Thursday, March 31, 2011

@ Confit...

I went with a friend last night to the Confit Bistro "Back Room" arts night. It is such a wonderful space, a fusion of contemporary style with a nostalgic twist, that serves up amazing Mediterranean inspired tappas.

Resident poet Graham Nunn, and his wife Julie Beveridge, read some of Jack Kerouac's poetry in honor of his birthday this month. There was also two performers from Zen Zen Zo, who performed a cabaret number, as a bit of a teaser for their Cabaret production that will begin in August. Cindy Keong had an exhibition of her photography and read poetry inspired by a recent trip to Tanzania. And Sheish Money performed (variously on guitar, keys and with a harmonica) alongside Jane Sheehy (on keys) and Graham Nunn. Sheish was obviously feeling generous, and gave everyone in the crowd a copy of his CD "Would Could Should".

You can listen to Sheish's music here and here. I wish I was more of a music aficionado and could do a decent job of trying to describe his music for you. Instead, all I can tell you is that when he performs it reminds me of: Tom Waits, Leadbelly, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Paul Kelly, Woody and Arlo Gutherie and Jim Morrison. He has this wonderful gravel in his voice and writes fantastic songs. Needless to say I had a wonderful night. It is on again next month... stay tuned.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Seven things...

 Seven of my favorite books on my darling old stove. 
Close up photograph of the signed books. 

I've been tagged over at Hila's blog for a Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks Hila. So as part of the award you have to share seven things about yourself... I recently did just that for another award, so I thought I would share seven of my favorite books instead.

My favorites would vary on any given day, but today I have chosen:

1. The catalogue of Man Ray's photography that I picked up at the Queensland Art Gallery when an exhibition of his work toured here in about 2004.

2. Writings and Drawings by Bob Dylan (1972).

3. An autographed copy of Paul Kelly's How to Make the Gravy. He is one of the greatest singer/ songwriters ever.

4. A signed copy of Allen Ginsberg's Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Poems and Songs 1949- 1993 that I purchased (with joy) at the Beat Museum in San Francisco. Though technically not a book, I am sure you will forgive me.

5. A very dog-eared copy of Douglas Adam's The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts.  Published in 1984 before he wrote the fifth novel, I read this so many times in high school.

6. A boxed edition of Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood. So beautiful, I bought this online because I couldn't find a paperback copy of it anywhere at the time.

7. And a signed copy of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Poetry as Insurgent Art. I love the poem "Popular Manifesto # 1".

The seven books were hard to choose, but not as hard as coming up with another seven things about me that you may not know. Now I get pass on the Versatile Bloggers Award and get some other bloggers to share seven things about themselves - if they want to play along. So I tag some of my favorite blogs: Another Lost Shark,  Time's Stemmed FlowWhispering Gums, Nonsuch Book, Interpolations, Kit and Nancy,  and Handmade Romance.

Productive mess...

Why does productivity seem to go hand and hand with mess - or is that just me? I am working through the feedback that I got from my supervisors on Friday regarding my Prospectus. There are piles of articles, reviews, drafts etc. on my desk, not to mention the piles on the floor... But it is coming together and I am pretty sure I will have hammered it all into shape by the time it is due next Monday. Then I just have an oral to write and present before I go to Sydney!

I am looking forward to another productive (if messy) week. Hope yours is great too!

PS. If you are in Brisbane, don't forget about the poetry reading in the Valley on Wednesday night!
PPS. Happy Birthday to Frank O'Hara for yesterday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Something for the weekend...

The Library from Sergey Stefanovich on Vimeo.

Thanks to Anthony from Time's Flow Stemmed for sharing a link to this great little film. A look into writer Duncan Fallowell's London apartment. I want to live here.


Hila made a great link between the Surrealist collages I wrote about yesterday and cut-up poems.  Dada and Surreal poets used cut-up and collage techniques, and these ideas were developed further and popularised by Brion Gysin and William S Burroughs in the 1950s. So I thought I would share this clip of Gysin and Burroughs discussing cut-ups; it also contains examples of their cut-ups (as well as footage of Burroughs' missing pinky finger - his original cut-up?). Burroughs extended his prose cut-ups techniques to audio cut-ups and film cut-ups (i.e. montages).  He also apparently invented the phrase "heavy metal". Burroughs is one of the wonders of the world.

