ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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Recycled Book Reading Challenge May catch-up

I’m sticking with non-fiction again this month and re-reading Suzi Gablik’s ‘Has Modernism Failed’ (ISBN: 0-500-27385-5). This was gifted to me by my best friend about twenty years ago after she had to read it for her media studies course, I think she’d found it in a second-hand bookshop as it’s spine was damaged. The book cover design doesn’t include a shadow over the author’s name. It’s my shadow!

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Suzi Gablik’s author page at amazon.co.uk [non-affiliate link, no association] I’d definitely enjoy reading more of this author/artist’s books, I’m intrigued to read more of her writing – and I really should read the preceeding book, ‘Progress in Art’.

In the first chapter of ‘Has Modernism Failed’ Gablik raises the dangerous overinstitutalisation of art (this was first published in 1984, but still seems entirely contemporary and incredibly relevant):

‘With art and artists breeding like bacteria under favorable conditions … America fabricates as many graduate artists every five years as there were people in fifteenth century Florence… This rise in quantity has in no way led to a rise in quality, though few have had the courage to say so. The overwhelming spectacle of current art… has ushered in an impenetrable pluralism of competing approaches.’

It doesn’t tell the reader how many in number the population of Florence in the fifteenth century actually was, but delivers a picture enough of the saturation of individuals qualifying as artists and perhaps entering the professional field.

Gablik also describes ‘the legacy of Modernism’ as leaving the artist standing alone and having lost their shadow. References to the non-specific artist in this book appears to always be described as ‘He’. I wonder if that’s been changed in recent editions for purposes of ‘equality’. We’re led generally in society to believe art is a male dominated field of activity, and most of the individual artists referenced tend to be men.

Will I read the whole book this month? Or will I lack concentration and  fail linear reading? I might stand a chance of cover-to-cover reading if I didn’t try reading anything else or doing anything much. Guess I’ll find out. I haven’t completed reading any of the fiction books raised in my RBRC posts to date other than the children’s books! But I’ll be making notes while I study Gablik’s book (for no reason than interest).

 

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I made good use of the Chinese painting book last month although I skimmed through and skipped much of it, but had no time to enjoy Eastern Wisdom, not that I haven’t enjoyed it previously. Too much A to Z Challenge reading last month frazzled my capacity somewhat. I s’pose I knew it probably would.

It’s reassuring to retain my shadow. If being an artist means losing your shadow, I think I’d sooner hang on to my shadow, thanks.

 

 

I’m combining this post as my catch-up with Mliae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge and as I’ve featured contemporary art issues, catching up with challenges and my own (Colette’s) shadow it can double up as my letter C post for #May-be-A-B. (So my next challenge will be posting a letter D post using a letter B writing prompt!)

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Back with flash fiction as backstory

#May-be-A-B (letter B post) and accepting Sarah C’s writing challenge using her Alphabetical Prompts (letter A prompt).

While caught up in tangling and untangling my story idea for Sarah’s prompts, I decided that both casting characters and creating a fully-developed world is going to take a heck of a long time for a novice fiction writer who barely gets round to writing any fiction hardly ever. That best describes me. So bite-size backstory flash-fiction offerings seem a bright idea to be bringing forth nothing as big as a book, but there are billions of those so why bother writing a book. But maybe I’ll build on this writing in the future, y’never know.

Anyway, back to the letter A and writing to Sarah C’s prompt (no spoiler, wanna know the prompt, gotta go visit, apols, but otherwise revealing it spoils my tale too…)

Part A (untitled)

Arianne had been keeping a dream diary since before she even knew what that meant. Her mother said she was doing it even before she knew how to write English. Every morning the very first thing she did before getting out of bed was to reach for her paper and pen from the bedside table and note down everything she remembered.

“So what’s this then? Shorthand?” Marcus snatched the paper away just as Arianne made a grab for it and his face twisted with confused expressions as he turned the paper every possible way trying to find a means to make sense of the markings.

“Marcus give it back now or you’re never staying over again!”

“Oh I don’t mind not staying over,” Marcus scoffed. “Shag and run’s more fun anyway – and less washing-up and…” He was silenced by a thwack in the face with a pillow. Arianne grabbed the page from his hand and screwed it into a ball.

“So what was it?” Marcus persisted as she walked away from him toward her bathroom cubicle. She threw the paper ball across the room to land in the waste basket in the corner near her desk.

“Litter. See!”

