Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Struggling to Hear

"Each art form has its own unique advantages and limitations. Words and music unfold successively, through time. Photography is about an instant. By analogy it can ask the impossible: in this case, what if you could hear every note of Beethoven's sonatas in an instant? What would that look like? And when we think of a piece of music that we know well, don't we sometimes remember it not phrase by phrase, but in its amorphous entirety?"

— Geoff Dyer, "Idris Khan" in Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews, 84

Monday, November 1, 2010

A truce with life

"If Kael looks better than she actually is, it is in no small part due to the quality of the competition. The nature of the film critic is to pump himself up. One critic's cant is another's Kant; the game is less one of taste than of ego and exhibitionism. It is exhibitionism, however, at a dispiriting level. One does not set out in life to become a movie critic; it is where one ends up. A truce is made with life, an armistice with ambition: it is far easier for the manqué litterateur to explain why he has not made a movie than why he has not written a book."

— John Gregory Dunne, "Pauline" in Regards: The Selected Nonfiction of John Gregory Dunne, 252-253