Bellemeade Books recently posted about Burroughs' relationships with cats and the book he wrote about them - worth checking out if you like either Burroughs or cats (or like me, both).

NB. Sorry about the Burroughs cut-up finger joke. But he did do a bit of a Van Gogh to impress a boy apparently. Burroughs cut off half his pinky instead of his ear, and as with Van Gogh, the recipients of the ear and the finger were less than impressed I believe.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Andre Breton...

Paris Surrealists c.1930 left to right: Tristan Tzara, Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Hans Arp, Paul Eluard, 
Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst, Andre Breton and Rene Crevel.

In keeping with the up and coming Surrealism exhibition I thought I would post a few bits and pieces on Andre Breton. Salvador Dali might be the most well known Surrealist, but Breton wrote the first Surrealist manifesto in 1924, where he defined Surrealism as:
Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express -- verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner -- the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.
A little Breton history:
Breton published Le Manifeste du surréalisme in 1924 and founded the review La Révolution surréaliste (1924–29) that considered the role of painting in Surrealism through the works of Picasso, De Chirico, Max Ernst, Man Ray, André Masson, Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy and Jean Arp in a series of articles. These and other artists were also included in the first group exhibition of surrealist paintings, ‘La Peinture surréaliste’, organised by Breton in 1925. He published a second manifesto of Surrealism in 1930, proposing that apparent contradictions within reality could be resolved creatively through the autonomy of art. His collecting and studying of Oceanic and Native American art contributed to the recognition of non-Western models of cultural expression in Europe, as well as nourishing the surrealist fascination with magic, cult objects and fetishism. (GOMA)

He is also responsible for one of my favorite quotes that I used to have up in my classroom: 
"The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot."

I loved teaching my art classes about Surrealism, we would look at the work of the Surrealists and examine Surrealist techniques like dislocation, transformation and juxtaposition. The students would create their our Surreal artworks on canvas and in Photoshop. I especially liked making Surreal collages with them, cutting up magazines and creating dreamscapes utilising Surrealist techniques. Great memories. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Okay, so I am getting a little distracted... all images from Bookshelf Porn

PS. Happy Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti - 92! We love you!

I love mail!

More new arrivals. Mother I'm Rooted, a 1975 anthology of Australian women's poetry (though I read a few males poets got in with females pseudonyms).  Alan Wearne's first book of poems (signed) Public Relations (1972) and part of the same series, Love Voyages (1974) by Kris Hemensley, which was about his eighth book of poetry. Lovely, lovely. More reading to do!

PS. If your poetry inclined, check out Issue 8 of foam:e magazine edited by Laurie Duggan. I love how he ends his editorial:

The guest editorship has given me an opportunity to look at things from ground level, especially with the unsolicited work in the inbox. I see this issue as a kind of party: old friends including visitors from afar, new friends, and a number of people I haven’t yet met (the odd gatecrasher even). The drinks are in the bath folks!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reading day...

I am still working on the prospectus for my thesis and have been going to the library everyday finding more reviews, articles etc. in an attempt to read everything possible on, about, or by, the two poets that I am going to interview next month (John Tranter and Robert Adamson). As the majority of these articles are in journals that can't be borrowed  I have spent $60 on photocopying since Saturday. I now have a lot of reading to do! I still have a long list yet of articles to get (in due time), but I am now on a first name basis with the librarians. While I was there yesterday I also borrowed a whole pile of books. In future however, I need to think about the weight of the pile of books versus the number of kilometers my car is from the library. I needed a nap (or a strong drink) by the time I got said pile of books and photocopies to my car.

So today is a reading day - I feel very lucky that this is my "job" at the moment (I am on a scholarship, so I do get paid for doing this, in a way). Now, back to it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

New treasures...

