Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The New York Times Book Review this Sunday featured a review of a new Thomas Hardy biography on the cover. Hardy is one of those big holes (yes, there are many) in my own personal coverage of the Western Canon. I have an old Bantam Classic Paperback copy of The Return of the Native that I bought as a teenager and never finished. I believe I picked it up because Holden Caulfield mentions it in Catcher in the Rye (or does he only mention Hardy? I can't remember) and the only memory I have of it is a damp, claustrophobic opening that I came to associate with all 19th Century English literature. Maybe it's time I give it another try.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Now reading . . .

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst -- I'm about midway through this 2004 Booker Prize winner (I'll catch up eventually) and thoroughly enjoying Hollinghurst’s way with sentences. He navigates the world of privileged Thatcherites with sinuous dexterity, weaving through the main character’s affairs with various men of the society. The gay sex scenes might put off some people I know, but they’re not the types I would recommend this book to anyway (I wouldn’t call the scenes graphic necessarily, but explicit).

Hollinghurst discusses Hogarth's aesthetic principles, particularly regarding the S-curve, the line of beauty of the title. I had to look it up (I'm not the art expert here). Hogarth felt that the beauty of the curved line should be used to represent objects that are alive and the straight line, whose variations are limited to length and thickness, should be used for dead objects.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Inaugural Mission

On second thought, maybe this isn't such a good idea. The thoughts of two underemployed, struggling creatives with too much time on their hands might not be as interesting as we think they are. Then again, that matters not much at all.

Art, literature, politics or anything that we deem interesting enough to fill this space--that's the plan.