Archive for February, 2008

One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Big Sur - jacketI recently discovered a great blog from librarian Ed Morrissey from Greenwich, CT. He has some interesting Beat Generation reports on the site, including news of a new documentary about Big Sur - Kerouac’s 1962 crack-up novel.

No news yet about when it will be released, but I’ll be looking out for it on DVD. See www.kerouacfilms.com for the trailer and more details.

Here’s the synopsis:

He was called the vibrant new voice of his generation — the avatar of the Beat movement. In 1957, on the heels of the triumphant debut of his groundbreaking novel, On the Road, Jack Kerouac was a literary rock star, lionized by his fans and devotees. But along with sudden fame and media hype came his unraveling, and, by 1960, Kerouac was a jaded cynic, disaffected from the Beat culture he helped create and tortured by self-doubt, addiction and depression.

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The Necks - Review

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Riverside Theatre, 9 February 2008

The Necks‘ live performances have been described as minimalist, revolutionary, experimental, post-jazz, ambient, even mystical experiences. The nature of improvised music is that you never quite know what you’re going to hear - and the same goes for the performers.

The Necks

Sometimes they discuss what they might do, but after 21 years together, they don’t rehearse anymore. Tony Buck (drums), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano) have an ESP-like communication on stage which gives every performance the sort of tension and excitement you sometimes miss from more traditional bands.

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Joy Jobbins’ Shoestring in Sydney Morning Herald

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Shoestring: A MemoirSacha Molitorisz reviewed Shoestring: A memoir in the Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum (February 16-17, 2008).

It was interesting that he picked up on Joy’s fondness for archaisms and quirky language. When I was helping her revise the manuscript, this was one of the things that really struck me. We discussed her use of ‘micturating’ to mean ‘pissing down’ (with rain). I was in favour of changing it. She stood firm. It looks like the author made the right choice.

Here’s the review:

As befits its octogenarian author, Shoestring has the language and measured formality of yesteryear. Jobbins’ lexicon includes “balletomane”, “kitty corners” and “charming sylvan backwater”. To paraphrase Auden, she clothes her non-fiction in out-of-date diction.

With the help of photos, Jobbins recounts a sunny childhood in Depression-era Bondi, where her cameraman dad practised self-hypnosis and her chain-smoking mum got her fix from a cigarette vending machine installed in the kitchen. As a 16-year-old she received sex advice from actor Chips Rafferty; as a mum she refused to conform to stay-at-home stereotypes in Melbourne’s Eltham. Instead, she entered the fashion world and met Helmut Newton, Jimmy Stewart and Pierre Cardin.

Her story opens in 1927 with an attention-grabbing first paragraph. “I was still born and the doctor who was trying to prompt life into me was having a hard time. So, too, was the rest of Australia…” When her tale ends, in the late ’60s, there’s a lot of life left to live. No wonder Jobbins is working on a sequel.

You can still pick up a copy of the book from good bookshops - or contact the publisher direct!

Review of Stuart Forsyth’s Personal Taxidermy

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Personal TaxidermyPersonal Taxidermy is a very unusual debut novel from Vanark Press in Melbourne.

My wife brought it home for me and I was immediately attracted to the jacket artwork. The story sounded intriguing, and it turned out to be well worth the read:

A young boy appears in a city alley late one night, and interrupts an attack on a prostitute. He suffers from an unnamed illness, and has no recollection of who he is or how he got there. The woman takes him back to her fleabag hotel for the night.

The next day he gets his own room, and meets the odd human flotsam who inhabit the place: a drunken ex-clown who haunts the bathroom, the wall-eyed concierge who squats in his cage scratching his carbuncle, and a man so devastated by lost love that he has somehow managed to turn himself into a bat creature - yes, it’s pretty surreal.

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Photography Exhibition - Epiphany: Find Out Who You Really Are

Monday, February 4th, 2008

‘Epiphany’ is an exhibition opening at Waterloo’s Push Gallery on February 8th. It’s a showcase of work by twenty students of the Photoimaging IV class in the Diploma in Photography at Sydney Institute of Technology.

“I’ve always loved the word ‘epiphany’,” says Kosta Korsovitis, who organised the event with fellow-photographer Angelina Potapova. “It’s a moment of clarity, a breakthrough or revelation. In Greek it also means to come to the surface.”

Epiphany Flyer

‘Epiphany’ is an appropriate title for what will be the first public showing for many of the photographers. Although there are some experienced photographers like Potapova and Korsovitis, for most it will be their first exhibition.

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