Hugo Ball, 1916 reading Dada poetry

I am busy preparing for my PhD prospectus presentation and interviews with two more poets, so just a quick post about some new books. Today Laurie Duggan's New and Selcted Poems 1971- 1993 arrived, it was published in 1996 and I was able to track it down brand new (republished?) through the publisher. I also bought myself a copy of Flight Out of Time with the "oh so mid 1990s" bright pink cover (do you have a self of bright coloured covers from the 90s?). The garish cover aside, this is a collection of the writings of Hugo Ball (key Dadaist), including his diaries from 1910-21 and Dada manifestos. Finally, the most beautiful book that I have purchased for some time, The Elements of In-Betweenarrived last week. It is a book of film reviews by Hila Shachar, illustrated by Amy Borrell. Some of you might know Hila from her lovely blog le projet d'amour

Wishing you all a wonderful and productive week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Seven things...

A Little Bird Told Me has given me a Stylish Blogger Award. Thank you. So to play along, I have to come up with seven things you may not know about me.

1. I've been to thirteen countries and lived in fifteen different places. I would like to move less and travel more.

2. When I was teaching Art in a high school, at different times I also taught Film and TV, Social Sciences and Legal Studies (!). I never taught English, even though I am actually qualified to do that!

3. I took on three prac students when I was a teacher and two of them went on to get jobs at the school. I was so proud!

4. I am not Catholic, but when I was doing my Bachelor of Arts I did a philosophy and theology class at the Australian Catholic University and most of my fellow class mates were 21 and training to be priests. It was a strange experience.

5. The last award I won was an Excellence in Education Award from the Australian College of Educators for my involvement in a 'Building Racial Harmony Project'. I got to go to lovely dinner.

6. I love playing chess, but I am not very good at it, Dylan beats me four times out of every five.

7. I am getting married in September and my sister and Dylan's sister are going to be bridesmaids, as well as my dear friend Dave. I was a groom's wo/man (person?) at his fantastic 1920s themed wedding.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh Dylan...

I have almost finished reading Robert Adamson's autobiography Inside Out. Adamson started writing poetry in prison and he recounts how he first starting writing; what he was reading, the people inside who gave him reading lists, lent him books and broadened his understanding of contemporary poetry. It is quite a journey, but one of the things that stuck with me was his delight when they got speakers at the prison and he started to hear music in his cell for the first time, even if the "screws" chose the stations.

He writes about a "young man" called John Laws who was mocking Bob Dylan's inability to sing, and to support his argument Laws played a small part of Dylan's "Only a Pawn in their Game" (see the above clip).

For Adamson, those first few lines "seared themselves across my brain like fire:
A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Ever's blood.
A finger pulled the trigger to his name. 
... I'd never heard anything like it before... It spoke to something deep inside of me. I felt like I'd been waiting to hear it all my life."

One of the first things Adamson did when he got out of prison was buy a Dylan record, and then save for a record player and then a typewriter. I always thought that "Only a Pawn in their Game" was a powerful song, but reading Adamson's autobiography makes me think about how it profoundly changed and inspired people; as well as the countless other Dylan tracks that continue to inform, influence and inspire. And I love the clip, 1963 Newport, he is so young.

PS. If you are in Brisbane on the 30th of his month you might want to help celebrate Kerouac's birthday with some poetry at the Confit Bistro. See Graham's blog for details!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How do you study?

My sister Christina sent me a link to the Squiggly Rainbow blog where Rachael was looking for some advice on studying. Christina thought I might be able to offer some advice. I am no expert, but I do have plenty of experience (over ten years at uni - am I really that old?) and have been going to workshops at uni since I started the PhD. So I thought I would share the (long) comment I left on Rachael's blog, in case it helps someone else, but also so I remember to follow it too!

I have been going to a lot of "how to study" workshops at uni lately. 

Some ideas:

Do you have a work space? A desk or somewhere you can work uninterrupted? Maybe even if it is at the library?

Do you have a diary or a calendar with all due dates, family commitments etc written down?

Do you set aside huge chunks of time or work when you get a chance? In the workshops they say that if you say, "Oh I will do it on Monday when no one is home and I have all day", that is inevitably when you will mop and clean etc and not get around to it. So the answer is to chip away every day. Do a bit here and a bit there, even if it is only 10 or 20 mins it adds up.

Make lists of things to do and reward yourself when you get them done. Celebrate the victories, even if they are small and you will feel like you are progressing. Reward yourself with procrastination. Start the assignment and then write the blog post, or read a chapter and then knit for half an hour. 

Let the people in your life know what you are doing and how you are going so they can support you. Which might mean someone else minding the children, cooking dinner or just having a coffee and listening to assignment ideas.

