Hello my little veggie cocktail sausages! I thought I’d share with you a BBC radio show of one of my favourite parody satirical poets (is that even a thing?) Tim Key looking into one of the most fascinatingly odd Russian absurdist writers, Daniil Kharms.
The BBC info reads:
“Daniil Kharms (1905-1942) is one of Russia’s great lost absurdists – a writer whose world still alarms, shocks and bewitches more than half a century after he died in prison during the siege of Leningrad.
In his short, almost vignette-like writings, nothing is sacred or as it seems. His narrators dip in and out of moments, describing curious, often disturbing events before getting bored and leaving his characters to their fates. Old ladies plummet from windows, townsfolk are bludgeoned to death with cucumbers, others wander around in search of glue, sausages or nothing. By turns pointless and harrowing, they are funny. Very funny. And they are funny now.
Comedian, Russophile and crumpled polymath Tim Key has been entranced by Kharms’ beautiful, horrible, hilarious world for years. But is there more to Kharms than a series of curious happenings cooked up by an eccentric mind in a troublesome world? Key suspects there is. And he’s prepared to delve.
As he delves, he encounters Noel Fielding, Alice Nakhimovsky, Matvei Yankelevich, Peter Scotto, Tony Anemone and Daniil Kharms.”
So, without further fannying about, here it is. Enjoy!
I’ll just give a little personal update before looking up weird arty things to share. The first video is a vlog of my two weeks spent at home with Bill in Southend, Essex. The second is a reading (not live) of my occult science fiction horror short story.
If you ever wanted to learn how to make a Sidecar cocktail…ask Bill, not me. I’m also still reading my favourite stories each week here.
Bonjour my little balls of bellybutton fluff that are quite cute really so you leave them where they are. I’m madly getting everything ready for my reading in Brighton this weekend (for the Fringe Festival) so expect more on that next week.
In the meantime here are some short films, some on writing, some on art, some just creative, from a video, article and exhibition project called The Fifth Sense between Chanel (yes, the perfume/designers) and iD. Vice has more info.
I like Jellywolf because it gives you a really good insight into my life around age 19-24: lots of luminous clothes and clubs and a world not quite set in reality.
Here’s the director, Alma Har’el, talking about making films.
Photographer Harley Weir discusses her photography and film work.
Her final project became portraits of five different artistic women. The first is poet Zariya Allen.
Next is dancer Manthe Ribane.
Then artist Christine Sun Kim.
Then photographer Momo Okabe
Lastly actress Oulaya Amamra.
Finally, here is a video of the mirror sculpture exhibition by Es Devlin. See you next week!
Afraid I can’t write too much because I am suffering some serious lady time issues. I’ve shared fiction podcasts and writing advice podcasts, now allow me to share some true story, factual and informative podcasts that stray on the creepy, weird and dark side.
Here is the latest episode of the podcast that focuses on weird episodes of history, The Dancing Plague. Mass Hysteria is a particular fascination of mine, and podcast creator Nathaniel Lloyd seeks to question “Can we trust history as we have received it?”
This is a fantastic and informative true crime podcast, focusing on different and often unusual stories each episode. In Eight Years we discover being a Harry Potter fan isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Hilarious husband and wife team (she’s a doctor) take a humorous look at medical mishaps and odd cures of the past. In this episode they explore the man who couldn’t stop eating, including a cat, a puppy, a snake, an eel, offal and poultices:
Genuinely informative and in-depth horror podcast for film buffs and nerds, this goes beyond the usual horror fan chit chat and discusses film making and horror as an art. This episode is about beautiful black and white flicks Night of the Hunter and The Innocents:
Hosted by writer/performer/general weirdos Dr Bramwell and David Mounfield, each episode features different speakers offering “a portal into the fringes of culture; its mavericks and pranksters, adventurers and occultists, artists, comics, eroticists and even the odd chef,” all before a live studio audience. Of course I picked the Sherlock Holmes episode.
Good day my little cocktail cheeses. I made a tiny video which is hopefully full of good advice on how to reach your goals when aiming for your daily word count. Enjoy, and feel free to visit my youtube for story readings (mine and other people’s), tips and general oddity.
P.S. yep my hair is gone. I have entered the Jazz age!
