Blog posts July 19 - 25

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My captain (July 25)

I was in the newsagents, a postal worker came in. An obvious Grateful Dead fan. "Hello Captain", he said "is there a cash point nearby? I want to check my balance."

Nice bit of letterpress (July 24)

Organisations (July 23)

Divide it into 3 (July 22)

Messy desks (July 21)

Voila

Gigantic cinema / anthologies (July 20)

"SM: One of the unique aspects of the anthology is the bareheaded entries without title, author or date. Why did you choose this form?

PK: We started with all kinds of possibilities of order. We spent time thinking T about archaeological orderings or timelines, but every attempt to put some order into the material seemed to diminish it. It became clearer and clearer that we could jettison a lot of this scaffolding and mental baggage. I was always very taken by an anthology that W. H. Auden published in 1936 called The Poet's Tongue.

He coedited it with a headmaster called John Garrett and they got rid of all the framing of each item. They didn't give authors' names except in an index, so that was one model I had in mind. It seemed that letting these texts interrupt each other and wrestle for attention was in the spirit of the texts themselves, and it also meant that we needn't be shy about excerpting. We could extract, excerpt, and. ignore all the pieties. For me, it felt liberating in that way. We could include just a line and a half of a poem by Frank O'Hara. It looks pretty strange but still, I like it.

AO: It was very exciting. Once that liberation had happened, typographically, it suddenly turned the poems into dialogue or drama. I'm always against the feeling that anthologies can generate knowledge and education: "Can you get this reference?" and "Have you included the right amount of this writer?" Suddenly the book felt as if it was allowed to be alive, or at least pretend to be alive."

....

"SM: Gigantic Cinema feels invigorating and inventive in its premiss and ogy. structure. How do you view the anthology as a form?

PK: I think anthologies are odd things because they're taken for granted. We all take for granted that they're stocking fillers or dutiful period pieces, or that they cover an obvious topic. They're very rarely examined with any kind and of critical spirit and I remember being amazed by a review by Barbara Everett of an anthology by Geoffrey Grigson. The anthology was one of forty or tiny fifty that Grigson produced in the course of his life and Barbara Everett praises him in a way that's quite shocking. She says that he has the most extraordinary discrimination as an anthologist, that he's never written a dull sentence, he's never produced a dull or dutiful book, and that all his anthologies have a streak of genius in them. I'd never seen anybody take the anthology seriously as a form before. And I think that they are lazy that receptacles most of the time. I always liked Muldoon's anthology of beasts with because it seemed to give a shake to the form."

Interview with Alice Oswald and Paul Keegan by Sarah Moore. On Gigantic Cinema - The Brixton Review of Books - spring 2021

From How to Own the Room (July 19)

"To be the speaker you want to be is much more important than the actual speech."

"Lots of women say, ‘If I was going to be a speaker, I’d want to speak like Michelle Obama.’ But if you had Michelle Obama’s support system, you probably would be able to speak like Michelle Obama very easily."

"This illustrates a piece of advice from Jennifer Palmieri, who was Hillary Clinton’s director of communications during her election campaign. She also worked in the White House for Barack Obama. In her book Dear Madam President, she writes about the tip she received from Bill Clinton’s press secretary, Evelyn Lieberman: ‘People take their cue from you. That’s it. If you act like you belong in the room, people will believe you do. If you act like your opinion matters, others will too.’"

How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking

by Viv Groskop