Look and see what study workshops (if any) your uni offers, or whether you can join a study group. Are you external or on campus? Either way, connect online or over a cuppa with folks who are going through the same thing you are.

Get a copy of the referencing guide you need for assignments, don't lose marks over something as fixable as a bibliography!

Figure out what kind of learner you are. Do you remember things if you write them out? Do you need to hear them, or talk about them? Does highlighting texts in different colours help you remember things? I use lots of post it notes, flags and coloured pens! And I take lots of notes in lectures and then go over them later.

Set time to do all the things you need to do, but prioritise them. Does it matter if the garden needs a prune when you have an assignment to do? It will still be there when you are done.

Set big and little goals, so you achieve along the way, but you know what you are really aiming for in the end.

Ask for help when you need it! Your lectures are paid to help you and I think often we are too scared to look silly and ask dumb questions. Just do it, seek clarification and feedback. Go to their office, email them or telephone. You have every right to!

Try brainstorming ideas and making concept maps or mind maps if you are stuck. Google these if you need to. 

I could keep going, but I guess the key points are: 

set goals


write/read regularly

work out your timelines

chip away - be persistent!

Good luck!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011


My Cosi review has now been posted online at the M/C Reviews website here

Playing catch up...

Artist Des Verdon with his two paintings in the "What is Blue to You?" exhibition. 

What a weekend! We had wonderful friends from Toowoomba come and visit us on Friday night, Saturday afternoon I went to a wholesale Jewellery fair with my sister at the Convention Center and Saturday night Dylan and I went and saw Cosi at the Brisbane Arts Theater in Petrie Terrace. Sunday we drove up to Toowoomba to see the exhibition "What is Blue to You?" at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, as we had three friends with works in the show. The opening was packed, but I managed to snap one picture of my friend Des with his two paintings, "Pablo" on the left and "Change or Cease", a portrait of Brett Whiteley on the right. I also managed to catch up with a whole heap of friends and colleagues from my time living and teaching in Toowoomba, it was a great exhibition and a lot of fun to see everyone again. 

I have just finished writing a review of Cosi, as I got comp review tickets and I will let you know when and where it is being published soon. I spent all day Friday transcribing the interview with Alan Wearne for my PhD and I am almost halfway through. I can't believe people do this kind of thing for a living, then again, they would be so much faster than me at it! So life continues on, busy but wonderful.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Jack...

Happy 89th Birthday Jack Kerouac

“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” Jack Kerouac.

Friday, March 11, 2011

1960s bookbinding...

I watched this 1961 American Bookbinders documentary clip over at the always wonderful The Casual Optimist blog. It is only thirteen minutes long, but I have never seen such a good little film about book binding in the 1960s, it is just fantastic and makes me appreciate my old books even more. I would love to see a contemporary equivalent to this clip that shows how books are made now. If anyone knows of such a film let me know too!

New books in time for the weekend...

Archives Fine Books. Image credit

Yesterday, when I ventured into the city I also went to Archives Fine Books on Charlotte Street. It is like a hall that has been filed with a million books, with row after row of close shelves stacked to the ceiling. It is a wonderful bookstore, but it is also like a tomb for dead books. It is so silent in there (they need some soft music playing or something) that you can hear other people browsing and it feels a little morgue-ish. Having said that, there are rows and rows of wonderfully tempting books. I have bought many out of print treasures there over the years. 

I came away from Archives yesterday with Charles Buckmaster's Collected Poems. An Australian poet associated with the "generation of 68" who sadly took his own life in 1972, when he was just 21 years old. For a detailed post about Buckmaster by someone who knew him well, have a look at Kris Hemensley's (poet and owner of Collected Works bookshop in Melbourne) blog

I also picked up Charles Bukowski's first novel Post Office. I have only read his poetry previously, so I was excited by this find. And The Salt Companion to John Tranter, edited by Rod Mengham, came in the mail this week. John Tranter is a leading Australian poet, critic and anthologiser and is central to me PhD thesis. I am meeting him next month in Sydney, so this book of essays will complement his poetry, reviews and previous interviews that I have been reading. 

So that is my happy haul of poetry this week, I have ordered a few more books and will play show and tell when they arrive! 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feeling inspired...