Arianne hoped he’d leave it alone and maybe she could retrieve it later. She’d have to be more careful. She couldn’t possibly tell Marcus about Alradlayik teachings. He’d never believe her, no-one had before. No way she was she going back on meds for the disbelief of others. While she was small Arianne’s talk of the Alradlayiks, even before she knew the word aliens, was humoured as the imaginative play of a child while practising Alradlayik alphabet and drawing pictures from their stories.

At the age of seven everything altered. Her parents sought no help, as although Arianne had some strange ways of saying things and seemed different to other children, she was otherwise healthy and intelligent and not appearing emotionally disturbed but other adults considered her ‘afflicted’. All kinds of awful names were attributed to her condition of being … asleep in her earth-life, while as if awake in another life – only dreaming her parents would say. Doctors disagreed.

Entering the Academy, attending as a boarder at such a young age was not in her best interests at all, but assertions from the authorities that she would be forcibly removed from her parent’s care if they resisted meant she herself agreed, to spare her parents the guilt of allowing such a thing.

All Marcus knew of all this was that she won an early scholarship for high attainment and while it wasn’t exactly true, it wasn’t entirely a lie either. Anyway, as long as she wasn’t leaving her writing where he might see, maybe he’d forget about seeing that letter he’d picked up earlier. She’d attended to her hygiene, donned her uniform and arranged her hair and all within the five minutes allotted time. She took a deep breath and re-entered her room…

[500 words. 2nd draft, original writing, copyright 05/05/2018]

 

 


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Reblog: Sarah Scullins’ ‘Make Acrostics Magical Again? Part I’ from JHIBlog

I spotted this in my WordPress Reader: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/81309380/posts/10578 or direct link to the blog post at http://jhiblog.org/2017/12/06/make-acrostics-magical-again/

This is a fascinating article exploring the history of acrostic texts. I was particularly interested in the lower segment’s discussions of a poem entitled The Babylonian Theodicy and the eighth book of the Sybilline oracles.(wikipedia link from article)

I found myself wondering if the Greek coding referred to is similarly misrepresented historically as some of purported Latin meanings of 9th and 10th century English/British stone carvings that cleverly use symbols in ways to carry the original message whilst appearing to mean something else (during the murderous oppressions of natural pre-Christian faith in England/Britain). I don’t much about any of it but it would be wonderful to have time and energy enough to fully explore such things of history and mythic discourse that make up contemporary ideas of fact.

Reblogged portion below:

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By Contributing Writer Sarah Scullin Acrostics—the name given to secret words spelled out in the first lines or paragraphs of a text—are experiencing a bit of a renaissance thanks to two high-profile letters that used this hidden coding to protest the Trump administration. In Late August, Former Science Envoy Daniel Kammen tweeted out a resignation […]

via Make Acrostics Magical Again? Part I — JHIBlog


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And now it’s May…! Anniversary today!

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How time flies! My first post here seems such a long time ago on the one hand and like only yesterday on the other.

As if A to Z blogging all April  wasn’t enough (my other blog, The Wishing Well), now it’s time for #May-be-A-B…

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I had an acrostic poem to complete posting from last month and have finally decided on the version to share here today for blogging with the letter A:

STILL LIFE WITH A TWIST

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Surrendering to this still life

Twisting in time with each day

Imagining, investigating,

Longing to look,

Look again,

Learn and let loose

Interactions with things

Finding memories in form,

Exploring thoughts and ideas,

Wilfully taking each

Intricate twist and turn

To gather together

Heartfelt remembrances

Attending to the colours and shapes,

Textures and tones,

Wandering with wonder

Instilling weight and balance –

Simply making solid and sound

To each today and every tomorrow.

©©ColetteB. 2018

This acrostic poem was inspired by my topical theme ‘Still life with a Twist’ for the April 2018 A to Z Challenge over at The Wishing Well. I’ll be continuing to build on that theme into the future, over the longer term, although probably not blogging so much about it.

I maybe won’t be blogging here daily while I run through the alphabet again, maybe posting only once or twice a week. Meanwhile I’ll definitely be micro-blogging a small verse or haiku or something else for the #May-be-A-B challenge at another of my blogs, swishing4th.com, where last month I blogged a Limerick a day for each letter of the alphabet (but didn’t sign that up to any official challenge, it was just an extra for fun).

Linking with https://swishingup.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/may-be-a-b-alphabetical-blogging/