Friday, October 23, 2009

made animate

Photo: Terry Border

The young Joyce was a frequenter of the Dublin Hermetic Society and was intrigued by the notion that things could be endowed with consciousness. You didn't have to be a Theosophist to sense such potentials; writers and artists had similar intuitions.

The painter Cézanne, for example, said that the apples he painted were 'filled with thought'. Other modernist artists were moved by the sight of inanimate objects that had suffered rejection. 'This morning I visited the place where the street cleaners dump the rubbish,' Van Gogh reported. 'My God, it was beautiful.'

From Ulysses and Us by Declan Kiberd, a new release and remarkably good read that is my first step in finally tackling Joyce's Ulysses.

Apparently I'm not alone in giving up early in. According to Kiberd: "Ernest Hemingway worshipped Joyce as the leader of intellectual Paris in the 1920s, yet his copy of Ulysses lies in the John F. Kennedy library with all but the early and final pages uncut."

Those final pages would be the dirty bits.

I mention it now because Terry Border's Bent Objects: The Secret Life of Everyday Things has also just been released to the wild, and his mimetic objects (which you may know from his blog) animate the thoughts that most of us are guilty of -- that these things that populate our lives may well have a life of their own.

Crazy thoughts, maybe, or simply absurd -- and absurdity, we now know, is good for the brain.

So there's the hook: Just like the great Modernists, Bent Objects is good for the brain. Your brain. And whichever brain you may choose to grace with a copy this holiday season.

Plus, it's a whole lot of fun.

<end>Bald pimping from a Bent Object's fan.</end>

apparition with an appetite »
he revealed himself to me in the cheese »
outlook not good »


Terry said...

Thanks for this! I'm flattered. Unfortunately for you, super powerful art illuminati will soon shut this blog down for mentioning me with those other fellas!

suttonhoo said...

no worries: they stopped coming when I posted on the transubstantiation of tacos.

we're cool.

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