jewels and binoculars

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Sunday, February 04, 2007
Oh, the internet is full of marvelous things! Here are some essays on literature and creativity that melted my brain in all the best ways:

Jonathan Lethem on The Ecstasy of Influence.

Zadie Smith on the legacy of honorable failure (and some really great stuff on reading as an active pursuit).

Audrey Niffenegger on Inquisitiveness and Desire.

For the ears and eyes: You Ain't No Picasso has the new Andrew Bird single (and a typically enigmatic A. Bird picture).

This Of Montreal video (via Marathonpacks) makes me so happy I can't quite describe it. There is a dancing bear, a lobster claw, a meteor/comet and much much more -- you'd best watch it for yourself. It's like a lesson from Dream Logic 101 interpreted as community theater. Love, love, love.

10 comments on "jewels and binoculars"
  1. The video was great, but now I am watching "Scream"...I am so lame, I know...

  2. Scream had Drew Berrymore and Liev Schreiber in it, right? I only saw it once (since scary movies SCARE ME), but I remembered thinking it was smart and fun (from behind the pillow I had in front of my face).

    Also fun: whatever that movie was with Jon Stewart as a science teacher -- it had aliens that took over the high school. that doesn't really narrow it down, does it? Um, I think Frodo was in it... and the aliens either loved water or hated water. (what is it with aliens and water?)

    that video IS great! I'm going to watch it again Right Now.

  3. LOL. That guy? The video was charming. I would LOVE to have seen that action live. I printed out the essays you suggest, but then just settled down to read Stewball, by David Bowen, such a comfy book, despite Nazis to keep the plot rolling. Oh, I did read Inquisitiveness and Desire, by Audrey Niffenegger (it was short) These lines stood out: "If art were simply a response to pain, there would be a lot more art. I think that art is the reslult of inquiesitivenes, mingled with a deep desire to make things be." Yeah--to bring something into being which was not there before feels good, even if it is merely a string of beads.

  4. Next time I will proofread.

  5. Cocoon, I meant, I think. It is a hard word to spell, like other words I can't mention because I can not spell them. "Scream" does indeed have Drew and Liev, for a sec, and even though I have watched it a zillion times it scares me each time.

  6. No, not cocoon, unless there was some wilfred brimley in high school part I am unaware of! Damn. I will go look it up or you'll be telling me it's On Golden Pond or Golden Girls. (because that's what I think of when I think "high school alien movie" -- wilfred brimley and bea arthur!)

    Liev is only in Scream a little, isn't he? I have a huge crush on him so he always registers. (he's so smart it's not even funny!! and his voice !!!) Okay! IMDB comes through so I don't have to bore you with more of mr. schreiber's dreamy attributes. the movie I was thinking of is...


    Patty, I'm having a hard time reconciling the words "comfy" and "nazis"... how does that work? I have a whole THING on using the word "nazi" as shorthand for 'hardass' but I'll save it for another time since I doubt that's what's going on in your book. But I'm still curious.

    I think you'll like the other essays when you get around to reading them. It took me the longest to read the lethem one because it just had SO MUCH going on... but I really liked it. They all gave me a lot to think about. I love that bit you quoted from Niffenegger, and the Smith one is simply wonderful.

  7. What does IMDB mean? Liev is quite sexy and he is great/tragic in "The Daytrippers"

  8. I did not use the term "Nazis" loosely. Bowen's books take place in Montana, so these are horse-racing cowboy Nazis, but they collect Hitler memorabilia and have million dollar fund raisers for their cause--eliminating Jews and blacks. "Comfy" comes in by way of the local characters on all his books.

    Hey, I think there is a blog there!

    I am sure I will enjoy those essays. (I was pleased to discover Powell's features such.)

    BTW, the image of that 7 yo character named Lizzie that sprang full-furred from AN's forehead is irresistible--I need to check out AN's books.

  9. Daniel, I can't believe you don't know the IMDB! It's so useful in those "who is that guy? you know -- that guy that was in that thing that time" situations.

    Patty -- I knew that you weren't just throwing Nazi around (horse racing cowboy nazis?!), I was just curious about how comfy and nazi work together in a book. I'll be interested to read your blog post take on it! And YES you absolutely should check out some AN. I think you would love both of her illustrated novels (not at all like a graphic novel, which I know you have some issues with) -- Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress. Both are wonderful.


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