I finished my first full draft of my revised prospectus yesterday and emailed all twenty-seven pages of it off to my supervisors, so today I am back to transcribing my recent interview with the poet Alan Wearne. I took some time out and caught a bus into Brisbane city and went looking about the bookstores and office supply shops. I was inspired in part by finishing one project and by my little book outing to come home and rearrange my study desk. I bought some news pens and some bookends for the books that were littering my desk and a pen holder to dump all my miscellaneous pens into. I also took advantage of the shelf under my glass top Ikea desk to display some of my favorite books, including my signed copy of Allen Ginsberg's Holy Soul Jelly Roll.

Now I feel very organised and ready to continue with my transcribing project, surrounded by beautiful and inspirational books.

PS. Sorry about the glare in the photographs. Due to the position of my desk under the window, light comes through the curtains and reflects on the glass desk top. Not a problem when I am working, but it makes it hard to take photographs!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Oh Dora...

Brisbane's first exhibition of Surrealism in almost twenty years is on its way! The works will be on loan from the Pompidou Center in Paris, including works by Dali, Ernst, Miro and Margritte. There will be over 180 paintings, as well as film and photography by artists like Man Ray and Dora Maar.

If you haven't heard of Dora Maar before, you still may have seen her. She was one of Picasso's lovers and muses and also a painter, poet and photographer. Her "real" name was Henritte Theodora Markovitch and she was a well known photographer by the time she met Picasso at the "Cafe les Duex Magots" in 1936. She was 29 and Picasso was 54. Their relationship lasted nearly nine years and Picasso painted her often and regarded her as his "woman in tears", as she was unable to have children. She had to complete initially with another of Picasso's mistresses, Marie-Therese Walter and was eventually replaced by Francoise Gilot in 1943.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Women's Day...

The 8th of March is International Women's Day and the theme for this year's centenary celebration is:

"Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women"

Reflecting on that theme, as someone who has been a teacher and who has also been in tertiary education for ten years, I think of how much I value education and lifelong learning. I also know how fortunate I have been to be able to have access to, and opportunities for, undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Not everyone everywhere is so fortunate, we still have a long way to go.

Monday, March 7, 2011

White blank page...

Thanks Literary Musings for posting this wonderful "Bookshop Sessions" acoustic clip of Mumford and Sons playing in a book store. A great band and a beautiful backdrop; it is so lovely and makes me wonder why more film clips aren't shot in bookstores.


Can you lie next to her and give her your heart, your heart?
As well as your body, and can you lie next to her and confess your love, your love?
As well as your folly and can you kneel before this king and say ‘I’m clean’, ‘I’m clean’?
But tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart?
But tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart?
Her white blank page & a swelling rage, rage
You did not think when you sent me to the brink, the brink
You desired my attention but denied my affections, affections
So tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart.
Oh tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart
Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life
Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life

Sunday, March 6, 2011


If I am lucky, while I am in Sydney I might get to see the Archibald prize exhibition at the New South Wales art gallery! It starts on the 16th of April and goes until the 26th of June. When I was an art teacher, I taught a unit every year on the Archibald prize and it was one of my favourite units. The students loved the portraits and painted a portrait of their own of someone they admired in the style of one of the previous winners, and then we would have an exhibition of their portraits. There are definitely some things I miss about teaching, and seeing the students apply their knowledge and be creative is certainly one of them.

The Archibald Prize is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art awards. JF Archibald’s primary aims were to foster portraiture, support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians. Since its inception in 1921 the prize has been awarded to some of Australia’s most important artists, including George Lambert, William Dobell and Brett Whiteley. - New South Wales Art Gallery. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hemingway on writing...

It is the weekend, and I am working on my PhD prospectus for a meeting with my supervisor on Monday, so here is a little writing inspiration and advice for you and me from the ever wonderful Hemingway:

Images 1, 2, & 3
"When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through."
 from Paris Review interview.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tickets purchased...

