Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Limpid ocean, clear sky,
and moon-reflecting snow;
this is the realm
without a trace of
the holy and sentient.
At the opening
of the diamond eye
flowers of vanity fall.
The whole universe
vanishes into the realm
of extinction.

Han Shan

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
'Manufactured' or staged photography does not concern me. And if I make a judgement, it can only be on a psychological or social level. There are those who take photographs arranged beforehand and those who go out to discover the image and seize it. For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which - in visual terms - questions and decides simultaneously.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Monday, February 26, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
I don't know what 'young' means. You are alive or not.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Sunday, February 25, 2007

JS Bach
time for a little Bach ...
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.
Peter De Vries

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Henry David Thoreau

Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.
Samuel Johnson

The cure for writer's cramp is writer's block.
Inigo DeLeon

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Friday, February 23, 2007

Johnny Cash
I wrote a song a few years ago called 'Johnny Cash is Gone', and recently got round to making a recording of it which you can curently hear on Norman's radio blog jukebox. You can also hear some of the music from Norman's fine new CD, 'Romantic Fiction 2' (with sleeve design by yours truly) here. Alternatively, you could watch this totally brilliant performance on 'Ready, Steady, Go' by The Killer and The Plebs.
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
The party went off as such parties do. There were fat old ladies in fine silk dresses, and slim young ladies in gauzy muslin frocks; old gentlemen stood up with their backs to the empty fire-place, looking by no means so comfortable as they would have done in their own arm-chairs at home; and young gentlemen, rather stiff about the neck, clustered near the door, not as yet sufficiently in courage to attack the muslin frocks, who awaited the battle, drawn up in a semicircular array. The warden endeavoured to induce a charge, but failed signally, not having the tact of a general; his daughter did what she could to comfort the forces under her command, who took in refreshing rations of cake and tea, and patiently looked for the coming engagement: but she herself, Eleanor, had no spirit for the work; the only enemy whose lance she cared to encounter was not there ...

Anthony Trollope, from 'The Warden', 1855

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Have you ever read the novels of Anthony Trollope? They precisely suit my taste; solid, substantial, written on strength of beef and through inspiration of ale, and just as real as if some giant had hewn a great lump out of the earth and put it under a glass case, with all its inhabitants going about their daily business, and not suspecting that they were made a show of.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, in a letter from 1860

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.
Pablo Picasso

Monday, February 19, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
A man, any man, is worth more than a flag, any flag.
Eduardo Chillida
telephone conversation
Mrs Robinson: Benjamin.
Benjamin (in the hotel lobby): Yes?
Mrs Robinson: Isn't there something you want to tell me?
Benjamin: Tell you?
Mrs Robinson: Yes.
Benjamin: Well, I want you to know how much I appreciate this. Really.
Mrs Robinson: The number.
Benjamin: What?
Mrs Robinson: The room number, Benjamin. I think you ought to tell me that.
Benjamin: Oh, you're absolutely right. It's 568.
Mrs Robinson: Thank you.
Benjamin: You're welcome...

Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman in one of many hilarious scenes from The Graduate (1970)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

in every dream department store a heartache
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
you have got the wrong person
some of these email exchanges are priceless
read from the bottom of the pages upwards

Friday, February 16, 2007

For many women the shortest path to perfection is tenderness.
François Mauriac

Thursday, February 15, 2007

vivian stanshall

Jollity Farm
There’s a farm called Misery, but of that we’ll have none
Because we know of one that’s always lots of fun
And this one’s name is Jollity; believe me, folks, it’s great
For everything sings out to us as we go through the gate ...

All the little pigs, they grunt and howl
The cats mee-yow, the dogs bow-wow
Everybody makes a row down on Jollity Farm

All the little birds go tweet tweet tweet
The lambs all bleat and shake their feet
Everything’s a perfect treat down on Jollity Farm

Regular as habit the cock begins to crow
And the old buck rabbit sings “Stuff it up your jumper”

All the little ducks go quack quack quack
The cows go moo, the bull does too
Everyone says 'how do you do' down on Jollity Farm

The Bonzo Dog Band

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Love is a certain inborn suffering derived from the sight of and excessive meditation upon the beauty of the opposite sex, which causes each one to wish above all things the embraces of the other and by common desire to carry out all of love's precepts in the other's embrace.

