David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

04 June 2009

For Those About To Blog ( We Salute You )

Congratulations to Alison Croggon, winner of this year's Pascall Prize for criticism. bLOGOS/HA HA first read this news not online, not in a blog, but in the smudge and wrinkle of the daily paper as is our habit.

As well as recognising the admirable contribution of Ms TN's theatre notes this award also brings a greater focus and further normalises (duh!) a means of production so easily available to all (sic). For those who already blog or who regularly follow their own blog favourites this is all very what's-the-big-deal? bLOGOS/HA HA though new as a blog contributor is frequently surprised at those in the Arts and Media who never or rarely visit a blog site yet express frustration at the paucity of reviews in Hard Print, as if that is still the only legitimate slate.

Yesterday, Mark Holsworth at Melbourne Art & Culture Critic also addressed this topic.
The impact of blogs is growing. Contrary to the mainstream media blogs are not simply source of gossip and unsubstantiated claims. Many blogs contain first hand reports from educated and informed correspondents. Many blogs appear to be the very essence of traditional journalism. In the golden age of print journalism there would be a writer at every play, exhibition and concert. Now, in the dying days of print journalism unless a blogger reviews it, it is unlikely to be reviewed...
( full article here )
Also yesterday, re-reading some of Alison Croggon's writing:
When bL read this,
My feeling is that if you're uninterested in Beckett, you're uninterested in art. And yet of all artists, he is surely the least compulsory: no one took more responsibility for his writing - poems, prose, criticism, plays - while making the least claims for it. "I produce an object," he said of his plays. "What people make of it is not my concern." He might have agreed with the poet Paul Celan, who said that his work was "a message in a bottle, sent out in the - not always greatly hopeful - belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, on heartland perhaps". Beckett's uncompromising, strangely tender bleakness has the kind of truthfulness which makes him, of all playwrights, the least biddable to the commercial vulgarities of theatre.

Review: Beckett's Shorts ( full article here )
Thursday, April 23, 2009
bL remembered this image of a LOGOS in a bottle

Undelivered mail of World War soldiers
(crucifix in bottle)

July 28, 1925. Washington, D.C.

from the bLOGOS/HA HA sub-heap Theatre of the Actors of Looking, via the digital online archive of the Library of Congress.