Contemporaneous Extension

Summer Warehouse Sale @Printed Matter
July 23, 2014, 12:00 pm
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The Canoodling of Fiction and Art (Lecture)
September 13, 2013, 12:00 pm
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I first discovered Rachel Kushner when I read a review of a review of her recent novel, The Flamethrowers, in Salon earlier this summer. She was defending said novel against Adam Kirsch’s implication in Tablet Magazine that she had done a good job of writing a “macho” book as a woman, a claim that is both absurd and offensive. Her response, succinctly slaying his assumption that writing books was a glamourous, calculated process, was a solid kick in the balls that I support wholeheartedly. The excerpt from her Facebook page, featured in the Salon article, states:

The review gives example of my “macho” writing, which to me does not seem macho. it just seems like my writing. there are various things going on here, one of which may be the idea that women are supposed to write “like women,” and Kirsch is holding me up as outside of that, in hopes of finding out why critics have liked my book, despite its being, haha, by a woman. And secondly, a sense of the writer as self-consciously “cool.” But, Adam Kirsch, with all due respect, there is nothing “cool” about writing novels. It takes years and years of solitary work and deep and quiet and very uncool thinking to do it. You have to use the part of you that is unconscious, submerged, most unknown to the writer herself. It is not a calculated act, to produce an effect. Writers cannot work in such a mode. At least I cannot. The “cool” you register: could this be your own projection? I write the novels that are possible for me to write, not that ones I think will come across in a certain light. thank you. have a great day, everyone.



Kushner is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow (along with stellar individuals Kim Abeles, Charles Gaines, Bruce Gilden, Bill Hayes, Nora Krug, Deana Lawson, Ben Lerner, Sylvia Nasar, Christian Patterson, and Alec Soth, to name a few) and is giving a lecture at CUNY on September 23, 2013, at 6:30 pm on the inclination to integrate photographs and illustration into fiction. As an art history buff and human being who has certainly lived, I look forward to hearing her remarks and observations.



Further reading:

Art & Photography — a curated series of images and insights into Kushner’s creative process for The Flamethrowers (via The Paris Review)

An excerpt from The Flamethrowers (via NPR books)



If You Don’t Know, Now You Know
September 12, 2013, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: , , ,

If You Don't Know, Now

Christmas List 6

Graphic Diagrams: The Graphic Visualization of Abstract Data by Walter Herdeg: I absolutely adore the fusion of art and seemingly practical knowledge, which is precisely the case with Herdeg’s intuitive parallel of information with graphic design. There are two editions of this book, one from 1974 and a second from 1976 that apparently isn’t as challenging, that integrate a variety of designers and artists to visualize quantity, statistics, and flux.

All photos courtesy of Designer Books

From the Masters of Cinema Series: David Lynch, by Thierry Jousse: Because everyone should know a little more about David Lynch and his breathtaking use of atmosphere, illogical narrative interjections, and ability to observe and highlight the peripheral details. ‘Blue Velvet’ and ‘Mulholland Drive’ are cinematic gold.

A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, by Stephen Hawking: Who doesn’t love outer space and the eternal mystery that is time?! I, for one, am mildly obsessed with the contemplation of time and am sold on acquiring Hawking’s insight into cosmology. It was a New York Times Best Seller and sold millions of copies, plus Hawking apparently was inducted into the Royal Society, an organization pushing for scientific innovation which had Issac Newton himself as president in the 18th century. The book was noted for including minimal mathematical formulas yet explaining phenomena like black holes and quarks with stunning simplicity. Also, diagrams and drawings are a major accompaniment to the text, which always helps us visual-memory aesthetes. Hawkings is so inspiring that Errol Morris generated a documentary on the genius’ life in 1991, also named A Brief History of Time.