Gabriel Josipovici, The Inventory

May 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

“I used to come here after school, you cant understand the feeling of peace, of calm, to be here, with them, with Oscar in this room, the fire cracking and no-one saying anything or expecting you to say anything sometimes I would look up into that mirror, there, over the fireplace, that round convex mirror, and see us all reflected in it, smaller and slightly distorted, Oscar there on the carpet and the two of them on either side of the fire, and me here on the green sofa with the broken arm, and when I looked up it seemed to me it’s silly but it really seemed to me that time had just stopped or been abolished or slipped round the walls of the house, and this was paradise, some sort of paradise, just the three of us and Oscar and the silence except for the fire and Oscar’s snores and -”

                      Gabriel Josipovici, The Inventory (1968)


May 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

I think there is probably a thesis, or at least an article, to be written about the way that a favourite place for old Anglophone beefs about continental philosophy to play out is – deeply inappropriately in my view – the obituaries of figures who were involved in that world. I remember obituaries of Derrida and Baudrillard as examples that particularly stick in the mind as out-and-out hatchet jobs.

I’m not going to do it the favour of linking to it here, but there’s a classic piece, if not of hatchet-jobbery, then at least of conservative sneery-sneeriness in a British-broadsheet-paper-that-sounds-a-little-like-“The Bailey Hell-o-graph” to mark the death of Christine Brooke-Rose.

The piece got up my nose, readers, it got up my nose. Think about me reading it so you don’t have to, if you like…

Michel Butor meets the iPad…

May 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

Though I’m a little wary/sceptical about the tablets and e-readers and the like (or I’m a Luddite – only time will tell…), this video of Michel Butor playing with an iPad melted my icy heart. I guess it’s also a pretty appropriate/symbolic thing to see someone who has done so much to investigate the material support that is the book to be shown looking at something that could potentially (for better or worse) revolutionise that support…. Anyway, great, cute video. Enjoy!

Butor in Mexico

April 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’ve got Michel Butor on the brain at the moment as I’m writing a conference paper about his impact in Britain in the 1960s. So I was excited to see that he has an exhibition on at the Museo Universitario Arte Comtemporaneo in Mexico. Not that I’m going to be able to make it, but its great to see Butor doing the rounds lately (he was in New York of late).

So in celebration of that, here’s the excellent front cover of the 1965 Calder Jupiter Books paperback of Jean Stewart’s translation of L’Emploi du temps . The pipe, readers, the pipe!

…and some more Brooke-Rose

April 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

(Although I don’t want this blog just to become an internet memorial, as I’m a big fan, I’m posting these because it’s great to see  what Brooke-Rose meant to different people.)

Full Stop has a great piece on Brooke-Rose that – like Waggish – gives her her dues as a critic, pointing out in particular how ace her ZBC of Ezra Pound is (“avoids the usual heavy-handed oneupmanship of most Pound scholarship” = perfect).

And the Ransom Centre has a little obit on her, with a lovely scan of a page of one of her manuscripts, as well as some great comments from Karen R. Lawrence, who wrote the most recently-published monograph on Brooke-Rose.

A bit more Brooke-Rose

April 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Good to see a thorough obit over at the NY Times

…and the ever-insightful and far-sighted Waggish has a nice slice of some of her thrilling critical comments (a brilliant earlier Waggish piece on Xorandor is worth revisiting now too)…

…and, finally, fittingly, Brooke-Rose’s publisher, Carcanet, has an obituary that ends with Michael Freeman’s touching poem to her.

SF Brooke-Rose…

March 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Locus Online have written about Christine Brooke-Rose. Brooke-Rose was fascinated about the potential lines between science and literature, and in a way it’s one of threads she sustained throughout her career. I’m looking forward to the full obituary in their May issue.