now finally finished my 2012 round-up, kinda takes a lot. Some books get more attention than others, but hey that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Please enjoy.
66 – If You Won’t Read, Then Why Should I Write? – Jarett Kobek
The repeated insistence that find me tampering my potentiality of reviewing Jarett’s books in any real capacity are always tempered by him being my “bestie” or whatever. I mean, though really, this book had me thinking a lot, and most of that “thinking a lot” comes out in the interview I did with Jarett.
67 – Dodecahedron – Tom Mallin
This is one of those weird 70s novels with a weird & awesome covers that I almost always love that I discovered via GoodReads one night and immediately requested from Link+ (SFPL’s version of “inter-library loan”). It’s… good, and I feel like (though this feeling comes mostly from the intensive aka “long” reviews of said book on goodreads…) there is probably more to it than I got on my initial surface reading, but there wasn’t enough to make me really excited. It’s a short book, and it’s almost literally a nunsploitation film for the first two chapters but then it takes some weird turns into a static martyrdom and one can’t figure out why, because the mystical nature of the protagonist as expressed in the introduction (first chapter? I don’t remember) placates the characterization more as symbol than “psychological figurehead.” Still, much more exciting than anything that’s come out in contemporary times, so I shouldn’t complain too much. Libraries rule, and this is an example of why.
68 – The Thirst for Annihilation – Nick Land
I decided that I urgently needed to re-read this book after finishing the essay collection Fanged Noumena. I had read this before, three years ago probably, and all I remembered was that the book completely blew my fucking mind and that it took me almost 4 months to get through the second chapter, which gets heavy into hard sciences and thermodynamics and was basically impenetrable. This time through I found the text as a whole far more accessible (I think I was far more ‘primed’ for this kind of reading at this point), and–barring the catastrophe of having to dry the book out and praying it wasn’t water damaged (refer to my Two by Duras commentary in the first part of this list)–I tore through the book in something like 5 days. Having read an excessive amount of both Bataille & secondary readings of Bataille, I say without qualifying the statement that Land understands Bataille more than any one else who has ever written about him, he understands that to actually write about Bataille is to inherently embrace failure, that to adapt Bataille to one’s own driving goal is to reduce Bataille to something disposable, and to try to form into Bataille is to refuse the idea that Bataille took so much time to develop, the idea of an entirely heterogeneous oeuvre. Beyond that, Land himself is a compulsively readable genius who is, as I’ve mentioned before, probably the only critical thinker other than Bataille himself that I want to read over and over again. The ideas in here are mind-blowing and amazing.
69 – Great Expectations – Kathy Acker
I’ve basically tried to read one or two Acker books a year since I started reading her. At first, when I discovered Acker, I really found her theory more enjoyable than her fiction, but the more I continue to read her fiction, the more I realize how fantastic it is, despite the fact that in certain ways each novel is a specific failed experiment. That doesn’t matter though, what matters is that Acker is a genius and sometimes the best way to demonstrate genius is to prove you’re not perfect, because if you’re perfect you’re not a genius, you’re just artificial. Acker’s fragmented narrative style works perfectly here, and there’s so much beautiful language that haunts the story of the DESIRE IS MASTER AND LORD, timelessness versus time. I am only an obsession.
70 – Purgatorio – Raul Zurita
Second reading of this, though really I had forgotten so much of it I was convinced that the version I was reading (the older edition than the more recent printing) was actually different from the recent one. Still totally devastating, still totally amazing and heavy. Seems like Zurita is one of those poets who should be far more lauded than he actually is. But then again, poetry is a hardly lauded genre in any capacity, isn’t it. Regardless, this is an amazingly moving book, & the heterogeneity of forms is a great way to move through a poetic space, really.
71 – Remainland – Aase Berg
I have this thing where I simultaneously love & hate “collections” like this when the fragments are coming from books that function more as books as a whole or via inertia or whatever–I hate the fact that once I start getting into the section I’m in it switches to another, but I love the fact that it gives me an overview of a poets work, especially when I’m entirely unfamiliar with the poet. So, on the upside, this poet got me excited enough to order the new Aase Berg book that’s coming out this month (January 2013), but the partiality leaves me from having anything too deep to say.
72 – Anteparadise – Raul Zurita
More of Zurita’s intensity, I think this was written after Purgatorio but I’m not sure? This book I loved as well, though there are spaces of repetition. I love the sky-written lines (am I blurring into the other book?) the dedicated political abstraction, everything.
