15/03/2020 | 17:16 | Book Review #0003, Hans Fallada's Tales from the Underworld
13/03/2020 | 04:13 | Finlaypatrickduffill.me
19/01/2020 | 13:25 | Book Review #0002, Michel Houllebecq's Serotonin
4/01/2020 | 02:26 | WWAP #0001, Mark Mawer
09/01/2020 | 22:15 | Book Review #0001, Leon Godwin's St. Leon
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An excellent anthology of "reel-of-life" stories. This would be in the early phases of cinema, with the notion of a home movie almost unforseeable, but aside from my preference for a more literal metaphor the stories are imbued with a faulty morality in places that would make sense in the context of a small group of people's private world by proxy of some form of dysfunction. My other forenote is that Fallada is keen that the supporting actor is always Wrede, the same person with a different complexion each time. On the other hand, maybe it's just a very common name in Germany. In this blogpost I was going to share my reading notes on a handful of the stories.

Watering Can () The time of day for a man with hyperaggressive and childish prospects. "What a joy to be there for that, and while she's eating her bread and milk; then kisses her bedtime, big wavey-wavey, little wavey-wavey" Fallada can be implicated in reforming a very casual language more expressly than Queneau can at the expense of seeming a little region-specific. Einenkel's positive imagination, wrapped in the velvet sheen of a financial occupation, renders his happiness as a small and volatile bubble. Like most of the stories in the book the circumstances surrounding the characters are unfortunate and even damning, but in some sense it's natural to be temporarily dispossessed in this way. It's an emphatic minutiae with a dramatic framing device.

The Lucky Beggar (1932) "Everyone thinks that. You're pushing forty, you'll never get another job as long as you live... Think about it, you cost almost twice as much to employ as a nineteen-year-old." A man recently let go from his job past the typical age of redundancy encounters a beggar with wishing-well water in his collection dish. The tragedy of an immobile, functionally useless financial asset mandating the optic-oriented evaluations made by the employers in this man's industry is that it can prevent so much of how the problem is communicable to those in vagrant circumstances, most often not out of a lack of conscientiousness. I like this description of the beggar in the story. "Sometimes, when he goes for a walk, he runs into the big, raw-boned beggar. Herr Mocke walks past him, looking staight ahead. Perhaps the fellow spoiled everything with his absurd demand of one mark, who knows in the world." There's a bit of bitterness to it. Always an inflection of character based on the perspective of an exchange thrown in to the casual language which makes for some excellent coloring. In the residence of the novel a mark is a decadent ammount of money to be able to spend, and in many of the stories money becomes a steep breadline coming just before famine and other terrible misfortunes.

This is an excellent book I think. Fallada's "Alone in Berlin" seems more essential for a strange sense of utter bleakness that turns the book into a superlative description of the problems with censorship in WW2 Berlin, but the subtlety themes discussed in this book at times would defeat the ability of most inferior writers. Sometimes it can seem to go against the grain of the objectivity, tabloid-reportage approach that is meant to characterize Fallada's body of work, but his prescription of the motives is more often than not in service of believable character studies which could definitely be drawn from life.

15/03/2020 | 17:16 | Comments | Permlink
This yawnfest is a repository + transient signpost towards various projects by Finlay Patrick Duffill.

I. technology, creative coding and ramblings about literature and art are a staple of my day-to-day life. I could probably change the nature of my engagements if I tried hard enough, but by now I see some benefit to it. By recording what I create in a blog format, the current method of collation for my projects is streamlined both for me and hypothetically for other people who somehow find the time, patience and the ability to tolerate the redundance of my opinions on a subject.

What can you expect from this blog? I like talking about deprecated technology and the era of slightly spiced-up termcap console applications, the alumni of Nokia Bell Labs, roguelikes, books by early 20th century satirists and surrealists, and interviews. I'm a profligate nerd, basically. This website will probably consist of all of these things and alter course for new things over time rather than fluctuate between them, meaning it will probably be a fickle blog with no clear entry point for outliers. However, if a space isn't carved out for my blogging then any potential it might have had is gone.

13/03/2020 | 04:13 | Comments | Permlink
Michael Houllebecq novels are notably divisive, a quality usually dependent upon whether or not the influence of Baudelaire and the depiction of decadence inside his novels only runs skin-deep in the eyes of the viewer. In my mind, it's easy to assert that houllebecq tells of the hyper-privilleged, information-age decadence that affects most of the first world in the 21st century and that they clearly have a role and function within our age to help us inform others of these things and to reveal an evil future that could mirror our own. This is a personal evaluation and there is probably a case to be made for the alternative.

The protagonist of serotonin (c.2019), a life scientist, suffers from severe depressive symptoms and is put on drugs that block endocrine receptors and testosterone. He has serial relationships with women and fails to empathize with many other people.

