July 09, 2004



The first responses to my question:

Piotr Orlov: Harvey Pekar's American Splendor comics: "Somewhat diary-like, but also containing short, on-the-fly, philosophic nuggets."

Jordan Davis: "The daily expository theme, as instituted at Harvard in the 1830s then carried over to all the institutions with Harvard-envy over the next few decades. The record on this is The Elephants Teach, a history of creative writing in America. Also, Senator Graham's lists."

Clint Newman: "Photographer Walker Evans was a compulsive list-maker. Simple personal poetry. I think some are compiled in Unclassified, some sort of collection of his writing. (He translated Baudelaire and other French writers). Here's a decent overview."

Peter Culley sent two quotes with a framing note: "The formal accumulation of fragments a blog represents becomes interesting over time not only at the immediate level of narrative, image, or designation, but for the resonances it creates. The way in your blog, for example, that the record of your listening builds against the ground of your looking. The way the space between Jordan's blogs becomes an experienced entity."

The quotes:

"The open limit is a designation that I walk through in a kind of network looking for a site. And then I select the site. There's no criteria; just how the material hits my psyche when I'm scanning it. But it's a kind of low level scanning, almost unconscious. When you select, it's fixed so that randomness is then determined. It's determined in uncertainty. At the same time, the fringes or boundaries of the designation are always open." Robert Smithson

"Zeppelins float in the darkness beneath ancient cosmological maps; the entire anachronistic discordia concors is dedicated to finding the most startling relationships between images that are worlds apart. The Atlas proposes an art of the in-between, what Warburg called the 'iconology of the interval'. God, he famously declared, resides in the details; the inhuman presence that hovers in the darkness between these images is, says the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, 'the dark demon of an unnamed science whose contours we are only today beginning to glimpse'. " from Brian Dillon on Aby Warburg's Mnemosyne Atlas."

Sean Carman:

"Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities might also fit. It's a sprawling novel without anything resembling a constructed plot, but on every page is a brilliant observation about human behavior reflected in the manners of pre-WWI Viennese society. It was smuggled out of Germany and then passed around for decades before it was published. That makes it sort of blog-like. It was published in Germany decades later, and was only recently translated into English. [Ed.: This translation from 1953 was the first.] Check out this appreciation written by, of all people, Harvey Pekar."

And looking into the black hole of the present moment, Keith Harris: "In my darker moments, I think blogging has turned us into a nation of Larry Kings."

Posted by Sasha at July 9, 2004 02:55 PM | TrackBack