This is the greatest compliment I have ever received.
Wow, so, obviously not reading—or at least wildly failing to understand—literature counts as criticism now?!? My, how the internet has changed our standards. C’mon, Judge Fershleiser, fess up. This is your turf, you’re safe. Now tell me: did you read the book or just use your kindle to seek out key words and read around them? Because the commentariat is making some pretty convincing arguments against a proper read. I, at least, will respect you more if you’re honest about your process.
I’m not even upset by the decision. I love a good scandal at the ToB and this year is off to a firecracker start: cryptic author interactions! shocking upsets! more trolls than ever before! But transparency is kind of the point of it all, you know.
How to Colonize (for Kids!), as explained by this 20th century French board game:
- Hoist the French flag onto your newfound soil
- Build a hospital
- Erect a school
- Open your harbor
- Reap the benefits of rich natural resources from around the world and sail back to France with goodies in tow
This “trading game” is an example of the lasting mindset of the race to colonize. More from curator Isotta Poggi about this questionable game.
Trading Game: France—Colonies, 1941, O.P.I.M. (Office de publicite et d’impression), Breveté S.G.D.G. Lithograph on linen, 22 7/8 x 32 1/4 in. Getty Research Institute.
"Skeleton of Whale in NC State Museum of Natural History, no date (c.1930’s). Barden Collection, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC." (by State Archives of North Carolina)
The Preus Museum—Norway’s national museum of photography—has a marvelous album of spirit photographs. If you can, I highly recommend enlarging these; the one on the bottom right is a work of art.
I found this collection while playing with the serendip-o-matic with search terms that had absolutely nothing to do with spirit photography! Now that’s spooky.
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -
And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -
And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,
As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here -
And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -
A ubiquitous poem, I know, but for good reason: the last two stanzas are perfection. Reading instructions: ignore the dashes and commas and stanza breaks; pause only for breath. Then go back and try it again with respect to the punctuation. Then again, experimenting with the emphasis you place on each word: should you let “creak” linger longer than “Soul”? Is there a way to read it without dwelling for small eternities on “Being” and “Ear”? Then again, considering silences, trying to preserve them despite the glottal explosions of all those Ks. Then again, and again, and again, and again, until its alliteration becomes a part of you.
Aaaaaah. I adore how words are clearly so insufficient for describing her feelings about the harp!
Trivia: the college that Joanna Newsom dropped out of was my own Mills; I was introduced to her music by a professor who had known her, had discussed with her whether or not she should drop out, and who oversaw some of my agonizing about whether or not I should leave school myself. (I stayed.) I am not sure if the timeline is accurate, but I like to pretend that if I had gone there earlier, or if she hadn’t left, we would have known each other and maybe have been friends. There are a couple of lines on The Milk-Eyed Mender that I am sure refer to Mills. They are a perfect encapsulation of the place.
She may be the only (living) artist who I feel this way about. I don’t usually create imaginary connections with people who are actually alive or real. But Joanna! Let’s be friends?
“Well I mean …. knees. (heavy sigh)”
put your nasty knees away
(A descent into nationalism, as evidenced by strangely compelling graphic design! Pretty much ideologically bankrupt but strangely beautiful.)
Another gem from the Library of Congress’ Performing Arts Posters Collection: Mr. & Mrs. Herbert L. Flint’s Hypnotic Skirt Dance, c. 1895. This poster would totally have drawn me to attend the show. Time machine, please?
Found … in an archive somewhere, I think, when I was researching rationing last fall? It is the pefect valentine for my gentleman friend, who is an outspoken defender of Hoover.