Author: Jeremy Solomons

Let The Ideas In

In The Red Hand Files, Nick Cave has this advice for a “blocked” songwriter:

My advice to you is to change your basic relationship to songwriting. You are not the ‘Great Creator’ of your songs, you are simply their servant, and the songs will come to you when you have adequately prepared yourself to receive them. They are not inside you, unable to get out; rather, they are outside of you, unable to get in. Songs, in my experience, are attracted to an open, playful and motivated mind. Throw my song away – it isn’t that good anyway – sit down, prepare yourself and write your own damn song. You are a songwriter. You have the entire world to save and very little time to do it. The song will find its way to you. If you don’t write it, someone else will. Is that what you want? If not, get to it.

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See Colours Again

There is so much talk at the moment about taking time away from our phones and paying attention to the real world unfiltered.

In 2000, John Berger and John Christie published their correspondance that began with an exchange of letters about Cadmium Red. After reading this book, you will see colours anew. Two men committed to art and to expressing their ideas about it.

The book is made up of facsimiles of some hand written letters, some one-off books made by Christie and samples of the art they are discussing.

Take time. Look at the book. Reflect on the text. When your eyes leave the page. The world has changed.

Reading Literary Fiction Leads to Better Emotional Intelligence a Study Finds

Written by Melissa Dahl in The Cut

There’s that quote from To Kill a Mockingbird, that the best way to understand another person is to “climb into [their] skin and walk around in it.” This sounds a little Silence of the Lambs when taken out of context, so here is an alternate way of improving your capacity for empathy: Read more literary fiction.

Or so goes the argument recently put forth by a pair of researchers, who find that familiarity with literary fiction — in contrast to genre fiction (mystery, sci-fi, romance, and the like) — is associated with greater emotional intelligence. 

https://www.thecut.com/2016/08/to-improve-your-social-skills-read-better-books.html

Weegee: Serial Photographer

Another review of a book by Max de Radiguès. This time with art by Wauter Mannaert and originally published in Paris, but with a full on Jewish–New -York-American subject: Arthur (Ascher) Fellig (also known as Weegee.)

Weegee obsessively photographs murders in the seamier streets of the city. He’s often there before the police and notoriously rearranges bodies to get a better shot. He knew the police. He knew the underworld and the prostitutes. Much of Weegee’s time is spent on the Lower East Side, where he has a marriage-like friendship with Rita a cafe owner, and has sex with Irma a local prostitute. But despite his notoriety, and the fact that the newspapers are buying his photos, he wants to be accepted in the art world and Hollywood, and he gets to try both. Just as in Bastard, the main character is unsympathetic , but Radiguès surprises and make him endearing. Check this book out. Check out the original photos. Weegee is also the inspiration for characters in films such as A Public Eye, Nightcrawler and Watchmen. And it’s Fellig photo which is the cover and inspiration for the name of Naked City’s (the John Zorn group) first album.