Monday, February 11, 2013

Genre as simile

I did not really know where I was going, so, when anyone asked me, I said to Russia. Thus my trip started, like an autobiography, upon a rather nicely qualified basis of falsehood and self-glorification.
—Evelyn Waugh, Labels

Lined with lindens of medium size, with hanging droplets of rain distributed among their intricate black twigs according to the future arrangement of leaves (tomorrow each drop would contain a green pupil); complete with a smooth tarred surface some thirty feet across and variegated sidewalks (hand-built, and flatrering to the feet), it rose at a barely perceptible angle, beginning with a post office and ending with a church, like an epistolary novel. 
—Vladimir Nabokov, The Gift

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Ruined maps

To complete her remarkable book about an Italian film director, Streetwalking on a Ruined Map: Cultural Theory and the City Films of Elvira Notari (1992), Giuliana Bruno faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: none of the director's silent films had survived. Yet through sensitive analysis of tangential materials (photographs, reviews, news, stories, interviews, letters, memoirs, business records), Bruno reconstituted Notari's work and produced an insightful analysis of her place in and contributions to the history of cinema. —Tom Trusky, James Castle: His Life & Art

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