Andreas Capellanus, from 'The Art of Courtly Love'

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

window 4
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood. The latter perhaps wounds his vanity; but the former wounds his heart, his sympathy, which always says: 'Ah, why would you also have as hard a time of it as I have?'

Friedrich Nietzsche, from 'Beyond Good and Evil', translated by Helen Zimmern.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

window 3
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
I sit and gaze on this highest peak of all;
Wherever I look there is distance without end.
I am all alone and no one knows I am here,
A lonely moon is mirrored in the cold pool.
Down in the pool there is not really a moon;
The only moon is in the sky above.
I sing to you this one piece of song;
But in the song there is not any Zen.

Han-Shan, translated by Arthur Waley

Friday, February 09, 2007

window 2
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Thursday, February 08, 2007

window 1
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
I took a course in art last winter. I learnt the difference between a fine oil painting, and a mechanical thing, like a photograph. The photograph shows only the reality. The painting shows not only the reality, but the dream behind it. It's our dreams, doctor, that carry us on. They separate us from the beasts. I wouldn't want to go on living if I thought it was all just eating, and sleeping, and taking my clothes off, I mean putting them on...

Josephine Hull as Veta Louise Simmons in Harvey (1950)
I’m not saying that I don’t have practically the most lofty ideas of anyone writing today, but what difference does that make? they’re just ideas. The only good thing about it is that when I get lofty enough I’ve stopped thinking and that’s when refreshment arrives.

Frank O’Hara from 'Personism: A Manifesto', 1959

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I Said It To You
I said it to you for the clouds
I said it to you for the tree of the sea
For each wave for the birds in the leaves
For the pebbles of sound
For familiar hands
For the eye that becomes landscape or face
And sleep returns it the heaven of its colour
For all that night drank
For the network of roads
For the open window for a bare forehead
I said it to you for your thoughts for your words
Every caress every trust survives.

Paul Eluard

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The only beautiful eyes are those that look at you with tenderness.
Coco Chanel

I'd just put Ed Hickey into a taxi. Ed had been mixing his rye with his gin, and I just felt that he needed conveying. Well, anyway, I was walking down along the street and I heard this voice saying, "Good evening, Mr. Dowd." Well, I turned around and here was this big six-foot rabbit leaning up against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that because when you've lived in a town as long as I've lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name. And naturally I went over to chat with him. And he said to me... he said, "Ed Hickey was a little spiffed this evening, or could I be mistaken?" Well, of course, he was not mistaken. I think the world and all of Ed, but he was spiffed. Well, we talked like that for awhile and then I said to him, I said, "You have the advantage on me. You know my name and I don't know yours." And, and right back at me he said, "What name do you like?" Well, I didn't even have to think twice about that. Harvey's always been my favorite name. So I said to him, I said, "Harvey." And, uh, this is the interesting thing about the whole thing: He said, "What a coincidence. My name happens to be Harvey."

James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey (1950)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Cold Mountain is a house
Without beams or walls.
The six doors left and right are open
The hall is blue sky.
The rooms all vacant and vague
The east wall beats on the west wall
At the center nothing.

Han Shan, translated by Gary Snyder

Friday, February 02, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
ye olde shuffle

Deus ~ Hotel Lounge
Jesus and Mary Chain ~ Just Like Honey
Bukka White ~ Promise True and Grand
Aqualung ~ Strange and Beautiful
Jim Reeves ~ He'll Have to Go
Sigur Ros ~ Untitled 1
Paul Westerberg ~ These Days
Van Morrison ~ Crazy Love
The Sadies ~ Mother of Earth
Buddy Holly ~ True Love Ways

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction