Saturday, January 26, 2008

1600 Pages

What would be the most insane thing to do when I'm staring down the barrel of a thesis that seriously needs to be finished? Take on a 1600 page editing project.

Yes, this is what my desk looks like right now as I'm getting ready to dive into the manuscript. I think this may be the most extreme case of procrastination ever witnessed. But really, it's an amazing story and a huge opportunity and my brain is buzzing with the challenge.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Book & Bookmark #1

What do I love spying just as much as someone's book? The bookmark they're using.

Book: Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
Bookmark: Postcard. Series 1, Number 4 (1918) by Georgia O'Keeffe

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Matisse Dancing Out of the Hermitage

In today's Guardian, there's a great article about Matisse's Dance and its approaching arrival in London. I've already blogged about my incredible experience in the Hermitage and seeing this Matisse piece was such a huge part of it. Jones writes that the light filtering into the gallery on the winter day was cold and sombre. For me, on the late June day during White Nights in St. Petersburg, the light was cool on what became a hot morning and crystal clear. I really noticed the light in the gallery because I was the only person in it (apart from the guard who took the above photograph). Today's article brought the whole morning rushing back to me - one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

Jones's description of seeing the painting for the first time is great: "I saw Dance in St Petersburg four years ago, and it stayed in my imagination as a memory of pure colour, like an afterglow on a closed eyelid. It is a big, indeed massive canvas - nearly four metres wide and two and a half metres tall - in only three colours: blue, green and red. A full-scale 1909 oil sketch for the finished work survives in the Museum Of Modern Art, New York: here, the dancers are pink, the volcano of energy does not erupt. In the final, St Petersburg version, first exhibited in Paris in 1910, all is changed. Matisse is one of the greatest liberators of colour in the history of art."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Aloha Hawaii

It was very hard to leave this behind yesterday, as well as the turtles, of course. But Hawaii is always a fantastic vacation - it still hold the same magic it did for me as when I was a kid. And now not a single day off until the third week of February. My tan never lasts anyway.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What Is The What

Is this holiday reading or what? Dave Eggers on the beach. Just finished What Is The What today and it was the first time in a long while that I found myself fighting back tears while reading a novel. What I found most remarkable about the book was the way Eggers was able to recreate the sensation of meandering though the desert of Sudan and Ethiopia that the protagonist experiences. I felt hot and exhausted and slightly disoriented and yet so firmly marching forward with my reading - all at the same time. Two thumbs way up for this one.