September 14, 2014
After the launch of The Sleepers Almanac No. 9 at Bella Union earlier this year, I had a drink with the Sleepers Publishing team in the pub across the road. As a person who specialises in asking strange questions, I asked Lou and Zoe whether all writers are strange people. They said that many are, but […]
June 1, 2014
“The lawyer pushed up his sleeves. Through an opening of his robe, he vigorously scratched his chest. It sounded like someone currying a horse. He placed his magistral cap on the head of a shiny banister beside him and started his counsel’s speech.
“Gentlemen of the jury,” he said, “we will disregard the motive of the murder, the circumstances in which it was committed, and the murder itself. Under these conditions, with what do you accuse my client?”
The jury, struck by a side of the case they hadn’t considered, was silent and rather uneasy. The judge slept, and the public prosecutor was sold to the Germans.”
— Boris Vian, ‘Fog’, Blues for a Black Cat, transl. Julia Older, The University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1992, p. 80.
March 23, 2014
“I think society is one of the greatest impediments an artist can possibly have. I rather think that Duchamp concurred with this view. When I was young and needed help, society wouldn’t give it, because it had no confidence in what I was doing. But when, through my perseverance, society took an interest, then it wanted me not to do the next thing, but to repeat what I had done before. At every point society acts to keep you from doing what you have to do.”
— John Cage
From an interview published in: Moira Roth, Difference/Indifference: musings on postmodernism, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage, OPA (Overseas Publishers Association) N.V., Amsterdam, 1998, p. 72.
When I decided, almost two years ago, to pioneer the career move of corporate lawyer to lollipop lady, I became acutely aware that people around me had conflicting opinions as to whether or not I was wasting my potential. As a twentysomething lawyer in a top-tier Australian firm, I worked in an air-conditioned glass tower […]
January 29, 2014
“You become a different person, you are no longer an ordinary fellow who walks around and looks after his children and eats meals and does silly things, you go into a completely different world. I personally draw all the curtains in the room, so that I don’t see out the window and put on a little light which shines on my board. Everything else in your life disappears and you look at your bit of paper and get completely lost in what you’re doing. You do become another person for a moment. Time disappears completely. You may start at nine in the morning and the next time you look at your watch, when you’re getting hungry, it can be lunchtime. And you’ve absolutely no idea that three or four hours have gone by. So when you meet a musician or a writer, you shouldn’t be surprised that they look exactly like ordinary people, because in that part of their lives they are … All the best artists that I’ve known, like Hemingway and Steinbeck and EB White and Thurber, behave very normally in their private lives … They are ordinary people who have a secret compartment somewhere in their brain which they can switch on when they become quite alone and go to work.”
— Roald Dahl, quoted in Donald Sturrock, Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl, HarperPress, London, 2010, p.521.
May 10, 2013
“Money culture recognises no currency but its own. Whatever is not money, whatever is not making money, is useless to it. The entire efforts of our government as directed through our society are efforts towards making more and more money. This favours the survival of the dullest. This favours those who prefer to live in a notional reality where goods are worth more than time and where things are more important than ideas.
For the artist, any artist, poet, painter, musician, time in plenty and an abundance of ideas are the necessary basics of creativity. By dreaming and idleness and then by intense self-discipline does the artist live. The artist cannot perform between 9 and 6, five days a week, or if she sometimes does, she cannot guarantee to do so. Money culture hates that. It must know what it is getting, when it is getting it, and how much it will cost. The most tyrannical of patrons never demanded from their protegées what the market now demands of artists; if you can’t sell your work regularly and quickly, you can either starve or do something else. The time that art needs, which may not be a long time, but which has to be its own time, is anathema to a money culture. Money confuses time with itself. That is part of its unreality.”
— Jeanette Winterson, ‘Imagination and Reality’, Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery, Vintage, London, 1996, pp.138-139.
January 31, 2014
be good (lion’s song)
Gregory Porter’s Be Good (Lion’s Song). Directed by Pierre Bennu.