Category: Commonplace book

  • Inventing our lives

    “All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don’t, our lives get made up for us by other people.” Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on […]

  • Nick Cave on loss and improvisation

    I wrote earlier in the week about my deep fascination with Ghosteen, the album released by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in late 2019. It’s a haunting work which spoke deeply to me during a strange transitional year in my life, filled with drawn out endings and incipient new beginnings. I was fascinated to […]

  • Haligh, Haligh, a Lie, Haligh

    But now we speak with ruined tongues And the words we say aren’t meant for anyone It’s just a mumbled sentence to a passing acquaintance But there was once you

  • Dragonfly Eyes (2017)

    The mind-blowing debut feature of renowned Chinese artist Xu Bing is a fictional feature created entirely from surveillance-camera recordings, about a young woman whose life takes a series of unexpected turns after she leaves the Buddhist temple where she has lived most of her adult life.

  • To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield

    There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail: There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me— That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old; Old age hath yet his honour […]

  • This Place is a Shelter

  • We are ugly but we have the music

    I remember you well in the Chelsea HotelYou were famous, your heart was a legendYou told me again you preferred handsome menBut for me you would make an exception And clenching your fist for the ones like usWho are oppressed by the figures of beautyYou fixed yourself, you said: Well, never mindWe are ugly but […]

  • Post-horror and the obscene character of (post-pandemic?) parties

    What better place is there for a party then a stunning mansion in a remote location? Obviously the answer to this question changes if the party is taking place in a horror film. Bodies Bodies Bodies tells the story of one eventful drug fuelled night which begins with a reunion between old friends and ends […]

  • André Gorz and the concept of hygiene

    From David Frayne’s The Refusal of Work pg 149-150: As Bruce described his self-care habits, I was reminded of Gorz’s definition of ‘hygiene’, which for Gorz means something much more than the mundane rituals of preening and cleanliness. For Gorz hygiene consists in a more rigorous attempt on the part of individuals to understand their […]

  • Day man, fighter of the night man ☀️

  • We’ll go someplace, we’ll get a new start 

    We’ll go someplace, we’ll get a new startYou gotta move on when things fall apartWe’ll go someplace, we’ll get a new startYou gotta move on when things fall apart We’re all around, you see me yet?But I can’t hear any word you saidWe don’t fit in anywhereLet’s grab our things and goLet’s grab our things […]

  • George Simmel on Eye Contact

    George Simmel on Eye Contact

    One reveals oneself in the look that receives the other into oneself; in the same act with which the human subject seeks to recognize its object, it surrenders itself to the object. One cannot take through the eye without at the same time giving. The eye reveals to the other the soul that he or […]

  • Dream, dream, for this is also sooth

    After a deeply unpleasant week (fine now though, thankfully) I find myself obsessing over The Song of the Happy Shepherd By Yeats. Particularly the final lines about the necessity of dreaming in the face of all which has been lost. Read by Grian Chatten of Fontaines D.C. whose voice I find hypnotic: I must be gone: […]

  • On Rain

    Via Milan Stürmer

  • A cybernetic black pill

    Almost a decade ago I was sitting eating a sandwich in the strange little cafe in the foyer of the Social Science Building at the University of Warwick. For no discernible reason I was suddenly hit with the realisation that I’d always assumed the world would trend towards stability and that there was absolutely no […]