Weekend links 146


A Chinese postage stamp celebrating the Year of the Snake.

Cyclopean is a collaboration from Burnt Friedman, Jono Podmore and Can founding members Jaki Liebezeit, and Irmin Schmidt. The Quietus has a preview of all the tracks from their forthcoming EP. Great stuff.

Ten Things You (Possibly) Don’t Know About Kraftwerk. Related: a Speak & Spell emulator, and Atomium, a new single by Karl Bartos.

• In 1975 Barney Bubbles designed an inner sleeve for Hawkwind’s Warrior on the Edge of Time album, and this scarce recipe booklet.

• “We should all use language carefully. That is an obligation on the literate. But carefully doesn’t mean fearfully,” says Jenny Diski.

• Faber’s car-crash of a cover design for the 50th anniversary edition of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath caused an outbreak of parodies.

• At Strange Flowers: Ancient dreams and antique corruptions, Salomé via Gustave Moreau and Huysmans.

• FACT Mix 368 is a very varied collection of recent music and older pieces curated by Holly Herndon.

• At Ubuweb: eleven out-of-print recordings of Harry Bertoia’s sound sculptures.

Laurie Anderson and Brian Eno in conversation at Interview magazine.

Michael Chabon on Wes Anderson’s Worlds.

Snake Rag (1923) by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band | Rattlesnake Shake (1969) by Fleetwood Mac | Snakes Crawl (1980) by Bush Tetras | Ananta Snake Dance (1980) by Suns of Arqa | Snakeblood (2000) by Leftfield

3 thoughts on “Weekend links 146”

  1. David Ward foolishly (and maliciously?) said:

    I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians …

    Jenny Diski carelessly replied:

    Ward’s statement doesn’t seem to me to refer to me or anyone else who is Jewish and does not support Israeli policies in Palestine. He was wrong; he shouldn’t have conflated ‘the Jews’ with ‘Israel and its supporters’ … But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a legitimate (if naive) point, that the memory of what the Jews went through ought to give Israeli politicians pause for thought before subjecting other groups to persecution.

    Firstly, Diski can’t have it both ways: either Ward did refer to the Jews who didn’t inflict atrocities on Palestinians and he is guilty of conflation, or Ward did not refer to the Jews who didn’t inflict atrocities on Palestinians and he is not guilty of conflation, but not both. Clearly, Ward is guilty of conflation and of blaming the Jews collectively (however exactly that is to be cashed out) for atrocities inflicted on Palestinians. Note that he is not quoted as saying “the Palestinians.”

    Secondly, Diski seems to be conceding to Ward (“a legitimate … point”) that the oppressed have a special duty not to oppress others: if no one has ever kicked the shit out of me, my kicking the shit out of you is just ordinary wickedness, but if you pick yourself up and go kick someone else, you are especially blameworthy. Is that not both absurd and sickening?

    In a morally instructive fairy tale “the Jews” would have learned something valuable from the Shoah and would have gone out into the world to spread sweetness and light to all. What effrontery “they” show in departing from this narrative!

    That is not to say that suffering oppression never causes compassion, nor that the Holocaust ought not to give us all pause, Survivors, Jews, and Gentiles alike.

  2. When I saw the Bell Jar cover, I thought it must be a parody, but no–the parodies themselves hadn’t even begun. It’s positively vomitous (in visual design itself) and utterly unrelated to the content. It reminds me of the disposable paperbacks my mother reads and discards on a weekly basis.

    As a die-hard Plath fan, I’m not merely offended–I’m positively bewildered. Who’s getting fired for this?

    Bravo on the parodies themselves; I adore the “Esther Greenwood” chronicles YA fantasy one, and Cormac McCarthy’s chick lit The Road.

  3. Given how many people are usually involved in the design process for major publishers the Plath cover strikes me as quite deliberate, however ham-fisted it may seem. Jane Austen and others have already been given chick-lit packaging so this seems like a cynical attempt to lure new readers who may know the author’s name but not the reputation of the novel.

    It’s cynical of me to assume this but covers from firms like Faber will go through a designer, an art director, a marketing department, and (very common today) maybe have been submitted for approval to sales departments in UK book stores. It’s difficult to believe that all those people weren’t complicit in knowingly creating that cover.

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