The novel is so aptly written and information-dense that the end collides with the start in some inexpressible sprint. This may have been due to the timeframe of my first reading of the book (3 days) but aside from the trappings of the main character there is nothing that the story dwells on. Most of the novel subsists off of passages of labrouste's hollow fulfillments and wants that replenish themselves immediately. His interaction with an unnamed, chestnut-haired girl is crosshaired in the middle of daily errands and is unfulfillable. When he invests himself in becoming a connosieur of alchohol the fleeting carnal pleasure of drinking alchohol as a substitute for his loss of libido is also unfulfillable. A central tenement to the decadent idea is that most if not all of the restrained physical pleasures available to us in life are no longer barred from us and that any form of gratification will become instant, overwhelming and inevitable. The stress of decadence is to continue to live given you are dulled from all forms of gratification, to continue to provide for others who are afflicted with the same outcome, and necessarily prevent clairvoyance of the future given the point of view that all systematic objectives of a self-aware animal have been fulfilled.

Houllebecq also seems to assert that the persistance of carnal fulfillment can't pathologically regulate passive consumption. Labrouste is a fan of rock music, particularly english rock band "deep purple" and jimi hendrix, as a form of passive consumption. it's something alien to the context in which labrouste is trapped.
09/01/2020 | 22:15 | Comments | Permlink
After giving it some thought I've taken the incentive to create a more eclectic flavor of arts podcast focusing on welsh art. The wales arts review podcast is great and this one will probably live in its shadow but several people have already expressed an interest in a close-knit series of conversations with other welsh artists, often people I know fairly well.

In any case I began by interviewing welsh assemblist artist mark mawer. We talk about some basic artistic interests and prospects in a laid-back fashion. my voice is pretty naff but luckily i don't talk much and let mawer talk. We discuss the previous shows that mark has done, "Flight Paths" (c. 2019) and "possible narratives" (c. something) and an upcoming work he is developing with maria stadnicka and another integral person I can't remember the name of. We also discuss the fluxus movement and abstract film at length. Thank you very much mark for agreeing to this out of the blue interview!

Mark also gave me a limited edition print of this poem, which evoked George Szirtes' tributes to Anselm Kiefer

Music used: Toupie Dans Le Ciel by Francois Bayle, Umwalzung by Henning Christiansen.
4/01/2020 | 02:26 | Comments | Permlink
Last year, I made a resolution to read a book a day. I very quickly lost the necessary stamina to comprehend and dissect the narrative throughline of some of the books i'd chosen to read, and I wasn't able to analyse the author's intent at all. Using bruteforce reading as a means to jumpstart the consciousness and recall of reading material became an evidently bad idea in no time at all. I abandoned this to read books at a more leisurely pace where I would be able to allow the ambient relevance of books to assert itself, which was also a bad idea because I ended up reading much less than I should. Now that I have a blog and I'm at a loss for what sort of content to put on it I've decided to take up an organized reading schedule that perhaps isn't at such a break-neck speed and subsequently offer two pewter-encrusted cashews to the existing wealth of material on a given book every week. That's the concept, anyway.

i'm starting with william godwin's second major work of fiction, "St Leon" (c.1799). It's a chiefly philosophical novel about dishonor in an aristocratic class, alchemy and the importance of frugality.

My synopsis is as follows:the main character Reginald has failed to live up to his family's legacy as an aristocratic class. His upbringing is aptly described in about a page and a half as "the very utmost limits perhaps of human affection". The legacy is conceded by reginald not because he hasn't chosen to conscribe to the army as his father did under the reign of louis the twelfth, but for the ensuing carelessness with money. Godwin apprehends the dishonorable nature of the practice of gambling and the incapacity to minimallize superfluous assets within a framework which declares that the "right of the strong" to more wealth, pre-apprehended decadent pleasures as a result of excess isn't necessarily a myth but cannot be consistently enforced. Godwin was also a radical political philosopher, and in this case reginald's pledge to secrecy and the enforcement to sever family ties was almost certainly a plot element influenced by two recent works of a widespread influence: Abbe Barruel's "memoirs, illustrating the history of Jacobinism" (c. 1797-1798) and John Robinson's proofs of a conspiracy (c. 1797) which underlaid the least fictive apprehension of the secret organization known as the illuminati, a secret society originating from the university of Ingolstadt, as a catalyst for the french revolution.

Following conscription in the military, knighted by the subsequently captured king francis i and returns home at the age of twenty into a life of spendthrifting and excess, after which his inheritance has all but disappeared. comes upon the secret to eternal youth while incarcerated when offered the elixir of life by a stranger.

William Godwin was also the husband of Mary Shelley / wollstonecraft who was an outstanding figurehead of first-wave feminism, something that attempted to rectify the role of intellect in the arts and sciences across gender boundaries without integralising an incremental demograpic accountability for wrongdoings committed by members of the same demographic and in this case the gendered demographic.

Implementing the extensive philosophical ponderance of the novel seemed to take a frontseat to the characterization of reginald, which can sometimes uncharacteristically ideallize his relationship towards other characters in particular marguerrite, the woman reginald courts, and the ammount of trust she invests into reginald's political displacement.

09/01/2020 | 22:15 | Comments | Permlink