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Packet #5:

reading ::

Exercises in Style - Raymond Queneau

:: excerpts I found interesting:

OExercises in Style platinum-nibbed stylograph, let they smooth and rapid course trace on this single-side calendered paper those alphabetic glyphs which shall transmit to men of sparkling spectacles the narcissistic tale of a double encounter of omnibusilistic cause. Proud courser of my dreams, faithful camel of my literary exploits, lissome fountain of words counted, weighed and chosen, describe thou those lexicographic and syntactic curves which shall graphically create the futile and ridiculous narration of the life and opinions of that young man who one day took the S bus without suspecting that he would the immortal hero the present writer's laborious toil. O coxcomb with thy plait-girdled hat projecting over thy long neck, O cross-grained, choleric and pusillanimous cur who, fleeing the skirmish, wentest to place thy behind, harvester of kicks on the arse, on a bench of hardened wood, didst thou suspect this thy rhetorical destiny whilst, before the gare Saint-Lazare, thou wast listening with exalted ear to the tailoring counsel of a personage inspired by the uppermost button of thine overcoat?

Over stated, too much rhetoric. This next one is better.

The general effect is green with a white top, oblong, with windows. 'Tisn't as easy as all that do to windows. The platform isn't any colour, it's half grey half brown if it must be something. The most important thing is it's full of curves, lots of esses as you might say. But the way it is at midday, rush hour, it's an extraordinary mexx. To get somewhwere near it you'd have to extract from the magma a light ochre rectangle, put a light ochre oval on top, and then top of that again, stick a darkish ochre hat which you'd encircle with a plait of burnt Siena, all mixed-up, at that. Then you'd shove in a patch the colour of duck's muck to represent fury, a red triangle to express anger, and just a pissworth of green to portray suppressed bile and squittery funk.
After that you'd draw one of those sweet darling navy blue overcoats and, near the top of it, just below the opening, you'd put a darling little brown drawn with great precision and loving care.

Love this next one. More my style. Direct - to the point.


Naturally the bus was pretty well full and the conductor was surly. You will find the cause of these things in the 8-hour day and the nationalisation of schemes. And then the French lack organisation and a sense of their civic duties otherwise it wouldn't be necessary to distribute numbered tickets to keep some semblance of order among the people waiting to get on the bus—order is the word all right! That day there were at least ten of us waiting in the blazing sun, and when the bus did arrive there was only room for two, and I was the sixth. Luckily I said "On Government business" and showed a card with my photo and a tricolour band across it—that always impresses conductors—and I got on. Naturally I have nothing to do with the unspeakable republican government but all the same I wasn't going to miss an important business luncheon for a vulgar question of numbers. On the platform we were packed together like sardines. Such disgusting promiscuity always causes me acute suffering. The only possible compensation is the occasional charming contact with the quivering hindquarters of a dainty little midinette. Ah youth, youth! But one shouldn't let oneself get excited. That time I was surrounded entirely by men, one of whom was a sort of teddy boy whose neck was of inordinate length and who was wearing a felt hat with a kind of plait around it instead of a ribbon. They ought to send all creatures of that sort off to labour campbs. To repair the war damage. That caused by the anglo-saxons, especially. In my day we were Young Royalists, not Rock 'n Rollers. At any rate this young object suddenly makes so bold as to start abusing an ex-service man, a real one, from the 1914 war. And he doesn't even answer back! When you see such things you realise that the Treaty of Versailles was madness. As for the lout, he threw himself on to a vacant seat instead of leaving it to the mother of a family. What times we live in!
Anyway, I saw the pretentious young puppy again, two hours later, on front of the Cour de Rome. He was in the company of another jackanapes of the same kidney, who was giving him some advice about his get-up. The two of them were wandering aimlessly up and down instead of going off to break the windows at the communist headquarters and burn a few books. Poor France!

OK, simplify the above language and you have one of my neighbors who has an opinion on everything, with or without full understanding of a situation. Glad she likes me.

Summer S long neck
plait hat toes abuse retreat
station button friend

Someone tell me the point of haikus.

Act I. The Dandy, His Neighbour, The Conductor, Chorus or Passengers.

1. Opening Chorus of Passengers. "All Hail to Phoebus," etc.
Chorus of Passengers:
All hail to Phoebus meridian!
Long live the S quotidian!
But see! that nullifidian
With hat of strange device!

His neck! how long and skinny!
His voice! how like a whinny!
As to a nearby Johhny
He speaks with prejudice.

2. The Dandy. "Oh hear me, Gods!" Recit.
O hear me, Gods! Gods, hear me! Why
should he on my toes tread?
I start, I quake, I tremble; I sweat and I
see red.
Ah! if to do it he continues—
But soft! he hears me!
Oh say, what ails thee?
DANDY: sir, if thou continuest to tread on my transductor,
The Fates will surely constrain me to call,
Ah! the conductor.
His words deep within my heart are sculptured.

