Saturday, November 30, 2013
My daughter has learned to make the most of Instagram. In fact, she recently authored a book of Instagrams called This Is Happening.
She used her phone to take this photo of Mabel and me. We were sitting on the floor, cutting up pieces of paper, taking them out of a little bag and putting them into a little bowl.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Mabel is three, gathering pumpkins with her friends, guiding her scooter down the sidewalk, riding the bus with Daddy and matching a pink sweater-sleeve against Mamma's pink tights. Mabel swims, Mabel colors – all preserved on antique Polaroid film (the stock now in use dates back to 2009 – before the child was born – when the manufacturing of Polaroid film ceased).
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Maureen Paley in London. (Tillmans appeared previously on this rolling screen about a year ago here.) Below, a few of the current large-format photos in isolation.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Franco Moretti's new book from Verso is called The Bourgeois : Between History and Literature. He subjects Victorian fiction to automated analysis, hoping for help with a definition of that commonly-used-but-usually-vague term, bourgeois. Moretti's quantitative methods often feel alien to me, but he deploys them with persuasive energy. The dust jacket reproduces a painting of 1832 (now in the Louvre) by Ingres, his portrait of Louis-François Bertin.
'Shall I tell him . . . he's sent to school to make himself a good scholar?' wonders Squire Brown, as his son Tom is about to leave for Rubgy. 'Well, but he isn't sent to school for that', he corrects himself: 'Greek particles, or the digamma' are not the point; rather, 'if he'll only turn out a brave, helpful, truth-telling Englishman, and a gentleman, and a Christian, that's all I want'. Brave, sincere, a gentleman, and a Christian; that's what Rugby is for. And its headmaster (the real, not fictional one) agrees: 'what we must look for here', he tells the Older Boys to whom he liked to delegate his authority, 'is, first, religious and moral principle; secondly, gentlemanly conduct; thirdly, intellectual ability'. Thirdly, intellectual ability. 'Rather than have [physical science] the principal thing in my son's mind', he adds, in a less guarded moment, 'I would gladly have him think that the sun went around the earth'.
The sun going round the earth. The schoolboy Tom Brown has more common sense than that; still, when at the end of the novel he is asked what he wants 'to carry away' from Rugby, he realizes that he has no idea; and then: '"I want to be A1 at cricket and football, and all the other games . . . and to please the Doctor; and I want to carry away just as much Latin and Greek as will take me through Oxford respectably."' Sports; then the Doctor's approval; last, and least, learning 'just as much' for another perfunctory educational cycle. On at least one thing, therefore, Squire, Doctor, and Boy are in perfect agreement: knowledge is at the bottom of the educational hierarchy.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
|Iris & Pomegranate|
|Iris & Pomegranate|
|Pomegranate & Teazle|
|Lily & Rose|
|Cockatoo & Pomegranate|
Walter Crane (1845-1915) designed these wallpapers in the 1890s. The samples are preserved in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
|Swan, Rush & Iris|
|Almond Blossom & Swallows|
Walter Crane (1845-1915) designed these wallpaper panels and friezes in the 1870s, toward the beginning of his career. From the collection of samples preserved at the Victoria and Albert Museum.