73 – Blue of Noon – Georges Bataille
Third reading, I believe. Boyfriend bought it and read it and was underwhelmed so I, of course, stepped up to the plate to re-read it so I could argue with him. I still think it’s fantastic, and a great example of meting the problems of theory within a fictional narrative construct. The ending is sublime, and the weird intersect that insists upon inserting Simone Weil into the narrative fascinating.
74 – Desire for a Beginning, Dread for one Single End – Edmond Jabès
“What does a book show us? –First, the author’s distress. Then his shamelessness.” Jabès text is, not surprisingly, terrific. A meditation not out of line with his entire life’s work, simply more of a continuation, always aphoristic, embodied, the book as The Book, a totality, a mysticism, exile, Jewishness. Always. Granary is a weird press though. They seem to sell themselves as artists’ books creators, but their books always have weird typos and too-heavy paper-stock that makes the books less functional. Also the ‘art’ in this is stuck in 1992 and is pretty bad, even though sometimes I can get a specific kick outta that sort of aesthetic. I wish this had been from another press.
75 – In the Wake of the Wake – ed. David Hayman
Second time reading this through, I think this is one of the most important collections of “experimental writing” of the last 30 years–includes interviews & critical commentary on a lot of significantly under-recogized heavy hitters in addition to examples of work. Maurice Roche, Philippe Sollers, Christine Brooke-Rose, the Brazilian concrete poets, Arno Schmidt; a veritable who’s-who of the under-recognized European Avant-Garde. I still can’t really deal with William Gass though; the excerpt from The tunnel is such a fucking giant annoying CHORE to get through at only ten pages, I can’t imagine dealing with the entire book. So I won’t. But, really, the interview with Sollers in here is perfect.
76 – Heath Course Pak – Tan Lin
Review up here.
77 – Mankind – Jon Leon
While Leon’s work is inherently dark in concept, it’s normally executed with a sort of visceral jouissance, an revelry of decadence, a pure sense of (sexual) satisfaction– the work in Mankind, however, is markedly different–it’s actually dark. It’s at times embittered, jealous, violent, but still very much Leon, still very much with an edge of very dark humor. Operates, in a way, as sort of an amazing (& dark) B-side to Malady of the Century– I highly recommend both, as they’re fantastic all around.
78 – Slime Dynamics – Ben Woodard
Review up here.
79 – Writings of the Vienna Actionists – Ed. Malcolm Green
I’ve literally had this book since I discovered the Actionists (around the same time I discovered Bataille, thanks to the same website: Supervert), which means since around I was 14 or 15, yet I didn’t actually bother reading it until 2012, after reading a million books on the Actionists that I’ve gotten from the library since. Any way, surprise surprise, this book is fucking brilliant because it really just collects the writing of the actionists themselves and if there’s anything I know from reading WAY TOO MANY ART CATALOGS it’s that it’s never as interesting to listen to a critic talk about a writer than it is to listen to an articulate artist talk about his own work/project/scribbled notes/whatever.
Major breakthrough occurred upon my discovery that Schwarzkogler was a huge fan of Hans Henny Jahnn, the universe has realigned itself and everything makes sense again, my self-imposed lineage is awarded, once another, another perfect link.
80 – Antiepithalamia – John Tottenham
John Tottenham reads his poems very slowly. An expat Brit who seemingly hates all other British people (and occasionally himself), his readings are simultaneously hilarious and uncomfortable. But, as he himself says, that’s part of being an entertainer. Reading the poetry is a different experience than hearing it. Distanced from the spectacle, the language resonates in an astoundingly fantastic fashion. The work, the poetry, is excellent. It’s emotive in a way that’s separate from sentimental, and it carries such a heaviness that’s articulated in a severely acute fashion.
81 – Collapse Vol II – Ed. Robin MacKay
Second volume of this absolutely quintessential series. With essays dealing with Meillassoux’s After Finitude, dark matter, and Islamic Exotercism, the work is unendingly interesting.
82 – The Voyeur – Alain Robbe-Grillet
Coincidentally reading this immediately preceding Reticence had me drawing a lot of similarities, that I bring up in the Reticence review. Also, this marks the earliest Robbe-Grillet novel I’ve read, and really the book that found him breaking through into a somewhat populist intellectual. The book is great, but still pales in comparison with the 70s novels that I love so much.