3. The Conductor. "My friends! See, see!" Recit. & Aria.
My friends! See, see! the traffic gathers al laround us! How shall we proceed? O kindly traffic stream! that increaseth and multiplieth so that totalimmobility is reached and the weary passengers will thus listen to my song—to thee I givethanks. I start, I quake, I tremble, the sweat pours off my brow—but I will sing it.
Oh! I am fainting! (faints)
O sweet and friendly traffic stream,
This token of my high esteem
To thee and thy continued favour
Is due this modest semi-quaver—
This breve!
How sweet to me thy diesel fumes,
Thy breath the air of night perfumes
And day!
For when we cannot move along
Then listen those to my heartfelt song
Who pay!
Bravo Bravo Bravo Bis Encore Bravo.
Thank you, my friends, thank you.
(Repeats his Aria)
Bravo Bravo Bravo
NEIGHBOR (to Dandy):
He has departed!


4. Final Chorus of Passengers. "Ah! once again we see him.
Ah! once again we seem him
In front of Saint-Lazare,
Ah! what a great coincidence.
'Tis he! Oh how bizarre!
But see! that friend who with him talks
Of buttons, goes too far,
Too far, ah! too far,
But see! that friend who with hin talks
Of buttons, goes too far,
Of buttons, of buttons,
Of buttons, goes too far.

I can handle, and often enjoy an opera only if it is not in English. I am better off not knowing what they are saying exactly because the lyrics drive me crazy (including this made up opera). That said, I've been impressed with how many different ways this simple narrative has been illustrated.

One May about didday, on the bear fatborm of a plus, I maw a san with a nery vong leck and whose cat was enhircled by a pliece of a straited pling. Chuddenly this sap rarted a stow with a tan who was meading on his troes. Hen he thurried off to fret a geat which was see.
Two lours hater I haw gim asain in lont of the frare Gaint-Sazare, advistening to the lice of a lart asmec.

This one just made me giggle. I have perimenopausal moments when I speak like this normally.

After nearly taking root under a heliotrope, I managed to graft myself on to a vernal speed-well where hips and haws were squased induscrimately and where there was an overpowering axillary scent. There I ran to earth a young blade or garden pansy whose stalk had run to see and whose nut, cabbage or pumpkin was surmounted by a capsul ensucker, transpiring at the palms, nettled a common elder who started to tread his daisies and give him the edge of his bristly ox-tongue, so the sensitive plant stalked off and parked himself.
Two hours later, in fresh woods and pastures new, I saw this specimen gain with another willowy young parasite who was shooting a line, recommending the sap to switch the top bulbous vegetable ivory element of his mantle blue to a more elevated apex—as an exercise in style.

I would never have thought to describe anything using purely nature-based terminology. I have to look up heliotrope, though.
— n
1. any boraginaceous plant of the genus Heliotropium,  esp the South American H. arborescens,  cultivated for its small fragrant purple flowers
2. garden heliotrope  a widely cultivated valerian, Valeriana officinalis,  with clusters of small pink, purple, or white flowers
3. any of various plants that turn towards the sun
4. a. a bluish-violet to purple colour
5. an instrument used in geodetic surveying employing the sun's rays reflected by a mirror as a signal for the sighting of stations over long distances
[C17: from Latin hēliotropium,  from Greek hēliotropion,  from hēlios  sun + trepein  to turn]

In the dogs days while I was in a bird cage at feeding time I noticed a young puppy with a neck like a giraffe who, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wore yet a precious beaver upon his head. This queer fish obviously had a bee in his bonnet and was quite bats, he started yak-yakking at a wold in sheep's clothing claiming that he was treading on his dogs with his beetle-crushers. But the sucker got a flea in his ear; that foxed him, and quiet as a mouse he ran like a hare for a perch.
I saw him again later in front of the Zoo with a young buck who was telling him to bear in mind a certain drill about his febbers.

Again, I admire his creative use of language. With enough beer/margaritas/martinis, I could imagine this being read in Dr. Suess speak, too.

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art making:

:: After completing the last 100-piece paintings, I wondered how I might incorporate them into something related to graphic design. As I was falling asleep one night, it ocurred to me, I should build a bitmap font

I built a grid in Illustrator and set forth experimenting with letterforms. My first batch, all lowercase, was typical and weak. I went to the traditional all caps alphabet. Was not turned on by it—it wasn't bad, just not cool enough and didn't fit the idea of solar panel grids. Worked through other ideas that didn't pan out.Finally arrived at the lowercase alphabet you see here.

bad capsThe "just not right" caps:




final bitmap alphabetThe final alphabet:

And with my mini paintings filling the cells:

They definitely need loose kerning...peace

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reading ::

Sacred EcologySacred Ecology - Fikret Berkes

:: excerpts I found interesting:

still reading/writing






reading ::

Beginner's Guide to Constructing the UniverseThe Beginners Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science - Michael S. Schneider

:: excerpts I found interesting:

still reading/writing





reading ::

Beginner's Guide to Constructing the UniverseChange By Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation - Tim Brown

:: excerpts I found interesting:

still reading/writing

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