Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Category: reading and writing

Never real

You’ve always lived a life of pretense, not a real life – a simulated existence. Everything about you, everything you are, has always been pretense, never genuine, never real.

Woodcutters, Thomas Bernhard

There is pretense even in the tense – the narrator is talking to himself, but talks in the second person, so we read “you” rather than “I”, which distances us from him, distances him from himself.

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Dispatches from a lapsed blogger

I’ve been thinking about one of my old guilty pleasures, one I suspect I’ve talked about before on here, as (nearly) 11 years in I suspect I’ve exhausted all original thoughts or inspirations. And “guilty pleasures” is an odd concept anyway, one I’m pleased that seems to have subsided in recent years, as why should any pleasure really lead to guilt, unless that pleasure is inherently problematic or illegal? Or maybe every pleasure should be guilty? And there was/is also something a little performative about guilty pleasures anyway, the cracked-mirror-image of inverted snobbery, fun dulled by irony, rather than the sheer joy of finding good stuff wherever you might look. Read the rest of this entry »

Misrememberings (Rye Harbour)

“Let’s go wait out in the fields with the ones we love.” – Heavenfaced, The National

“Civilisation still seems to be an unfinished task.” – Robert Walser

“It is necessary to be embarrassed a 1000 times to produce a good work. Get used to being embarrassed.” – John Berger

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The wilderness of crowds

It has been a hot, difficult summer and only now can I feel the pressure begin to drop in the air. The darkening skies and the tentative rain are not foreboding, they signal respite from the season before. Autumn is already here for the meteorologists, and not far off for the astronomers. Read the rest of this entry »

10

Forum Romanum, for Mr Soane’s Museum

What they say of troubles, that they never come alone, might also be said of the passions. They arrive together, like the Muses or the Furies.

François-René de Chateaubriand, Memoirs from Beyond the Grave

I recently made my way around Sir John Soane’s Museum, the house of the 19th century architect, left untouched since his death. Rather than the curation you would see in a normal museum, I encountered the curation of a home, of a man. Soane was a collector, of art, artefacts, the esoteric. He was also a creator, and so the home is full of his follies and innovations, architecturally and thematically. Read the rest of this entry »