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.



  • talking around, in what looked like ever smaller circles, didn’t feel like his thing. It could have been the plainness of it all. Maybe he preferred doing? Probably the patina of having not done well, again.
  • politely the magpies craned for their piece of pie.


Extracted from a brief today email.

but yes. there is a crisis that I think speculative realism, particularly it’s ecotheoretical arm, is making very plain. Talking about things and treating talk = meaning = what it means, then as a field there is little, to no, agency for the humanities out in the ‘real’ world.