Ascending to the Cathedral, Barcelona (1938/1960) by Kati Horna.
• The rise and fall of Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong’s infamous urban monolith. Related: a four-and-a-half-hour walkthrough of Stray, a game in which you help a cat escape from a deteriorated robot-filled housing complex.
• Quote of the week: “The true master requires the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” Thus Vladimir Nabokov at Lawrence Weschler’s Wondercabinet.
• New music: Orion Nebula by Christian Wittman, and Chthonic by Lawrence English & Lea Bertucci.
Chapter by chapter, Flaubert lampoons his poor pair, who fail at discipline after attempted discipline: landscape architecture, anatomy, history, literature, phrenology, religion, even love, and on and on. In each pursuit, they never lose the optimism or the hubris of thinking they can put their knowledge to work in the world. When they become interested in pedagogy, they adopt a pair of abandoned children who are at turns mystified by and contemptuous of their efforts to improve their well-being. The fruit trees fail, the novel is abandoned, a cat is boiled alive, the children cause scandals.
David Schurman Wallace explores the hazards of distraction with a detour through Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pecuchet
• At AnOther: Peter De Potter’s new book explores the erotic performance of social media.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Hobart LaRoche presents…15 experimental video games.
• Take a look at a book chronicling the albums of Island Records.
• At Colossal: Gabriel Schama’s laser-cut plywood reliefs.
• Orion (1986) by Metallica | Shades Of Orion (1993) by Shades Of Orion | Orion (2001) by Jah Wobble and Bill Laswell
The Temple, an illustration from The Ship that Sailed to Mars (1923) by William Timlin.
• “With the grotteschi, Piranesi produced hybrid forms of ornament juxtaposed in an array without regard to single-point perspective. With his capricci, he brought disparate structures into a landscape that existed only within the borders of the plate. Perhaps because of his early fidelity to accuracy and the long tradition of printmaking as a medium for the measured representation of antique forms, Piranesi’s capricci take on a particularly fantastic aura.” Susan Stewart on the ruinous fantasias of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, one of whose etchings happens to be providing the page header this month.
• At Dangerous Minds: 23rd Century Giants, the incredible true story of Renaldo & The Loaf! Oliver Hall conducts a long and very informative interview with two of Britain’s strangest music makers.
• New music: Nightcrawler by Kevin Richard Martin, recommended to anyone who enjoys the nocturnal doom of Bohren & Der Club Of Gore; and Murmurations by Lea Bertucci & Ben Vida.
“Throughout the book, McCarthy writes as if he knows something that more conventional historians aren’t always keen to accept: that the past doesn’t always make sense, that it’s often cruel and irrational, and that some things aren’t so explainable. History is not a book waiting to be opened so much as a Pandora’s box that might curse us and leave us chastened by what we find inside.”
Bennett Parten on Cormac McCarthy’s baleful masterpiece, Blood Meridian
• “Inside me are two wolves and they are both paintings by Kazimierz Stabrowski.” S. Elizabeth‘s latest art discoveries.
• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine on Arthur Machen and the mysteries of the Grail.
• RIP Betty Davis and Douglas Trumbull.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Tobe Hooper Day.
• Temple Bells (1959) by Frank Hunter And His Orchestra | Temple Of Gold (1960) by Les Baxter | Temple (2018) by Jóhann Jóhannsson