83 – Reticence – Jean-Philippe Toussaint
Review up here.
84 – From the Observatory – Julio Cortazar
A nice little novella that is accompanied by brilliant photographs of an abandoned observatory in Jaipur, weaves a short narrative of bizarre logical shifts and jumps that tonally holds together.
85 – Inventor of Love & Other Writings – Gherasim Luca
I absolutely loved The Passive Vampire, but found a lot of this really tedious. What was magical in the former because staid & hyper-heterosexual in this, there’s an aggressive edge of machismo that colors a lot of what could be great & reduces it to testosterone, which is really unfortunate. There were still bits and pieces that maintained Luca’s genius, but not enough to sustain me throughout. Still will be curious about continuing to check out more of Luca’s never-ending oeuvre as time goes on.
86 – Some Forms of Availability – Simon Cutts
I mention this quite a bit here, though, while I found certain parts very inspiring and more or less exactly what I needed to hear, as a book overall it’s sort of flat for me; about half the content I found myself bored by. There’s still some amazing shit in here, and some, as I’ve said, hella inspirational in a not-cheesy way things (mostly in the reinforcement of the ideas of a literary community).
87 – Queer – William Burroughs
Despite the fact that I’ve been reading Burroughs since I was 14 I’d never read this or Junky, being, I presume, the works that most people who say they love Burroughs actually read–I mean, I’m not trying to be an asshole here, it’s just that there’s no fucking way that Burroughs isn’t the most widely-discussed and little-read author that’s a mainstay in American letters. Okay, sorry, diversion there, this was a quick read, and it’s, you know, competent and “good” but so less exciting than any of the things that Burroughs went on to write.
88 – Paule Nougé: Works Selected by Marcel Marién
This was an excellent little surprise; picked it up because it’s one of the limited Atlas Press subscription pamphlet things, and the work is ASTOUNDINGLY terrific.
89 – The Notion of Obstacle – Claude Royet-Journaud
Royet-Journaud’s poetry is writing that reduces narrative to only what’s essential, and then presents the minimal language all over the white space of the page, similar to Anne-Marie Albiach, the white page becomes a stage for language to perform on. This is also a beautifully letter-press printed book, that, as an object, feels wonderful just to hold in your hands.
90 – Memoirs of Jon Benet By Kathy Acker – Michael Du Plessis
Review up here.
91 – New Exercises – Franck Andre Jamme
Jamme’s language operates, in a way, similar to how an aphorism operate, and it’s arguable that many strings of words held within could be called “aphorisms.” However, there’s a visual insistence of the text, its arrangement minimal and stark, similar to the Tantric paintings that Jamme is fascinated by. There’s a visual acuity, we see shapes and inside the shapes we see words, this is a kind of minimal insistence that is lovely.
92 – Extracts from the Life of a Beetle – Franck Andre Jamme
A short little chapbook, not as minimal as New Exercises but filled with pleasurable language all the same.
93 – The Snow Poems – Janey Smith
Janey Smith’s poems pick apart syntax until it devolves into a questionable location of enigma. Like, really, read these poems and watch the world around you melt into a puddle. It’s like creating a new existence when on the surface it seems so flat, it’s impossible to not let it seep into you, the uncanny nature of writing.
94 – Selected Prose & Poetry – Stéphane Mallarmé
My relationship with Mallarmé has been somewhat strained, within the context of my experience as a reader. When I first tried to read him, several years ago, I was pretty immediately bored. Couldn’t figure out why so many writers/poets that I’m obsessed with were so into him. Made it about half-way through a (different) collected poetry collection before calling it quits. Two years later I read Meillassoux’s The Number & The Siren (refer to part 1) and became, certainly, more intrigued by Mallarmé. The English translations of “A Throw of Dice…” in the Meillassoux book is far superior to most translations I’ve seen. Also, this idea of THE BOOK that I’d encountered circling around Mallarmé seemed outside of my realm of experience with the man, but certainly intriguing. So, despite all that, finally reading this collection in 2012 officially piqued my interest and found me a devotee. I’m particularly fond of the letters, as that seems to be where all the magic outside of Igitur & Throw of Dice… resides.
