Some Notions

The premier journal of http://clinomania.blogspot.com criticism.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


We today launch what we hope will be an ongoing and enlightening project. And, we might add, one long overdue: A biography of Jack. This will be based on various anecdotes he has related to us, and on his writings, and will attempt to draw together the known facts about his formation as an artist. One hesitates to extrapolate too deeply from life to art - the stated position of this review is to avoid excessive and overt biographical criticism. Nonetheless, one is interested in The Artist as A Young Man, and the study of an author's development can indeed take the mind on the most satisfying routes of exploration.

So, we begin.

It was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that Jack first engaged the world. The rich and storied cultural history of that town need not be elaborated upon here - it was and is a mecca of science and humanities, nestled in a crook beside the river Charles, and haphazardly laid out by subsequent generations of distracted minds. Its angles and alleyways have proved fodder for countless hours of undergraduate exploration and post-graduate speculation, and offer shelter to any who dwell in the realm of ideas: the punk-painted youth, his thoughts given over to skateboard tricks and rebellion; the daft old lady, her communications directed more towards birds than humans, and both apparently delighted with the exchange; the frazzled Taiwanese, grinding through chemical equations in his mind as he scurries off to meet his pimpled, timid paramour; the bombastic professor, who earns his bread by the sweat of his jaw, and the furrowing of his brow, pumping out blowhard bromides to obscure journals. On its tangled web of streets we see the student-architect, designing moonbases in his head; the disciplined lawyer, making of the chaos of the world a sensible ream of regulation; the athlete, his body fit for Sargent's paintbrush, forming himself into a study of muscle and shape; the wandering tourist, desperately trying to seize from this place some sense of its speciality.

But what most seemed to impress our young Jack was that there was a British-themed pizza restaurant. Anyone familiar with the tomatoed breadpie knows immediately to associate it with the Italianite race. How should it come to be that sons and daughters of Albion should be making that food prized by teens and single mothers? No easy answer presents itself; and indeed, none seemed to for young Jack. Rather than accept some pat answer, he chose the harder path - to accept that here was an example of a world out of line, a strange paradox for which there was no explanation.

And so the boy put into his head at a ripe age the idea of the world's absurdities. Seemingly an obvious realization, one that perhaps every man must make at some point. But in this case, the discovery of the world's madness, its congruence, its silliness was more important. For from this notion a life, and career, had found its theme.

posted by SC  # 3:09 PM
Okay, bear with me, because things are getting complicated: I am using the comments sections of a website devoted to recording my hagiography in order to advise people to visit http://lastyearswinner.blogspot.com/2004/11/four-more-years.html#comments, the website of a young correspondent of mine who I don't believe I've ever met, where there is a link posted to a website, created by said young correspondent, to reproduce a single excerpt from my blog. So, follow the above link to find a link to a little missive I composed on my blog a month and a half ago before my blog went to seed.
I don't know HOW I can be enjoying so much difficulty in producing my blog lately when there's a biopic about Picabo Street being produced with the working title Skibiscuit.

I hope the new year brings posts such as this more frequently. The last thing any of us wants to see is more blog-on-blog violence.

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