February 23rd, 2011

Stuff From Yesterday

We heard through the grapevine that Ailz's god-daughter- who is visiting New Zealand- was thinking of going into Christchurch yesterday morning to do some shopping, but decided not to because she was just too sleepy...

The Tuesday talk at the Whitworth was given by Lucy Byatt- an arts professional who is currently "Head of National Programmes at the Contemporary Art Society". She says she is "interested in the evolution of cultural ecologies" which is (I think) an important-sounding way of saying "getting artists to do things".  Her talk was a bit informative and a bit opaque- with lots of "ums" and "ers" between the jargon phrases. Somewhere along the line she seemed to have lost sight of the idea that art might be- you know- fun. 

Odi came round in the afternoon and I flogged myself like a dead horse to entertain the kids. I always do this. It's a compulsion. Show me a kid and I turn into a cross between a Blue Peter presenter and an old time song and dance man.  Generally speaking I prefer kids to adults. They're wholly uncritical and omni-appreciative.  You do a little dance whilst singing The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin and they think you're amazingly cool and want to join in. You can do things with kids you would only do with adults if you and they were drunk. 

Dead Souls

I've just finished Gogol's Dead Souls. It's a determinedly eccentric novel- with a cast of amusing shits- among them a hero- or anti-hero- who is only properly introduced to us in the final chapter.  If Gogol had been an English writer he would have been illustrated by Cruikshank. He reminds me a little of Sterne and a little of early Dickens.