95 – Mathematics (a novel) – Jacques Roubaud
Review up here
96 – The Dream of a Common Language – Adrienne Rich
Early feminist poetry, there’s still an urgency here though. A sense of desperately wanted something. The idea that poetry can accomplish revolution is a dream that died long ago but I can’t figure out why. Are the people of our current zeitgeist really so boring? I like the idea of moving and movement by poetry, Rich believed in this, as did Amiri Baraka. A Russian poet after the revolution was filling stadiums with 50,000 people for readings. This, I think, is what the title refers to, a dream of a common language.
97 – As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh – Susan Sontag
The second volume of Sontag’s notebooks is just as radically fascinating as the first. I love Sontag’s brain, and her notebooks offer such a specific insight into that–her humanity, her internal struggles, developing ideas that eventually turn into her brilliant essays. So much greatness in the extra-textual work of so many artists.
98 – Cameron – Michael Duncan
Catalog on Cameron’s work, which is great. Cameron was married to a physician who blew himself up in a lab after L Ron Hubbard stayed in his house. Life is insane.
99 – Hider Roser – Ben Mirov
Ben’s book is GREAT. My favorite poem starts with the line “I started reading on page six because fuck it, nothing matters.” I’ve seen him read probably 2/3rds or more of this book out loud at various readings (Ben & I, without even intentionally planning it, have ended up doing a ton of readings together). It’s good. I’m shit at talking about poetry but this book SLAYS. One of my roommates, who really doesn’t read poetry, came to one of Ben’s readings and liked it so much he got the book which he read three times in a row on a flight from San Francisco to Chicago.
100 – Texts – Helmut Heissenbuttel
I encountered Heissenbuttel in the anthology The Avant-Garde Today (which is great & noted below) and found him utterly fascinating. He is explicitly experimental in an honest definition of the word: meaning, he sets out parameters of an experiment, and then he performs the experiment–the text is the experiment. It’s fascinating. While sometimes the results of the experiment are a slog, other times they’re amazing.
101 – Repeat After Me – Bill Berkson & John Zurier
Zurier’s paintings are lovely, though not surprisingly lovelier in the flesh (most art is, of course). Berkson’s poetry is deceptively simple, and because of that it’s difficult to drink in at first, but washed over you in a way similar to Zurier’s watercolors. Both speak volumes while barely being there.
102 – The Whole of Poetry is Preposition – Claude Royet-Journoud
Claude Royet-Journoud is an amazing poet whose work is so obscure a reader can hardly begin to understand why she appreciates the work in the way she does. His poetry is amazing, often reported to be 600 page novelistic works cut down to barely 300 words. The Whole of Poetry… assembles Royet-Journoud talking about writing in various sources, and the notes here are pretty amazing.
103 – The Aesthetics of Excess – Allan S. Weiss
Weiss is great, synthesizing the likes of Bataille, Artaud, Freud, madmen & women, all into brilliantly considered essays that relate in some capacity to excess. This book is really wonderful.
104 – Revelations & Confessions: Blood Work Book 2 – Dan Hoy
Dan Hoy is fucking killing it. I liked this so much I published Book 1, CENTURIES & PROPHECIES. But seriously, this book is fucking GREAT.
105 – Notebooks 1956-1978 – Danielle Collobert [re-read]
Collobert holds a very unique place in my headspace, and I say unique because it’s a place in my head that I can feel with my entire physical body, feel in my SOUL, feel emotionally and physically and intellectually. Because of this, I often vibrate while reading her works. Since I found out Murder was coming out in 2013, I decided that I could finally read all of It Then, since I didn’t want to be finished with everything available in English (I am ridiculous), but before I did that, I wanted to revisit this. Which is astoundingly moving, succinct, I get the same feeling from Alix Cleo Roubaud’s Alix’s Journal.
106 – Cyclonopedia – Reza Negarestani
Simultaneously astoundingly difficult, fully entertaining, enigmatic, and unreadable, boring. However, within that construction, there’s much to appreciate here. It’s tearing apart of everything and rebuilding within a zeitgeist of theory-fiction–the terror seeps up, it’s not on the surface because of the way words function, but it’s there. As a novel I’m pretty sure it fails, but as a text it’s astounding. I was also fascinated with the reading of Merhige’s Begotten offered at the end of the novel.
