Monday, March 31, 2008

This is a store cheese

Wensley Dale is famous for its blue cheese, highly prized, incidentally, by Mr T.S. Eliot. However, the tourists must beware. Finding himself in the Dale, a friend of mine bought a cheese as a present for the Master, who took one glance at it and pronounced - 'This is a store cheese.'

Nobel Prize 1: Sully Prudhomme (1839-1907)


Pendant avril et mai, qui sont les plus doux mois,
Les couples, enchantés par l'éther frais et rose,
Ont ressenti l'amour comme une apothéose;
Ils cherchent maintenant l'ombre et la paix des bois.

Ils rêvent, étendus sans mouvement, sans voix;
Les cœurs désaltérés font ensemble une pause,
Se rappelant l'aveu dont un lilas fut cause
Et le bonheur tremblant qu'on ne sent pas deux fois.

Lors le soleil riait sous une fine écharpe,
Et, comme un papillon dans les fils d'une harpe,
Dans ses rayons encore un peu de neige errait.

Mais aujourd'hui ses feux tombent déjà torrides,
Un orageux silence emplit le ciel sans rides,
Et l'amour exaucé couve un premier regret.

From Les Vaines Tendresses (1875)

Compare and contrast: 'April is the cruellest month...'

Next time: Theodor Mommsen.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

My friend Geoff Klock recommends all viewers of his blog travel towards the site Garfield minus Garfield. It's extremely winning. Here are some examples:

Sara Reiss (1980ish- )

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806)

Les débuts du modèle (1765-1772)

Le verrou (1777-1778)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

C.K. Williams (1936- )

Сергей Прокудин-Горский (1863-1944)

An early pioneer of colour photography, and a favourite of my older brother. This is the complacent emir of Bukhara, captured in 1911. More info here.

Esther Bubley (1921-1998)

Mental Hospital, 1949. More photos and gen here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Откуда берутся дети?

Even the Soviet Union wasn't immune from traditional forms of embarrassment.

Pulp, 1967 Vintage

Андрей Липатов (1960- )

More info here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)


As I try to get some work done, they (who are they?) are digging up the road outside the house. Their demands become more polite the closer they get to the front door, and I like the way they try for the ransom note effect.

The International Phonetic Alphabet

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Elena Shvarts (1948- )


We spent the Easter weekend in Bexhill. It was very, erm, British.

But the sea was pleasantly stormy, there were little sanderlings (?) running along the shoreline, and we were staying with friends.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Auguste Herbin (1882-1960)

Creator of "l'alphabet plastique", which this scary article will tell you all about.

Publius Ovidius Naso

Monday, March 03, 2008

Caxton Gibbet

We went out yesterday for a celebration of what might with equal justification be called Mother's Day, Father's Day, Son's Day, Grandmother's Day, Mother-In-Law's Day or Grandson's Day (how many people can you see in this picture?). Anyhow, we went to the quite nice Chinese restaurant at Caxton Gibbet. Here is the gibbet.

And here is how the restaurant proclaimed its Chineseness.

Garbo Speaks!

To Our good and loyal subjects: After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining to Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.

We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.

To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our Subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors, and which we lay close to heart. Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan's self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandisement. But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone -- the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people, the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects; or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the Acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.

We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to our Allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently co-operated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia. The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart day and night. The welfare of the wounded and the war sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude. The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will certainly be great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all ye, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictate of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.

Having been able to safeguard and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, We are always with ye, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity. Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead ye astray and cause ye to lose the confidence of the world. Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith of the imperishableness of its divine land, and mindful of its heavy responsibilities, and the long road before it. Unite your total strength to be devoted to the construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitude; foster nobility of spirit; and work with resolution so as ye may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with the progress of the world.