Photography Criticism: Sadakichi Hartmann, “On Plagiarism and Imitation.” 
Link ‘o the day. “Heine is right, borrow as much as you like. But be certain that you master the accumulations and accreted experiences of others to such an extent that they have become your own, only that you can rear on the understructure of precedent accomplishments still higher and more imposing monuments of beauty.” Great. As you know, I’m constantly on the search for decent photographic criticism.
The Fully Intended: Photoshop your personality.
Mollie ponders Photoshop. I fear that auto-retouching will become a default, rather than a backlash against retouching. Even photojournalists have the habit of photographing really hideous places and making them look aesthetically gorgeous, often totally obviating the need for aid. I argue with myself about this ... what do we say when we beautifully render something tragic? I lean towards a more ‘real’ interpretation, when facing the challenge. Everyone loves a pretty Santa Fe photo, but Santa Fe is also grit and dirt, heat and prickly cactus, crumbling adobe, unstuccoed cinder block walls, dying cottonwoods ...
Supercharged: Retro Italian Racing Posters.
Codex99: Hemingway and the Cocktail.
Of interest. You folks misspelled ‘correspondent.’
PhotoShelter Blog: Why Photographers Aren’t Artists.
“The successful photographer is, as Deresiewicz’s friend explained, now an entrepreneur who values having 10,000 contacts more than having Malcolm Gladwell’s mythic 10,000 hours of professional development.” That contention makes me twitch somethin’ awful. I understand the point, but don’t agree with the result. Paraphrased: “You don’t have to be good, just popular.” What do you folks think?
Open Culture: Hear Hemingway Read Hemingway, and Faulkner Read Faulkner.
What’s interesting to me is how slowly Hemingway speaks, with precise pronunciation. You’d think Faulkner would read slower.
ITintheD: What Taking My Daughter to a Comic Book Store Taught Me.
“‘All their ...’ ... and her voice dropped to a whisper ... ‘boobies are hanging out, Dad. These can’t be for kids, and comic books are for kids, and kids aren’t supposed to see that. That Wonder Woman looks like she’s in a video, and I don’t know who that is, but it’s not Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn wears clothes.’” Wisdom from unexpected sources.
NY Review of Books: They’re Watching You Read.
“These statistics are certain to perplex writers who have so often been told by their publishers that a book’s popularity will not be affected in the least by costly newspaper or magazine advertising, but only by the more unpredictable, much desired — and free — publicity generated by ‘word of mouth.’ Are we now to assume that readers are telling their friends to read books that they themselves have failed to finish?”
Strobist/On Assignment: Lighting Like Leo.
Archaeology News Network: Theseus Ring goes on display for the first time.
Nice! Might be a little ‘70’s for my taste (1570’s BC, that is) ...
ArtDaily: Bonhams offers an important collection of Western Americana on Feb 9.
Oh, if I were in San Fran, I’d go to the preview. Bodmer? Catlin? Yesindeed.
Slate: AP “Piss Christ” - Image apparently self-censored after Charlie Hebdo-related complaints.
I have a terrible feeling, between The Interview, Charlie Hebdo and this, that a new wave of ‘shock and offense’ is going to hit the art world.
Widening out a bit: I was discussing the other day, “Is nothing sacred?” As Plato argues, are some acts impious because the Gods say they are, or are Gods saying those acts are impious because they are so by their very nature? Religious texts are pretty quiet on necrophilia, for instance. Plato’s argument may be missing the forest for a couple of trees. There seem to be taboos that religions have missed completely. Makes one wonder what ‘sacreds’ they’ve also missed. The smell of rain in the desert, after a long dry spell, comes to mind.
Smithsonian: Did Civil War Soldiers Have PTSD?
Of course they did. “When over 5,000 Confederates fell in a failed assault at Malvern Hill in Virginia, a Union colonel wrote: ‘A third of them were dead or dying, but enough were alive to give the field a singularly crawling effect.’” The archetype of the mentally scarred warrior has existed for a very, very long time. Even The Iliad talks of battle disgust.
Paris Review: Notes on Becoming a Crank.
“While a crank’s crankiness may manifest in an adherence to social issues (and it often does), a true crank is equally committed to petty concerns, and, indeed, does not distinguish between the two.” And look at the kerning on that font they use ... oops ...
Archaeology News Network: Homer is a tradition, not a person, British historian says.
This is not news; it’s been theorized for decades.
Colossal: The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People.
Nice Marmot: December 2014.
Happy Fifteen. And a worthy read, as always. How many times I contemplate Zhuangzi’s writings, and wonder what the hell blogging has to do with anything important. Try “Knowledge Wandered North.” There isn’t a day goes by, I don’t think about this.
Fubiz: Ghost Ship Light Installation.
Water and lighting. Cool.
Amazon, book — Lyn St. James: An Incredible Journey.
This book should be in every high school. Lyn didn’t start racing the Indy 500 until she was 45. Never say never, people. The whole book is an inspiration, for all women. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with her at Santa Fe Concorso this year; she’s ‘good people’.
Boston Globe Book review: ‘Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography’.
A high school acquaintance wrote a fine review.
Beyond The Margins: The Joy of Writing (Redux)*.
Xmas Gift Suggestion, of the last-minute variety: Will Reichard’s ‘This Album Full of Angles’.
Will’s been a very good friend to this weblog. His foray into novel writing is a worthy effort, being compared to Neil Gaiman. Amazon has the ebook for $0.99, the POD for $10.79, and Smashwords has ebook versions for $0.99. A good holiday read. And you’ll be supporting another blogger.
Aeon: Why we still dream we can live on through fame.
“Alas, recognising the problem doesn’t seem to get us very far. Why would I be writing about the folly of fame, if not so that you remember my name?” Makes me think fondly of the early days of blogging.
The Weekly Standard: Master Class.
“On sparing words, Casey recalls that his agent and his editor both judged a 604-page novel he’d sent them as much too long, so for several months he reworked it, cutting 100 pages but adding a few in the process. When he sent it back, now 640 pages, the agent and editor wrote him, separately, ‘Good. It’s much shorter.’” I love that anecdote. There’s writing, and then there’s writing.
Shakespeare Forever: Cate Blanchett as Richard II in the Sydney ...
I just might be tempted to empty my savings to experience this.