107 – Ionesco – ed. Bernard Letru [re-read]
I find Irina Ionesco’s photography to be amazing–enigmatic in its shadows, the women are always from another world, a world or mystery and the dark. There’s a sexual self-imposition in 90% of Ionesco’s photographs; men are completely unnecessary, and even while being a homosexual myself, there’s enough affect in these photos that that’s more than fine. It’s like a dark, frozen, Werner Schroeter. Also, as there’s a lot on contention surrounding the photographs of her daughter Eva, this book features no photographs of Eva which validates Irina’s magick as a photographer outside of her daughter muse (though as a coherent book I prefer the collaboration with Robbe-Grillet, Temple Aux Miroirs).
108 – Night Giver – Chris Moran
This privately released, short chapbook is filled with magick in the realm of three different forms: there are a small handful of prose-poem like fragments, similar to Chris’s work in Poison Vapors; then, there are recounted narratives of dreams/abduction fragments; and finally there are a couple of poems more traditional formally, with line-break and enjambment. All three parts are great, and add up to a mystifying whole that recognizes as humans there is a much higher plane we can and should strive for.
109 – Where Shadows Will – Norma Cole
I’ve been in love with a number of Cole’s translations for years now, thanks to her involvement translating the likes of Collobert & other poets from that realm of French écriture that I’m so obsessed with. I met her at a small party and she was a lovely person, and I realized that it was possibly highly offensive that I was so enamored of her translation work but had yet to read any of her own work. I sought to remedy this, solving the problem by borrowing this overarching collection from my boyfriend. The book, which collects work from around a 20 year period I would say, is terrific, giving an impression of the various realms Cole’s poetry floated in, the similarities & differences from the works she was translating. Very enjoyable to read, and I can honestly say I look forward to reading more of Norma’s poetry.
110 – Devotional Cinema – Nathaniel Dorsky
This short book by Bay Area filmmaker Dorskey is somewhat of a revered object by some–and after seeing a screening series of his work (which is astounding) and hearing him talk–Dorsky is honestly one of the most articulate and engrossing speakers on experimental films I’ve EVER encountered–I was excited to read this too. And, I should say, it is good, but it lacks any definiteness that his talks had, that other books on film I’ve read have. I should clarify: the central thesis throughout the book, the idea of letting film work on you, the affect washing over, in development of a devotional cinema is precisely what I am interested in Cinema, and the extrapolation of this feeling is great, the problem comes when Dorsky articulates an example–whereas in Cinema and Sensation, examples of affect via specific techniques is describes fully & linkedly, in Dorsky’s book the examples are casual and never quite sit as true–Dorsky’s devotion is far more subjective, which of course is fine and not really a surprise, but the fact that I was simultaneously reading a book that managed to sort of objectively articulate these ideas I’m obsessed with (which is, I would say, a lot hard to do since affect is, by definition, subjective), made it lose some of its power. I’d still, of course, recommend it, as it’s a lovely book to read.
111 – 100 Selected Poems – e. e. cummings
I had never read more than a handful of cummings poems, so when I found this for a quarter at a thrift store I said, “why not” and added it to my haul. It’s enjoyable in a casual way, though nothing in this specific collection found me overtly excited, there were a few pages I dog-earred and read to my boyfriend in bed, which is fun because cummings indulges in the occasional love poem, and on a rainy day, evoking the cliche of reading love poetry to your sleepy boyfriend while you lie naked in bed is an ultimately satisfying experience.
112 – Japanese Red Leaf Maple – Leif Haven
Sort of brilliantly hilarious Craigs-List erasures put out as a nice lookin’ ebook from Love Symbol Press.
113 – Collobert Orbital – Johan Jonson [re-read]
I actually read this again exclusively so I could write a better mini-review of it in part one of this shit. Regardless, it’s amazing. I want more of Jonson’s poetry to be available in English QUITE BADLY.
114 – The Space of Literature – Maurice Blanchot
This is a book that, in it’s depth, is simultaneously exciting, frustrating, dense and perfectly clear. It exhibits a verisimilitude. Half the time I had no idea what Blanchot was getting at, which is how one comes to understand that Blanchot is deserving of multiple re-readings, but other parts, specifically when Blanchot was speaking of Mallarmé & “Igitur,” and the letters of Mallarmé that I found fantastic and inspiring. I feel like it’s an important book that uses literature to deal with the questions of literature and of course by literature I mean existence, isolation, the question of “why.”
