This is a book project, probably, or maybe just a series of class notes. It’s a work in progress: these aren’t completed blog entries, but drafts for chapters that I am continuously revisiting. All comments welcome, either here or on Facebook or via my website.
This site is the second part of a larger project. The first part is called “What is Interesting Writing in Art history?.” If you are new to this material, it is best to have a look at that site first.
I am moving out of art history (the story is here). “Writing with Images” and “What is Interesting Writing in Art History?” are designed to help me find my way, to theorize what counts as writing in and out of art history.
Use this Table of Contents to navigate around the project: the individual posts are not linked to one another.
I’m always interested in new things to read. Among the texts I’m hoping to get to: Walter Abish’s 99: The New Beginning, Kathleen Hill’s Who Occupies This House?, William Vollmann’s The Rifles and the photographic supplements to Imperial, Ivan Vladislavic’s collaborations, Jennifer Egan’s Goon Squad (and website), Christoph Benda, Han Kang’s The White Book, Minae Mizumura’s A True Novel. Also: Louis Aragon’s Paris Peasant; Leslie Scalapino’s Dahlia’s Iris: Secret Autobiography + Fuction; John Berger and Anne Michael’s Railtracks; Claude Cahun’s Disavowal; Debra di Blasi’s The Jirí Chronicles; Helene Sommer’s I Was There; John Holten’s The Readymades; Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge; Thomas McGonigle’s Going to Patchogue; Hannah Weiner’s Open House; Roberto Bolaño’s story “Labyrinth“; Teju Cole’s “Blind Spot“; Michael Cawood Green’s Sinking; and Lydia Davis’s Cows; Tom Phillips’s A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel; Jen Bervin’s Nets; Herta Müllers’s experiments; the Schloegel Archive.
INTRODUCTIONS AND THEORIES
This chapter takes up where the final chapter of “What is Interesting Writing in Art History?” left off.
Ben Lerner, 10:04; Elizabeth McKenzie’s The Portable Veblen; Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.
Another bookkeeping chapter, concerned with more kinds of texts I would like to exclude from this project: (1) Writing on images (ekphrases); (2) Writing as images (typography, graphic text); (3) The page as an image (design); and (4) The book as an image.
Karen Green, Bough Down; Nabokov, Original of Laura; Robert Walser, Microscripts; Montaigne’s manuscripts; Arno Schmidt, Zettel’s Traum; Sterne, Tristram Shandy (the “black page”); Michalis Pichler’s version of Mallarmé’s Un coup de dès “sculpture”; Angela Genusa’s version of Stein’s Tender Buttons; WONDER-TONIC’s version of Joyce’s Ulysses as QR codes.
This chapter is especially a work in progress: I’m trying to set out the kinds of narrative possibilities that images enable, which are beyond the ones in traditional narrative theory, as in Genette et al.
POINTS OF THE COMPASS
Texts without which the others cannot fruitfully be understood.
1 Georges Rodenbach’s Bruges-la-Morte
2 Andre Breton, Nadja
3 Kobo Abe’s The Box Man
4 W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn
5 Stephen Farrell and Steve Tomasula’s VAS: An Opera in Flatland
MISCELLANEOUS DISASTERS AND NEAR MISSES
Texts that for one reason or another end up treating images as dispensable, or fail to pay the kind of attention that the narratives themselves imply.
1 Joseph Battell, Ellen; or, Whisperings of an Old Pine
2 John Gardner’s Mickelsson’s Ghosts
3 Yves Bonnefoy, The Arrière-pays
4 Susan Howe, The Midnight
5 Jacques Roubaud, Great Fire of London
6 Alexander Kluge and Gerhard Richter, December
7 Julián Ríos, Larva: Midsummer Night’s Babel
8 Ali Smith, Artful
9 Wright Morris’s The Home Place
10 Umberto Eco’s Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
11 Barbara Browning, I’m Trying to Reach You
12 Richard Weihe, Sea of Ink
13 Will Self, Walking to Hollywood
14 Monica Ong, Silent Anatomies
15 Christine Brooke-Rose, Thru
SOME FAVORITE TEXTS
Novels whose uses of images continue to demand attention and new critical tools. (Those in Part 1 do, also.)
1 Raymond Roussel, New Impressions of Africa
2 Tan Lin, Seven Controlled Vocabularies
3 Marianne Fritz, Naturgemaess
4 Arno Schmidt, Bottom’s Dream
5 Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes
7 Anne Carson’s Nox
8 Helene Sommer, I was there.