Spectacle

Academic Labours

Recently I have learnt that I do not enjoy editing someone else’s bad writing. I find it hard work (but deep down enjoyable) to edit my own writing, regardless of its state. It is also a pleasure to edit someone else’s good writing. But bad writing, trying to turn it into good? Horrible labour. You know it will never be much good. You also harbour the realisation that they will not really notice the work (and it is a lot, hours upon hours) since the work is so poorly written to begin with it would appear they have no real ability to judge merit or otherwise of the written. My lesson? I will not do this again.

Good Read

Prompts (1)

The blurb for Perec’s An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris:

One overcast weekend in October 1974, Georges Perec set out in quest of the “infraordinary”: the humdrum, the non-event, the everyday–“what happens,” as he put it, “when nothing happens.” His choice of locale was Place Saint-Sulpice, where, ensconced behind first one cafe window, then another, he spent three days recording everything to pass through his field of vision: the people walking by; the buses and driving-school cars caught in their routes; the pigeons moving suddenly en masse; a wedding (and then a funeral) at the church in the center of the square; the signs, symbols and slogans littering everything; and the darkness that finally absorbs it all. In An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, Perec compiled a melancholic, slightly eerie and oddly touching document in which existence boils down to rhythm, writing turns into time and the line between the empirical and the surreal grows surprisingly thin.

It’s Not Journalism

Thought for the student’s struggling with my ways: Don’t confuse documentary with journalism. Journalism tends to insist on objectivity (which is trivial to critique) and explanation. Documentary is not obligated to either.