115 – The Living Are Few, The Dead Many – Hans Henny Jahnn
Jahnn is, perhaps, along with a few others, one of my favorite writers of fiction. His novel The Ship is astounding in the affect it inspires within its heavy narrative of despair, and The Night of Lead, a novella included in this ‘collection’ from Atlas, is perhaps perfect. A heavy darkness, total terror, confusion, sexual abandonment, everything that is necessary for a life in turmoil, in the dark, moves moves moves. The short stories, different translations (I believe) from those found in 13 Uncanny Tales, are also fantastic, though it’s in The Night of Lead where Jahnn shines brightest in the dark. I’m so glad this book was available in trade, as the earlier edition of Night of Lead that Atlas put out was far more limited and ephemeral.
116 – It Then – Danielle Collobert
Perfect. Collobert’s poetry moves in ways no one else’s can. Her life is her poetry, and within that arc we must include death, her biggest subject. Collobert’s life was an infinitude that ended before coming to fruition. I will read this book again and a again until I can understand how everything in the universe works.
117 – Only a Child – Alain Veinstein [re-read]
Interestingly, this didn’t hit me as heavily as it did initially. I’m wondering if I was distracted, or if maybe my headspace has moved on. I’d say it’s worth revisiting again, albeit more carefully, in order to figure out where it is that I truly stand.
118 – Ephraim Dotey, Goddess of Love – Tim Jones-Yelvington
I read this in manuscript form and, intending just to read a few pages before I went out for the night, I ended up reading the entire thing straight-through, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Tim’s YA novel is amazingly mature in its ideology, especially in views towards sex, and actually teaches a moral that people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, hell even 50s could probably use being reminded of. It’s astounding how well this is constructed.
119 – The Asks – Craig Watson [re-read]
Watsom was sort of the American parallel to the ‘neo structuralists’ aka French writers of écriture or whatever you want to call them.
complex is eyes
that alien toward
as considered, gesture
He writes within the absence of the void, which is precisely where I prefer my poets to write from. There’s an intense object-centered perspective here, perhaps borrowed from Hocquard’s Theory of Tables, but approached on his own.
120 – Black God – Ben Spivey
Spivey’s narrative seems simple but expands into an extremely open disconnect, a space of confusion between husband and wife, beautiful word play carries A to B but not necessarily in a straight line. There’s a house that is to be watched, there is a wife who is sick, a man, our protagonist, who cannot or chooses not to remember or understand everything. And it’s fucking great.
121 – Cinema & Sensation – Martine Beugnet
This is absolutely essential. The first two sections perfectly articulate everything I want out of cinema, drawing both on Artaud’s idea of a “third cinema” and Bataille’s notion of the formless, constructing a language of cinematic affect, how a text (in this case, a film) can draw the viewer in & inspire a response not via empathy, but rather directly, approaching a sort of degree zero of experience–something that I am after in all forms of art, but that I think things OTHER than the written word & the moving image are generally better at–narrative often makes it hard for us to approach the text using any other method than the protagonist as cipher, but this book really demonstrates that it’s possible otherwise. Final section, drawing more on Deleuze’s film theory, is still interesting, but seems less necessary & urgent.
122 – Twins – Meghan Milks
Milks’ “choose your own adventure” story mashes multiple tween-girl reading series into a sort of post-theory examination of girlhood and the Other–but the other as the self. The introduction gets heavy, language-y, and then we move into narrative land. I’m obsessive about making sure I follow all possible endings when I read a book that’s a “choose your own adventure” and the multitude of possibilities offered herein are astounding, and, true to form, innocently naive, though there’s an insidiousness present.
123 – Fetish Photography – Kevin Killian
Kevin’s yearly birthday-poetry chapbook is fun. There’s a piece in memorial of Mark Aguhar, and some other short poems to round it out. The title refers to Kevin’s major 2012 project, photographing boys & men, mostly nude, with a Raymond Pettibon painting of a cock & balls covering the man’s own cock & balls.
124 – Notes on the Cinematograph – Robert Bresson
Short, aphoristic fragments that guide Bresson’s film making. Scribbed down as “notes to self,” reading them in whole is astonishing & inspiring, a totality of a brilliant filmmaker. I agree with almost everything he told himself to remember.
125 – The Avant-Garde Today – ed. Charles Russell [re-read]
This, along with In the Wake of the Wake (mentioned above) are the two “rosetta stones” (or whatever, maybe that doesn’t really work) of the international avant-garde in that weird between space of “really popular and cool” and 90s academic appropriation. This again covers Tel Quel masters, Brazilians, Japanese VisPo, and more.