“And so, in order to return sensation to our limbs, in order to make us feel objects, to make a stone feel stony, man has been given the tool of art. The purpose of art, then, is to lead us to a knowledge of a thing through the organ of sight instead of recognition. By ‘enstranging’ objects and complicating form, the device of art makes perception long and ‘laborious.’ The perceptual process in art has a purpose all its own and ought to be extended to the fullest. Art is a means of experiencing the process of creativity. The artifact itself is quite unimportant.

(Viktor Shklovsky, Theory of Prose, trans. Benjamin Sher, p. 6.)


  • A good piece at Design Observer (most interesting there in a long time, I think) by Martha Scotford about the publication and design of Ulysses. Most interesting slide: an advertisement in the Saturday Review of Literature where Random House explained “How to Enjoy James Joyce’s Great Novel Ulysses“.
  • Three stories by Robert Walser, translated by Damion Searls, as part of Vice‘s fiction issue (there’s a lot of other worthwhile content there too). And it’s been noted elsewhere, but the Christine Burgin Gallery has information about the forthcoming English edition of Walser’s microscripts.
  • Scott Bryan Wilson is publishing chapbooks under a familiar name.
  • A new story by Gabriel Josipovici at Litro.

december 16–december 20



  • Gods and Monsters, directed by Bill Condon
  • My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, dir. Werner Herzog
  • Ricky, dir. François Ozon
  • Red-Headed Woman, dir. Jack Conway
  • Waterloo Bridge, dir. James Whale
  • La mujer sin cabeza (The Headless Woman), dir. Lucrecia Martel
  • La flor de mi secreto (The Flower of My Secret), dir. Pedro Almodóvar


  • “Francis Picabia: Funny Guy,” Tibor de Nagy Gallery
  • “Fairfield Porter: Paintings,” Tibor de Nagy Gallery
  • “Kazuo Shiraga: Six Decades,” McCaffrey Fine Art
  • “Gerhard Richter: Abstract Paintings 2009,” Marian Goodman Gallery
  • “Paul McCarthy: White Snow,” Hauser & Wirth
  • “Cy Twombly: Eight Sculptures,” Gagosian
  • “Jörg Immendorff: Maoist Paintings – The Early Seventies,” Michael Werner Gallery

december 6–december 10



  • Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), directed by Pedro Almodóvar
  • ¡Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!), dir. Pedro Almodóvar
  • The Impatient Maiden, dir. James Whale
  • Sinners in Paradise, dir. James Whale
  • By Candlelight, dir. James Whale


  • “Gabriel Orozco,” MoMA

the lack of common measure between the desires of individuals and the means to satisfy them

“The character in A Man Asleep, by way of contrast, appears to have ‘read’ too much. To be precise, he reaches the end of his tether somewhere on page 112 on Raymond Aron’s Eighteen Lectures on the Industrial Society. Whilst the contents of page 112 of that book might well induce sleepiness when read in a stuffy garret on a hot day in May, that page is otherwise quite unexceptional. But perhaps we are not reading the same book. The Eighteen Lectures was published in 1963. It consists of actual lectures for first-year sociology students at the Sorbonne, first delivered in 1955–56. The first ‘edition’ was a cyclostyled volume (‘polycop’), distributed by the Centre de Documentation Universitaire, on page 112 of which the eye is caught by the isolated middle paragraph that concludes with the statement ‘It is poverty that humanity, as a whole, still suffers from today. Poverty, defined simply by the lack of common measure between the desires of individuals and the means to satisfy them.’ That is where Things begins.”

(Andrew Leak, “Phago-citations: Barthes, Perec, and the Transformation of Literature,” p. 133 in in George Perec issue of the Review of Contemporary Fiction, spring 2009.)