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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#author-story ~ Contemporary Writer #1

I’m very priveleged, from the safety of home and our online virtual world, to be accessing a co-learning creative writing MOOC with an esteemed educational institution (remaining nameless, for my ‘sins’ of free-thinking, free-writing, etc and all the etceteras…).

ii’m also priveleged to be a member of Blogger’s World where sometimes on a Wednesday i contribute an #author-story post for the ‘Authors Who Made History’ series (“feature”). For today’s post there, I decided to round up an index of all the contributed posts so far – over two dozen multi-cultural articles from a volunteer team so far comprising 12 (unique individuals). This is also a call for volunteers to contribute future writing toward this series, with the article’s author retaining intellectual property rights within usual WP/BU-EUSA* ethical standards (outlined in my post).

*EUSA = End User Service Agreement = shared intellectual property rights, protections and ethical expectations etc. and these are implicit in the context of any platform wherein an individual/collective create and share creative content. [Errors and omissions likely in my brief attempt to explain this EUSA  issue]

I’m quite out of blogging/writing practise and having a tough time of relearning from primary school days the fine art of story-telling and writing creative fiction. However, I encountered the wonderfully rich English language writing of a contemporary writer originally from {UK/ Nigerian origin}.

We don’t learn enough of, or from, indigenous African writers – Nigeria being just one country within a very large continent of  many different lands and peoples, enriched with traditions of folklore and the musicality of story-telling. In any cultural context, wealth and social status invariably denotes likelihood of success at least within the limited constraints of capatalist/commercial concerns. So, thank GOODNESS for the founding principles of the wonderful WWWdotCOM and WordPress et al…

It occurred to me that i would enjoy the practise of writing about contemporary writers of all ilks and origins and perhaps i could make this, at last, a regular feature here on my personal blog . This hopefully won’t detract from my occasional contributions to the #authorstory series at BW. Anyway, at last, to the point of my post.

Introducing the author: Lesley Nneka Arimah (link=author’s site, may have vulnerability issue and be inaccessible, please try again later or check out her twitter for updates…)

Coincidentally, TOAST is the #ShutterbugShowcase prompt at BW for tomorrow and thankfully we have a volunteer contributor ready to go with a hopeful posting…

I now find that TOAST is also a writer’s blog with some interesting looking posts and Lesley contributes some writing there also.

Extract from Second Chances: A Short Story – The Toast (linked above)

My mother wore no jewelry in the photo, not even a ring as she and my father weren’t wed at the time, but brave, young lovers with, as my mother used to say, nothing to prove. There are other pictures of her here, one when she was a child, stiff between her parents, long dead. There are pictures of her at my high school graduation, on my dad’s 50th birthday, and my favorite, the one where she’s fluffing my baby sister’s frilly white pantaloons for the photo and my dad snaps just when Udoma kisses the top of Mom’s head. Udoma. I hear the front door open and she calls out in that Lucy-I’m-Home way of hers and I rush to warn her before it’s too late.

I’d also be keen to use this extract from further down her short story (link as above) as a potential writing prompt:

Extracted [#2] from: Second Chances: A Short Story – The Toast

 Those absences became less frequent as things did indeed get better and I began to be a person again. And now she just shows up, ladeedah ho-hum, like it’s not a big fucking deal.
I’m quite struck by how this fictional piece, link and extract(s) above, relates to our given text for reading, “Who Will Greet You At Home”, published 26/10/2015 in the New Yorker Magazine  (screenshot images below, shared under Fair Use allowances)…

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Lesley is definitely a noteworthy writer to look out for. I’m recently new to reading her writing and haven’t spent enough time with it (her writing) yet, but looking forward to more, another time 🙂

The illustration for the magazine article above is attributed to Jeffrey Fisher and he hosts a fantastic website of his own original creative work (preview image shown below):

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N.B: External links are checked as far as possible at the time of writing/publishing and placed in good faith. I accept no responsibility or liability for any content shared therein  or discontent with the materials accessed by the reader. Inclusion in my post is not for commercial representative purpose and no financial gain is received nor intended.  Please let me know of any errors/issue etc in my post and i will seek to resolve any potential reasonable complaint or suggested improvement.