Archive for the ‘Visual art’ Category

Brian Joseph Davis has a great idea: Use law-enforcement composite sketch software and literary descriptions to create portraits of fictional characters. Want to know what Emma Bovary looked like? She looked like this:

Check out Davis’ site, The Composites, for portraits of Humbert Humbert, Tom Ripley, Edward Rochester, and others. Davis’ idea is seriously cool. I hope he posts more portraits. What did Mrs. Dalloway look like? Or Anna Karenina?

Writers and Kitties

Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 in Visual art
Tags: ,

Yep, I just can’t stop looking at pictures of writers and their kitties

(Many thanks, University of Texas Libraries, for tweeting about this.)

OK, this is cool. Poems by the great Modernist poet Wallace Stevens illustrated by contemporary artists. And more will be coming all week. Check the link. My favorite so far: Sean Michael Robinson’s graphic novel treatment of “Sunday Morning.” Such an interesting project! Recommended.

The eminent critic Michael Fried discusses the philosophical stakes of the visual arts by reference to five books: Denis Diderot‘s Salons, Merleau-Ponty‘s Phenomenology of Perception, Stanley Cavell‘s Disowning Knowledge in Seven Plays by Shakespeare, the Cropper/Dempsey book on Poussin and Thomas Mann‘s Doctor Faustus. Fried is trying to wrap up phenomenology, analytic philosophy, modernism and painting in one arty package. A recommended read, if only for the contemplation of Fried’s massive ambition.

And, for fun, “59 Things You Didn’t Know About Virginia Woolf.” Who knew she cooked her wedding ring into a suet pudding?

Paul De Witt writes a Western, and then talks about it here. Is there new life in this hoary old form? The Western, of course, found a new Renaissance in film with Clint Eastwood‘s Unforgiven, but hasn’t seen much action as a literary genre, despite Larry McMurtry‘s best efforts. (Although Bat Terrier still really likes Ron Hansen‘s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.)

You love The Paris Review but crave a bargain? Here’s the link for you–get a 25% discount on yr subscription.

And (finally!)  Art Journal puts up a website.

Kyle Minor schools us on the beauty and subtlety of Nabokov’s sentences.

The National Book Critic’s Circle announces award finalists in autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Will Hilary Mantel, who won this year’s Man Booker Prize win again with Wolf Hall? Will Stephen Burt win for Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry? (Bat Terrier definitely hopes so–Burt’s book is terrific.)

Alan Badiou’s “Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art,” or how to simultaneously avoid the Scylla of endless formal invention and the Charybdis of Romantic/Gothic objectification of the body. Recommended for theorists. And here’s Badiou’s longer explanation.

Dani Shapiro on the Seven Deadly Sins of Writing.

Terry Eagleton on the situation of the university in contemporary society: “What we have witnessed in our own time is the death of universities as centres of critique.” Thoughtful and recommended.

Bob Duggan: Best art books of 2010.

Mark Doty at Frank O' Hara's Grave

Mark Doty is the author of Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, (National Book Award for Poetry, 2008) and four volumes of memoir and nonfiction. Here are a few of Doty’s ideas on the art of literary description from Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy.

— What is described, finally, is not the thing itself but a way of seeing, the perceptual self.

— The finest descriptive art  is a form of “permanent intimacy.”

— “… if we look and look we will be surprised and we will be rewarded.”

Much fine work here on painting, perception, life. Recommended.