Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Blogcasting

Yesterday I made the alarming discovery that that Reading the Maps is on the cusp of its one thousandth post. If you've been bored by endless blocks of text about EP Thompson, the obscurer aspects of Kiwi history, the seedy side of the Auckland literary scene and the perfidy of Australian cricketers, then you might be relieved to know that we're now mixing media a little by venturing into the realm of blogcasting. Not that we'll be steering too far from those tried and true topics.

'Who's we?' I hear you asking. I'm all too aware of the tardiness of the two people who are supposed to be co-authors of this blog - I think it's about a year since Muzzlehatch deigned to post, and months since Skyler's last effort - but over the past fortnight I've coerced them to take part in the shambolic recording sessions for a series of blogcasts by buying them both copious amounts of booze and plugging a mike into Muzzlehatch's computer.

Our first blogcast, which I've put online in downloadable format here, is an occasionally coherent discussion of the fortunes of Titus Books and independent publishing in Aotearoa, the alchemical novels of Jack Ross, the tangled forest of Jen Crawford's poetry, and Bill Direen's interpretation of the life of Michael Joseph Savage. We've punctuated proceedings with bootleg Direen and Dead Men Rising recordings, and thrown in a late night interview with Richard 'it's a spot of luck you caught me sober' Taylor for good measure. Don't take it all too seriously.

In a couple of days I'll post our second, somewhat more organised blogcast, which includes a long interview with Sinologist, musicologist and travel writer Michael Arnold about Chinese culture, the Olympics, the proper relation between politics and music, and the hallucinatory effects of African drumming.

6 Comments:

Blogger jen said...

I enjoyed hearing the musical presentation of those excerpts - not to question your masculinity or anything, but your reading was sensitive. & the accompaniment was lovely - thanks to you and Andrew.

7:41 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

The reason I kept saying "What" is not that I'm a deaf old miserable codger - I am a miserable old codger (but not deaf) - but because Muzzle's phone was pretty muted or mine was - I just cleaned mine up etc...so it's now better.
The Podcast was good - I suppose of of course it will only appeal to a limited audience.

A good description of Jen's poetry. Clearly Skyler suffering from being in such dark, drunken boatishean, evil, Titus Groanassean, sweaty, dangerous, grungerous and semi-macho environments...

Because I praised Jack Ross's book (Nights with Giodorno) doesn't alter the fact that he is - well - he is, while greatly erudite and talented...he is..hmmm... something...he publishes too much? No?

BTW I reviewed two of Jacks books (both were excellent books):

and I was the first to review Brunton's "Moonshine" (a great book)...

9:34 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Cheers Jen. Sorry about the lame rhymed couplet that I used for a chorus...

11:25 am  
Blogger jen said...

hey Scott - I liked the rhymed couplet! music creates 'space' around poetry that allows for different things - creates a frame for repetitions, texture for simplicity. so I thought this worked really well - tonally apt & all. Also liked that you took the liberty of altering, so it became an interpretation rather than just a straight reading. I imagine it could easily be awful to hear your work 'done' by someone else, but this wasn't at all.

1:24 pm  
Blogger Jack Ross said...

I dunno. The idea of blogcasts is undoubtedly a good one, and one can always turn it on to accompany other activities (such as washing the dishes), but it might be best to cut down on all the drink-breaks, clinking noises etc. I mean, do they really need to be recorded for posterity? Just a bit of editing and tidying, and you could be onto a really good use of the medium ...

Fascinating (for me, at any rate) to hear Muzzlehatch's account of his discovery of Nights with Giordano Bruno ... I always suspected university libraries were the places to plant one's books.

12:27 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

I think the "event" or podcast should be unedited - basically - given the elimination of some really "bad" things - so I disagree with the sometimes over-clinical and dangerously suave Dr Ross here - but I think it is a matter of viewpoint or "personality" rather than anything essential.

We are of course (most of us) "people nobody reads" - except for Muzzlehatches and their ilk ferreting feverishly and endlessly and probing with tormented souls through obscure, evil, and dark, and deeply dusty, bookshops: in the inner sanctums or the quagmires of and the miasmic and huge and oppressively fearful but fascinating libraries where usually no one reads anything beautiful or interesting any more; but where there there are to be observed hordes of fresh faced youth, indeed masses of tabulae rasae - Rossian androids some of them? perhaps? ...who are endlessly and sadly studying and scribbling and schrifting at commerce,& dread dead and Heartless Science, Hopeless Logic, or cumbrous, cold and unhuman Computer Studies etc etc etc etc -
ad aeternum - all, all, bent intently to their number-cumbered exercise books - in the hopeless and pathetic and endlesss illusion that one day they will be happy because immensely and obscenely wealthy...

Ross(who has no such idle and temporal or materialistic
illusions, or illusions of any kind) ( be they Hegelian, Kantian, Cartesian, Beckkettian, Crumpian or even Derridean) knows this - so he cunningly and connivingly "plants" his books - like the obscure and tiny yet potent seeds of lilies or violets or redolent freeshias (or Triffids?)- in hopelessly obscure places - only for the inquisitive and the brave - or those seeking something "more" whatever that might be...

The tragedy is that Ross's huge brain - reputed (in some circles I have ventured into) to be bigger than 100 Universes (and as complex, prolix, profuse ("Profuse, profuse, tortuous and involute the mind.")); or as deep and endless as 100,000 million million mazes and Borgesian labyrinths full of burning Parsiphaes etc)...) - knows so much, retains so much: so much - and his works are so difficult, so profuse, complex, mystical and multidimensional; and so deeply deeply and Faustianly profound - that no one - or almost no one except the odd inquiring and suffering Muzzlehatches of this futile earthly and godless Muckball - can ever, ever, hope to understand them....

3:49 pm  

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