October 22, 2004
BEAUTY HERE AND SOMETIMES THERE
I was on the Underground on my way to the Hayward Gallery to see the Eyes, Lies & Illusions exhibition when a father and two little boys got on. The beauty of this trio was such that it seemed to light up the whole carriage. I didn't want to stare and kept surreptitiously glancing from behind my newspaper. To say that they were black says nothing. Their skin was African midnight blueblack, the colour of a starry desert sky and polished as the stones in a clear stream. There was not a hair on their heads or brows. Their smooth hairlessness and the extraordinary intensity and innocence of their eyes made them seem like beings from another planet. The man was dressed in a light-coloured tracksuit but the boys, under their black casual jackets, wore formal white shirts and white trousers. My sketch from memory does not do them justice. If I had brought my camera I would have asked permission to photograph them. Sometimes life generously offers you a brief encounter with absolute beauty to remind you that all is not lost and ugliness can never entirely take over the world.
The Hayward exhibition
was another kind of beauty. It is based on the collection
Nekes, German experimental film-maker and media researcher,
and includes over a thousand images, early optical instruments,
devices, games, illusions, as well as work by some contemporary
artists who explore optical phenomena. There is even a room-size camera
obscura set up on the roof of the gallery where you can
see an upside down, moving image of the South Bank - no electronics,
simply a very small hole in the wall and the principle known
since the 5th century BC:
I love it to bits, all of it, especially the wonderfully ingenious and gorgeous to look at early optical devices, and the engravings of such inventions. No Olympic-size techno fair displaying the latest computers (upgraded ten minutes later) can compete, in my eyes, with one room full of lovingly conceived, crafted, polished and built-to-last-forever magical instruments which expand your mind and thrill your senses.
( Just in case you hadn't noticed, this book can be ordered from me).
On Sunday I'm going to Paris for a week so no blogging until November 1 or 2...eek! US election day! Let us pray. And vote, if you are American and want your country back.
October 19, 2004
AND THE WINNER IS......ME!
Last night I thought of a title for the gnovel, which I'm going to hang on to for the time being: DOUBLE ENTENDRE. It has the right sound, the right risqué connotation, and the idea that more than one level is involved.
However, I'm going to award the prize to the runner-up, the one who came closest to hitting the target. And that was...drum roll..... poet par excellence Ivy, for her suggestion: Beside Herself. Take a bow Ivy and let me know where to mail your prize.
Big thanks to the rest of you who responded to my short-lived challenge and provided enough great titles for a shelf of as-yet unwritten books. Maybe you could get started on some of them?
October 17, 2004
THINK OF A TITLE FOR THE GNOVEL AND WIN A PRIZE!
Can you suggest a title for my gnovel ? Come up with one that I can use, something catchy and relevant, and I will send you a prize - a signed, free copy of Augustine's True Confession!! So far I've rejected two banal ideas of my own: Double Life and Ottoline/Augustine.
Here's a mini-version of the latest image to be added. There's more on the drawing board and I'm getting nearer to the stage when I can send a chunky section to a publisher with the aim of getting a contract to finish the book.
I find it hard to summarise verbally what this gnovel is about though I know it in my head and heart. There are two distinct ways of thinking and seeing running in counterpoint, like a musical composition. In fact I see it in those terms: there's Ottoline's voice, Augustine's voice, plus the voice of an unseen narrator. The readers' eyes move from one to the other in the same way that you can hear the separate parts in a madrigal without losing a sense of the whole.
October 15, 2004
October 11, 2004 4:20 PM
AND HERE'S GOD! (Augustine Interviews God: Part 10)
12:30 PM IF I SHOULD DISAPPEAR....
The flashing and dimming and pinking started the minute I turned on the computer today. Just when the new *fantabulous* if I say so myself God Interview No. 10 is ready all but for reducing size and laying it out on the page. So please do something - pray, light candles, cast spells, call the engineers - but don't for God's sake go away!
And my contribution to Dem's guest blog went up yesterday. Check it out along with all the other glittering stars.
October 8, 2004
OH NO NO!
Somebody tell me quickly:
What does it mean when your monitor screen goes fuschia pink, flickers and dims, dims and flickers, back to normal, dims again, pink again, normal for some time then has a fit again? Is my Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 720 monitor dying? Is my Mac G4 dying? They're only about 4 years old for goodness sake. I handle them with kid gloves, treat them respectfully, give them every comfort. They cannot possibly be giving up on me. What should I do? What if everything but everything suddenly shuts down? And I haven't posted the latest God interview yet. HELP!!
October 6, 2004
God isn't ready yet but some abracadabra has turned Monday's placid winter lady into this incandescent angel.
Probably inspired by reading in yesterday's Guardian G2 section some of the letters written to Michael Moore after the release of F/911 by disillusioned and angry American soldiers serving in Iraq. These should be required reading for everyone but especially American voters. They are from a book published in the UK tomorrow by Allen Lane and in USA by Simon & Schuster:
I would quote from the letters but I fear that the emotion might tremble and tear this page to shreds.
October 4, 2004
WHILE YOU WAIT
As usual my resolutions to do something or other on a daily basis fall by the wayside. But I have an excuse: I'm in the middle of another interview with God about a Big Subject. A lot for a small cartoon creature to deal with. Meanwhile here's something to look at while you wait. And don't fail to visit all the celebrity guests at Dem's blog this week while he takes time off to act like a Marine (on stage, not in life).