Hello my little dustpan brushes sprinkled with attractive gems. Recently I read Surrealist Women: An International Anthology. The kindle version is slightly cheaper than the hard copies but still costs a whopping thirty pounds. I do think it’s worth saving up for, however, as it is an almost exhaustive encyclopedia of all females involved in the art movement from the twenties to sixties counter-culture to now, including examples of their work.
The essays at the beginning of each new era, separated into chapters, refutes the idea that women were not as involved as men. While they were not seen as full members during the twenties they were just as passionate, and only a decade later their participation exploded. It only seems to be outside critics and scholars who have omitted them since.
This passage offers an explanation for the reticence at the start (Andre Breton’s wife, Simone Kahn, wrote several letters to her cousin Denise Levy in the early years): “Although masculine egotism surely existed in the Surrealist Group, what is known of Kahn’s correspondence refutes the temptingly simple but shallow argument that the relatively small production of the first womensurrealists can be blamed on male chauvinism alone. What held these women back, more than likely, was a complex of inhibitions and fears inherited from centuries of French and European patriarchal, capitalist, Christian culture; notions of “feminine reserve,” “woman’s place,” and “biological destiny” that they had internalized more or less unconsciously as children and which continued to wreak havoc in their psyches in later years, despite themselves.”
The author mentions other biographies of individuals but Surrealist Women is packed with primary research and any omissions of a particular writer/artist’s contribution to surrealism is addressed. She also looks at surprising aspects of surrealism, such as it’s affinities with Trotsky and other leftist leaders as well as feminism. In the early thirties the wall street crash brought a tide of woman-hating against those who ‘stole the jobs of men.’ Two high profile murder cases took place in France during that time, the Papin sisters – maids who killed their bosses – and Violette Noizierre. Both were reported vitriolically by the press as examples of women running amok, but apparently the Surrealists were one of only a few groups to point out that all women involved were being abused and possibly acted in self-defense.
I discovered several writers and artists I had never heard of as well as learning more about others. As a huge fan of Anais Nin I was excited to discover Nelly Kaplan who, under the name Belen, wrote “erotic tales of black humor.” She is also a filmmaker, one of her best known being A Very Curious Girl (1967).
There was also Suzanne Cesaire, born in Martinique. Though her husband, Aime, often overshadowed her, she was very active and started the magazine ‘Tropiques’ with him. There’s Joyce Mansour, the best known Surrealist female poet once told by Breton himself “Your gift is that of a genius,” and Rikki Ducornet, artist as well as author, who has illustrated books by Jorge Luis Borges among others.
I enjoyed it and learned a lot, and now have plenty of further reading and art to explore, as will you.
Hello my little lonely partnerless socks found on the floor which I pair with another partnerless one! I have a new short story in the absurdist/bizarro anthology Tall Tales With Short Cocks 5 (Rooster Republic Press) and hopefully you will find it very funny. Here’s what the publisher has to say about it:
“In the fifth installment of Rooster Republic’s flagship anthology series, we have some really tremendous fiction. It’s great. You can’t beat fiction like this. A lot of kids come up to me and they tell me how great they think this fiction is. I believe them. Believe me, it’s a great collection with some fantastic authors giving us their best work. I believe me.
Why don’t you? You too good for all this fun, freaky, and far-out fiction? Maybe go read a book about bird watching, you voyeuristic pervert. This anthology is for connoisseurs who are sick of watching birds. They want to look at words—not at our fine feathered friends. Though, if I’m being honest, I’ve never met a bird I would call my friend. Sure, those doves helped me move. BUT I GAVE THEM BIRDSEED. Real friends don’t demand food from you. They just help you move, wish you luck, and then leave forever until you need them again. The stories in this anthology will be great friends. You can read them, put them back on the shelf, and pull them out whenever you feel like it. Or if you don’t feel like it, they aren’t going to call you up and be all like, “Hey, wanna get something to eat at that new taco cart I saw on the corner of Johnson and Johnson?” That would be the end of American fiction, I can tell you. Not that all the authors in this collection are Americans. Some are UKish, and some, I assume, are also good people. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Chickens Are Birds. Rooster Republic 2016!!!!!”
So there we are, clearly you need this in your life, and here it is!