Tag Archives: literature

Your Bag Is Rubbish. And So Is Your Book Club.

ImageYour ‘book club’ only reads wine labels? Really? I mean, seriously? Fuck me, that must be really dull. I’d rather attempt to plough through ‘Bleak House’ by Dickens. Although, given the choice between reading wine labels and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, I’d take the wine labels any day.

American Psycho

I’m currently reading ‘American Psycho’ by Bret Easton Ellis. I haven’t seen the film yet, but if a film is based on a book then I usually like to read the book first. This means that there are always loads of films I’ve put off seeing, because I haven’t had time to read the novel first, but oh well.

Before I started reading ‘American Psycho’, I had just read ‘Notes On A Scandal’ by Zoë Heller. This book was so horribly disappointing, pompous and bourgeois that I needed something exciting, violent and funny to cleanse my palate. ‘American Psycho’ was the obvious choice. Obviously there have been some parts in it that have made me wince (animal torture, rape…you get the picture), but the book is supposed to be a black comedy and there are some parts in it that have really tickled me, most notably this one, where Patrick Bateman recalls watching a talk show on Nazis:

One of the Nazis, in a rare display of humour, even juggled grapefruits and, delighted, I sat up in bed and clapped.

I love the absurdity of this mental image! If it’s included in the film adaptation, I will probably sit up and clap too.

Book Porn

Remember the gorgeous library out of Disney’s Beauty & The Beast? Well, the good news is that places like this really do exist.If you’ve got a bit of a thing for libraries and books, then you should probably have a look at this amazing series by Christoph Seelbach. He’s shot some of Europe’s most enchanting libraries, and Austria appears to have the most. These libraries are mostly monastic libraries, so (fortunately) it’s unlikely that you’d be able to find any trashy books like Fifty Shades Of Grey. However, it’s also unlikely that I’d find any of the novels I’ve enjoyed over the years, such as The Death of Bunny Munro, Kill Your Friends, or A Single Man. Still, these are beautiful institutions and their vast shelves must contain some valuable and fascinating texts.

Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria
Admont Monastery Library, Admont, Austria
Kremsmünster Abbey Library, Kremsmünster, Austria
Melk Abbey Library, Melk, Austria

The Canyons

The first trailer for The Canyons is incredibly disappointing. Written by Bret Easton Ellis, the film sees Lindsay Lohan return to the silver screen and, according to IMDb, it’s a Thriller.

Not that you’d know that from this underwhelming trailer though – the only thing you’d get from this is that it’s set in L.A. This glossy video montage reminds me of a mixture of Gossip Girl and Made In Chelsea, if either of those shows were set in Los Angeles. Considering the song that’s been used is a mellow, self-indulgent number by Dum Dum Girls, it feels as though you’re definitely anticipating for the film to cut to Serena Van Der Woodsen checking her phone, or Millie Mackintosh tearfully packing her bags…you know, it just looks like some scripted reality/aspirational TV drama “filler” shots. While the shots themselves are beautiful, there’s just no action in this trailer at all. The aim may have been to make it appear enigmatic and mysterious, but the final outcome is that it looks as though nothing really happens in The Canyons, or that the trailer has been badly made. I want to like this film, so I hope it’s the latter and this teaser is just a bad attempt at, well…teasing.

The Boundaries of Life and Death

Watch this vivid monochromatic animation by Saskia Kretschmann. Titled ‘The Boundaries of Life and Death’, it was inspired by this Edgar Allan Poe quote: “The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” I think her short film is beautiful, and Poe would have approved. 

Yayoi Kusama x Lewis Carroll

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has collaborated with Penguin Books on a new version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Kusama has provided vibrant illustrations in her signature polka dot style. The video below shows how the classic story has been re-imagined…

For The Love Of Books

It’s World Book Night!

These clever posters are for a library’s Book Exchange programme. The idea behind the service is that you can exchange a book that you own (and have presumably read) for one that you don’t own and haven’t read. The poster designs were created by Lowe/SSP3, and each ingenious design incorporates two literary silhouettes into one.

Here are some more examples of amazing book-themed art and design that I’ve seen recently.

I love the fragility of Thomas Allen‘s book cut outs.

Alexander Korzer-Robinson uses layered images within the pages of his books, creating a deep and surreal piece. Most of the dusty tomes that he uses are vintage illustrated encyclopedias or children’s picture books.

Guy Laramee treats books like wood or marble, carving into the medium to form detailed topographical landscapes.