I finally made it to Artomatic
last night, the last night of the show. I wandered around for quite a while without seeing anything that really grabbed me, and then on the tenth floor I struck gold. ( Image-heavyCollapse )
Also yesterday, I finished reading Vineland
. This supposedly is not a favorite of Thomas Pynchon fans (not tricky enough, too political), but to me it was awesome, maybe the definitive book about the sixties and its aftermath. I've often been irked by pomo fiction because so often it seems to be all about literary parlor tricks, leaving no room for heart (paging David Foster Wallace) but this was different (and granted, not the most extreme example of pomo). Vineland
uses painful puns and too-clever names (a landscape contractor known as the Marquis de Sod—wait till you hear his theme song; a Northern California Cajun restaurant named Humbolaya), pop-culture references (the female ninja subplot), anagrams (Frenesi, the elusive central character, contains "free" and "sin"), obnoxious acronyms, and hilarious made-up movies ("Pia Zadora in The Clara Bow Story
") to tell a deeply emotional story about what happened in the sixties and to the sixties. Some critics think the story is too flimsy, never explaining why exactly a third-generation revolutionary would run off with the evil cop. But the guys at Babies of Wackiness
(a Japanese sitcom, dontcha know?) speculate that Frenesi on some level is the American nation, born free but seduced over and over by authority in the form of a man in uniform, and that's good enough for me. To me the book was enchanting. It's probably the best I've read this year. Here's more, in Salman Rushdie's New York Times review
Finally, just for atenea_nike
, I made a set of the cloud photos
I took for my meteorology class.
It took me some time to put this post together with all the images and links, so somebody please comment or I'll have to start wondering if you can see my ratty old t-shirt from where you are.
Tags: art, photo, reading