Time Machines and Tolstoy

November 15th, 2004 · 2 Comments · Education

I finished my paper this morning and turned it in on time. The paper began with a bunch of Brooklyn dockworkers scratching their heads over Ann Hamilton’s 1993-4 installation of horse hair on the floor and a performer methodically burning each line of a book: tropos. But the dockworkers had a time machine, so they went back in time to ask Tolstoy if he would consider tropos art. Tolstoy decided, after a good bit of pontification, that it was indeed art.

These are the kinds of papers I keep ending up with. Ask me about the one where I chastised the mayor of Culver City for his lack of financial support for the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Perhaps you’ll be happy to hear that I registered for FIVE courses in the spring, two of which are writing classes.

In other news: I just lovelovelove our little city library. For the first time in a good bit, I’ve got nothing undone hanging over me, so I went to the good ole library and picked up a whole bunch of goodies.

On CD: Chet Baker, But Not for Me; Steve Reich, Music for 18 Musicians; Zero 7, Simple Things; Stereolab, The First of the Microbe Hunters; Philip Glass, Itaipu; Philip Glass, Low.

I also got Success is a Choice on audio cd for an inspiring commute, and The Sopranos Complete First Season on DVD (which we’ve never seen, as we don’t have regular television), and the The Da Vinci Code, which I still haven’t read, and finally, Andrei Codrescu’s new book of poems, it was today. See, doesn’t the library rock the casbah?

A word on my choices. Music? I needed new work music. I like to have music going on while I’m working, writing, making art, but it’s got some pretty hefty requirements. Minimal lyrics; Chet Baker is fine, as is Stereolab. Heady, intellectual music is great, preferably late-20th century classical composers like Glass or Reich. Spacy, ambient music is ideal, as it gives me lots of room to move around with my own ideas. I also like music that doesn’t have many song breaks, because the shuffling of songs makes me aware of time passing. Jazz and late classical are great because of the long tracks. Any suggestions for good work music?

As for the audio CD… well, I was stuck in a funeral procession/traffic jam on the 605 for over an hour today with a dead cellphone battery and only Warren Olney for company. Never again. I’ll use my commute time productively from now on: successful life, here I come.

The DVD and novel? Obviously, I’m needing some quick thrills and a fast read. Too much theory makes me crave potato chip fare. Truly, I stood in front of the library catalogue for quite some time and could only think of things like The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty and Beyond Piety : Critical Essays on the Visual Arts. What did I end up with? A thriller about Art Histoy. Groan.

I’m in desperate need of non-academic, page-turning recommendations. Anybody?

Category: Education

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Tibbie

    From your mom:
    When I want to relax and forget all the daily stresses I like to read a really long biography like “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow or something inspirational about people who overcame obstacles like “Women of Spirit: Stories of Courage from the Women Who Lived Them” by Katherine Martin or “Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman’s Survival Under Saddam Hussein” — by Jean P. Sasson. I find reading about other peoples challanges makes me feel hopeful.
    Love, Mom

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