Friday, December 15, 2000
Vivien Noakes, Writer and Lecturer
Welcome to the Home Page of Vivien Noakes.
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:59 PM
Thursday, December 14, 2000
Casting Herself as 'Seussical' Savior, O'Donnell to Don Cat's Hat
Throwing her considerable box-office muscle behind the critically maligned musical "Seussical," Rosie O'Donnell, Broadway's biggest booster, announced yesterday that she would take over a leading role in the show next month. Ticket sales immediately soared.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:54 AM
Wednesday, December 13, 2000
Braccelli: Bizzarie di Varie Figure
The Bizzarie (Livorno, 1624) can rightly lay claim to being a prime exemplar of the artistic enigma – a work truly without precedent or explanation beside itself. Its sensuous imagery, occupying a dreamlike space between thought and form, made it an underground sensation amongst twentieth-century artists and connoisseurs. The art historian Sir Kenneth Clark (1903–83) was instrumental in the rediscovery of Braccelli, and the poet Tristan Tzara (1896-1963) drew parallels between these etchings and the revolutionary artistic agendas of Dada and Surrealism.
[This is a very nice book of illustrations, about 50, which, while probably not quite nonsensical, have a lot in common with later nonsense illustration. While the reproduction is good, it is hard to appreciate the small pictures.]
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:23 PM
My soul is a strange factory
TRY this. Your first sentence is "Time is money" and your last sentence is "Thyme is funny". Write the story - long or short - that joins the two. Be imaginative, but please stick to plausible leaps and bounds. And while you're at it, make it a novel, and - why not? - a novel in verse. Use rhyming couplets. Done it? Then you've got the hang of the strange "procedure" of Raymond Roussel (1877-1933), a millionaire, an outrageous dandy, a homosexual who liked to stay tightly shut up in the closet and a sincere believer in his own genius. You should now find Mark Ford's elegant, intense and detailed guide to the many huge works that Roussel produced with his phono-syntactic machine at least meaningful, if not completely irresistible.
posted by Marco Graziosi 4:00 PM
Bell: Monograph of the Testudinata
Thomas Bell’s A Monograph of the Testudinata is one of the great reptile books, containing the finest series of colored plates of turtles ever published. A dental surgeon and professor of zoology, Bell was also a leading English naturalist when he began his ambitious attempt to summarize all the world’s turtles, living and extinct. Working with Bell to produce the forty plates was natural history artist James de Carle Sowerby, to whom Bell would send live specimens. But the genius of the published plates is largely attributable to Edward Lear (known to generations for his nonsense verse), whose reputation as the finest natural history lithographer of his age had earlier been established by a monumental folio on parrots.
[I had not realised so far that the book can be read online and the illustrations are quite good: buying the CD-ROM is still better, however]
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:44 PM