From Evan Lavender-Smith’s Old Notebooks

(could also be read as writing prompts) ~ Memoir beginning with detailed narrative description of subject’s rich and fertile childhood slowly disintegrates into list of difficult books he read as an adult. ~ Academic essay, after Moretti, quantifying the extent to which Jackson Pollock’s paintings influenced late-20th-century hairstyles. ~ Story about a mother who develops…

Ars Poetica XII: Art is a question

In my last post I offered a few points from Siri Hustvedt’s truly interesting essay on Louise Bourgeois. One of the things I have been thinking about since, is Hustvedt’s assertion that: A work of art is always part person, that is: a work of art is part-thing-part-person, it is this aliveness – according to…

Ars Poetica XI: A work of art is always part person

from: MY LOUISE BOURGEOIS SIRI HUSTVEDT ON THE COMPLEX, BRILLIANT, CONTRADICTORY ARTIST … we do not treat artworks the way we treat forks or chairs.[…] because it carries the traces of a living consciousness and unconsciousness, and it is invested with that being’s vitality. A work of art is always part person. Therefore the experience…

Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life

Being sceptical to psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method in cases of severe mental illness, I still believe that psychoanalytical theory has a lot to offer the fields of arts and humanities. One of the most interesting contemporary writers in this field is the British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. Here is from his book “Missing Out: In…

Sea-change

How to write about nature in a way that makes the reader feel the landscape as if she was there; wandering through it … absorbed, possessed – ? Here is Jean Sprackland: Countless times I’ve seen the shore hewn and hammered, scattered with whole tree trunks, steel pipes, oil drums, concrete fence posts, dead sheep….

Boring Friends

We know only four boring people. The rest of our friends we find very interesting. However, most of the friends we find interesting find us boring: the most interesting find us the most boring. The few who are somewhere in the middle, with whom there is reciprocal interest, we distrust: at any moment, we feel,…

Notes on the craft of poetry

Further notes on The best american poetics Mark Strand says: I believe that all poetry is formal in that it exists within limits, limits that are either inherited by tradition or limits that language itself imposes. Form it should be remembered is a word that has several meanings, some which are near opposites. form has to…

Reading Mark Strand

– contemplating the difference between prose & poetry Mark Strand: The Weather of Words  

Arctic Dreams

You know – my fascination for the Arctic is bottomless, so it might not come as a surprise that I’m deeply in love with Barry Lopez‘s wonderful book Arctic Dreams. I read it like a sacred text, word by word, paragraph by paragraph. Someone said: Lopez writes about the visible world with the mind of a…

Anne Lamott

Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?  I don’t think I have ever read anyone writing about self-loathing, disappointment and despair in such a respectful and attentive way as Anne Lamott. It is very easy to identify with Lamott’s narrator,…

the reason of beauty is emotional

Here is David Brooks; adding valuable arguments to our ongoing study of art & beauty: We really have to trust our emotions, which are much smarter than our reason in some ways – because our emotions tell us what to value. – we don’t have the choice to control our emotions, but we do have…