farm city!

bookart.

January 26, 2011
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Isaac Salazar. Paper Art. New Mexico.

Check his flickr for more cuts, folds, bookarts.

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November 30, 2010
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“I think about other things while she describes her recent past: air, water, sky, time, a moment, a point somewhere when I wanted to show her everything beautiful in the world. I have no patience for revelations, for new beginnings, for events that take place beyond the realm of my immediate vision. A young girl, a freshman, I met at a bar in Cambridge my junior year at Harvard told me early one fall that ‘Life is full of endless possibilities.’ I tried valiantly not to choke on the beer nuts I was chewing while she gushed this kidney stone of wisdom, and I calmly washed them down with the rest of a Heineken, smiled and concentrated on the dart game that was going on in the corner.”
[Bret Easton Ellis].


coming through slaughter.

July 5, 2010
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E.J. Bellocq. Photographer. New Orleans. 1873-1949.

Like most good things, I first heard of Bellocq in a novel by Michael Ondaatje.
Bellocq’s photos feature the prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans’ legalized red light district around the turn of the last century.
A good example of vernacular photography, I think.


all-city.

May 30, 2010
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“Before the real city could be seen it had to be imagined, the way rumours and tall tales were a kind of charting.”
– Ondaatje

I just finished reading Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, a novel about the process of work, descriptions of workers, city-building, public-works. It takes place in 1920s and 1930s Toronto and features immigrant labourers, sex and the Bloor Street viaduct.
I’ve been telling people it’s one of my favourite books, full of my favourites things: workers, politics, the imagining of urban spaces, art thievery.
I’d recommend it. To you.


top shelf 2.

April 7, 2010
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Essex County Volume Two: Ghost Stories. Jeff Lemire.

Ghost Stories is basically the story of an old, deaf man from rural Southern Ontario.
I picked up the book because of the tags on the back:

Farm Life / Hockey / Graphic Novels

I was previously enamored with one of their publications for very similar reasons and posted on it here.

Anyway, hockey and farming and loneliness and alcoholism and regret and family are all themes of this novel. It’s sad, it’s hard, it’s life. I enjoyed it immensely.
The illustrations speak for themselves – missing from this collection I’ve posted are Lemire’s great renderings of the City of Toronto and the County of Essex.


books + boats.

February 26, 2010
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top shelf.

February 2, 2010
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That Salty Air. Tim Sievert.

I just read a bunch of graphic novels / comics that I got at the library. None of them were that great, but this one had some really great elements.

Page one features a bicycle-riding postman. I like that.
The next best thing about the short novel is the tag on the back cover.
It reads:

Graphic Novels / Nautical Literature / Oceanic Revenge / Seaside Heartbreak

Any novel with tags like that is worth reading, is right up my alley.

That Salty Air is Tim Sievert‘s first novel. It’s published by Top Shelf Productions.


hold fast.

January 18, 2010
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MacLeod Clan Motto.

I recently read an interview with Cape Breton author Alistair MacLeod. Although he doesn’t have any tattoos, MacLeod said that if he did get inked, it would be the words “hold fast” on his bicep.
The interview was accompanied by a great illustration of Old Alistair with said tattoo, but alas I can’t find the image on the WWW and I don’t have a scanner. Maybe one day I’ll post a follow-up…
Anyway, I found this bad-ass photo of someone’s knuckles, all family-motto’ed-up.
I was impressed with the motto and with the tattoo. Made me wish that I had some Scotch ethnicity, some hard family motto. I did some basic research but nothing turned up for Lamovsek or Kavcic. I guess that’s understandable?
My friend Dave is a Matheson, and his motto is also great: do and hope.


revolutionary equipment.

January 4, 2010
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Ivan E. Coyote. Bow Grip.

“I hung up hard, wishing I didn’t always sound like such a fucking idiot on the voicemail. For some reason, answering machines always made my heart pound. Something about my words being on a machine; a permanent record of me not knowing what to say.”

I just finished reading this novel about a man whose wife leaves him after five years of marriage, leaves him for the big city, leaves him for another woman.
And then I found this advertisement for a revolutionary concept. Featuring the telephone. And answering equipment.
I guess I was drawn to this particular quote because I am anti-message. I never leave them and don’t have voicemail service, so people can’t leave me messages either.
Maybe I’m scared of the permanence, but I think I’m actually always too-caught-off-guard, not witty enough…


murder.

December 6, 2009
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Nick Cave.

I’ve been listening to Murder Ballads by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds over and over again. Incredibly composed, beautiful album about a number of gruesome murders – a whole album’s worth.
Just watched The Proposition, a film written by Nick Cave set in the Australian outback, a wild-western of sorts. Also features a number of horrific murders.
Finally, I came across this beautiful letterpress version of Nick Cave’s novel And the Ass Saw the Angel published by Black Spring Press. I’m going to read the novel and naturally I’d love to have one of those £425 hand-bound in leather versions. Check it out.


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