“Antonio Vivaldi and Ezra Pound left indelible footprints in their passage through time. The world would be a much less livable place if it weren’t for the music of one and the poetry of the other.
But Vivaldi lay silent for two centuries.
Pound brought him back. The strains the world had forgotten opened and closed the poet’s radio show from Italy, which broadcast Fascist propaganda in English.
The program earned Mussolini few if any sympathizers. But the Venetian musician gained worldwide adoration.
When Fascism collapsed, officers from the United States put Pound in a barbed-wire cage outdoors so that people would lob coins at him and balls of spit, and later on they sent him to an asylum for the insane.”
“…some Swedish petroglyphs of a slightly later date [than those in the Altamira caves] contained so many pictures of men with impressively large erections that their documenter, Carl Georg Brunius, had to consult his colleagues about whether or not the mid-nineteenth century audience was ready to see these early examples of Swedish porn.”
ETA: He ended up showing them, but claimed they couldn’t have been made by prehistoric Swedes, who would have definitely been too mature and refined to show such things, so maybe it was the Laplanders or some other people?
“To judge from the earliest forms of graphic art available to us, it seems that man has always sought to animate his pictures. If only he could breathe the stir of life into his creatures he would share the grand mystery of the gods. The great artists of prehistory, crouching with their rush-lights by the cave walls of Altamira, Lascaux, and the hundreds of other caverns either known to the archaeologists or still to be discovered, were, as far as we can see, urged by some undefined instinct to animate their pictures.
Entering Lascaux is like entering a living zoo. Movement seems to dominate these bodies with their splayed legs and heads bent with the muscular effort of motion. The wonderful figures of the beautiful rearing horse, or those of the dark horse following the mare in foal, the jumping cow, the running and falling hares, the great aurochs, the charging bull, the charging bisons and the disembowelled bison with his head twisted in death all show the success of artists working over 20,000 years ago in the most difficult physical conditions to suggest life caught in arrested motion.
In Altamira the boars and bisons are poised with equal vitality, and curious cinematographic effects are achieved by the superimposition of later paintings on older ones which have been partly worn away. These compound figures with six or eight legs in different positions achieve an additional suggestion of movement.”
We got some updated animation technique books at the library at my request and they’ve been circulating like hotcakes. Or, like something that doesn’t get eaten after it’s handed out once. The point is, if you want to read a book about animation that’s been published since digital cameras and home computers became commonplace, we have some now. I actually really liked this book, because the writing was inordinately beautiful for a book about how animation works, but it was very out of date and missing a bunch of pages, so it had to go.
“In March read the books you’ve always meant to read”
Illinois Art Project, WPA
between 1936 and 1941
Get a head start today, because that’s a lot of books.
Also, it used to be a common library practice to cross out an author’s pen name and handwrite or paste a little sticker with their given name on the cover of the book - hence Clemens instead of Twain on the book in the poster. I still find books like this every now and then and have to get them changed because HOW DID THEY EXPECT ANYONE TO FIND ANYTHING!?! I guess by using the card catalog, but still, it’s so much extra work. Someone had to type an extra card for every author with a pen name (“TWAIN, Mark” see “CLEMENS, Samuel.”) and then deface every volume that passed through the doors. Jeez. Ok, sorry for ranting. Read some books this month. I’m gonna do it.
“In a bed by the Gulf of Corinth, a woman contemplates by firelight the profile of her sleeping lover.
On the wall, his shadow flickers.
The lover, who lies by her side, will leave. At dawn he will leave to war, to death. And his shadow, his traveling companion, will leave with him and with him will die.
It is still dark. The woman takes a coal out of the embers and draws on the wall the outline of his shadow.
Those lines will not leave.
They will not embrace her, and she knows it. But they will not leave.”
“January - A Year of Good Reading Ahead”
Poster for statewide WPA Library Project, between 1936 and 1941.
I set a reading goal for 2013: 50 books! I read 37 in 2012 and I didn’t feel like I spent that much time reading, so might as well go for it. I read a lot of comics, so it’s perhaps not quite as intellectual as it sounds. Also, this poster would be an accurate depiction of me coming home from work every day if I lived in a place with snow.