Image credits: Top row. 1, 2 & 3. Bottom row. 1, 2 & 3

for Sydney! Next month I am off for a week of exploring and interviewing poets. I will fly into Sydney, spend a few days there and then catch a train and go to a poetry exhibition in Wollongong. I am very excited, but Sydney still terrifies me; it is a big place when you are on your own and don't know your way around. I was there in January for a conference and only had one day to explore and I got lost and confused several times (and I had to get taxis as I didn't have pre-purchased bus tickets), but I managed to make it to the art gallery and see the Last Emperor exhibition. This time I will be more prepared and buy bus tickets in advance. My next little literary adventure after Sydney will be to Melbourne, for another conference and another interview. I love the combination of travel, literature conferences and PhD interviews - if only I could steal Dylan away from his work and take him with me, then it would be perfect!

Good question...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chatwin in Australia Part 2...

I have posted previously about The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. Even if you didn't read that post, you may still be thinking that this book sounds familiar. That's probably because it is mentioned in "The history of a legendary notebook", the pamphlet included inside every Moleskine notebook. So it is only appropriate that last night when I started my new journal I read that little pamphlet and more of the Chatwin book.

I had commented previously that it felt like the film Crocodile Dundee wasn't far from Chatwin's mind when he was writing this travelogue come fiction. I am now over half way through and whilst Chatwin still seems drawn to barbeque's and tongs (as in footwear not underwear), and every new character is generally either really tall, really short,or really thin or really fat, and has some quirk or defect (scar on face from snake bite, calloused buttocks, scarlet face and stumpy legs), it is very engaging. He keeps meeting these "diamonds in the rough" characters, people who read classics, speak several languages, and are living in the middle of nowhere in caravans filled with books with names like Rolf and Red (the police man who loves Spinoza). Human beings are remarkable things, but it is hard to tell how much of these experiences are real and how much imagined. Then again, I am always dubious of long quotes of "remembered" conversation in non-fiction(ish) books. This book is based upon Chatwin's travels here in the land of Oz, but reviewers write of the "character Bruce", suggestive of the fictionalised elements of the book.

But it is enjoyable, following him on his adventure, and there hasn't really been anymore racist language, but his descriptions of some of the aboriginal women can be hard to read. The book has now taken a turn from his adventures to him reviewing (in a caravan in the middle of nowhere) his Paris notebooks, where he has been recording observations, conversations and literary quotations associated with travel from his adventures all over the world. This chapter is uniquely disjointed as is wanders from Proust to Rimbaud, London to China, and the Bible to Blake. I am really enjoying this section, but just before you get there, we are given the infamous Moleskine story, a story that has helped build a notebook empire. So I quote Bruce (the character and the writer) writing to us from his caravan in The Songlines:

...I made three neat stacks of my 'Paris' notebooks.
In France, these notebooks are known as carnets moleskines: 'moleskine', in this case, being its black oilcloth binding. Each time I went to Paris, I would buy a fresh supply from a papeterie in Rue de l'Ancienne Comedie. The pages were squared and the end-papers held in place with an elastic band. I had a number of them in series. I wrote my name and address on the front page, offering a reward to the finder. To lose a passport was the least of one's worries: to lose a notebook was catastrophe. 
... Some months before I left for Australia, the owner of the papeterie said that the vrai moleskine were getting harder and harder to get. There was one supplier: a small family business in Tours. They were slow in answering letters.
'I'd like to order a hundred,' I said to Madame. 'A hundred to last me a lifetime.'
She promised to telephone Tours at once, that afternoon. 
I kept my appointment with Madame. The manufacturer had died. His heirs had sold the business. She removed her spectacles and, almost with an air of mourning, said, 'Le vrai moleskine n'est plus.' ('The real moleskine is no more')

Bruce Chatwin's wife speaking about his notebooks, with some footage of his notebooks. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

International Women's Day...

Amnesty International Women's Day: 8 - 13 March

Join us for the opening night
When: Tuesday 8th March 6:00 - 9:00pm
Where: Jugglers Art Space 103 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006
Cost: $5 (includes nibbles and glass of wine)
RSVP: 4th March 2011
Contact: (07) 3136 6400
Guest speakers and live entertainment. Light refreshments will be available.
Jugglers is an artist run collective that has been operating since 2002. They generally hold exhibitions of emerging artists and group shows. They also hold drawing classes and offer studio spaces for rent. This month they are recognising International Women's Day. Do you have any plans for this International Women's Day Centenary (1922- 2011)?