Weekend links 702


The Great Bear (1933) by Marjorie Miller.

• New music: “Lo-fi no-fi post-fi fragments of disparate SCATTERBRAIN thoughts scrapbooked together using industrial glue discretely purloined from building site tea-break opportunities to fully form the definitive SEPIA PUNK AMBIENT (?) statement of assiduous apathy intent ~ hextracted from SEPIA CAT CITY (GEpH017LP) available via moonwiringclub.com areet now TA.” Nobody writes product descriptions like Moon Wiring Club.

• “Both the Harry Smith and the Sun Ra books were hard sells, because they were virtual unknowns who had pretty much given their life for art. In each case only about two publishers were interested in either one of them. The editors said either that they hadn’t heard of him, or else they had heard of him and didn’t want to hear any more.” John Szwed talking to Raymond Foye about the mercurial Harry Smith, and the problems of writing biography.

• At Public Domain Review: Max Beerbohm’s A Christmas Garland (1912), a collection of seasonal parodies of well-known writers of the day. As with any such work, the success of each piece depends upon familiarity with the author being parodied, but Beerbohm’s prose is always a delight.

Mirrorshades (1986), the cyberpunk story anthology edited by Bruce Sterling, is currently available for reading or e-text download at Rudy Rucker’s website. The book is still in copyright but I’m guessing this has been done with the agreement of the contributors.

• “…the richness of terrestrial creatures which at points are capable of sounding utterly extra-terrestrial.” Daryl Worthington explores the history of birdsong and its influence on human music.

• At Smithsonian Magazine: Listen to the centre of the Milky Way translated into sound or look at yet more photos of the aurora borealis. (Or do both at the same time.)

• At Wormwoodiana: Through the Golden Valley to the Dark Tower. Mark Valentine and friends go on a book-buying expedition.

14 x 14, a collection of Oulipo poems by Ian Monk, translated by Monk and Philip Terry, with collage cover art by Allan Kausch.

• “I am fascinated by electromagnetic waves.” Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto) discussing art and creativity with Max Dax.

Secret Satan, 2023, the essential end-of-year book list from Strange Flowers.

Spice Islands Sea Birds (1957) by Les Baxter | Trippin’ With The Birds (1997) by Stereolab + Nurse With Wound | Strange Birds (1999) by Coil

5 thoughts on “Weekend links 702”

  1. That Szwed quote… I’d *like* to think the problem was his writing; the idea that so many book people either didn’t know who Smith and/or Sun Ra were and/or thought there’s no market for biographies of them is sad, depressing, maybe just disappointing. That or I’m getting so old that I presume that there’s at least if not a big market at least a big enough one.
    Or, I dunno, just a further decline of western culture to match social and political decline…

  2. I’m fairly sure it’s the publishers rather than anything to do with Szwed’s writing. Having mixed with mainstream and fringe media people for many years, I’ve found that it’s the people at the margins who are generally more knowledgeable (and curious) about all manner of things than those who work in the mainstream. At least Szwed has found homes for his books. The attention the Harry Smith book has been receiving recently is far greater than the interest provoked by the American Magus book in 1996. I’ve been hoping this may prompt someone to do a decent book about Smith’s many artworks.

  3. I’m still immersed in the Sunny Ra bio. The Smith volume appears to be another
    *dense fruitcake of a historie*
    meriting a sit-down this Holiday.
    Marjorie Miller! Her “The Gnome” is a standout and she limn’d THAT most decadent Thanksgiving shepherdess ever–this tribute to her very welcome.
    Cheers to all and here’s to putting on a modicum of appearance of “good”
    at least up to 12/6…;)

  4. Another fine EOY list from Strange Flowers. Although I wasn’t able to attend the Remedios Varo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago I did secure the catalogue,Science Fictions. An excellent survey, dense with information for a book of less than 200 pages. As a longtime admirer it’s pleasing to see Varo’s work stepping out of the shadow of Carrington and Kahlo. Wakefield Press has announced an expanded reissue of their collection of Varo’s personal writings for the spring.

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