Catching-Up with Quinn #4

Read Quinn’s post here.

Listen to our first podcast in a series we call The Laboratory.

Reading
The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden
About three years ago, I decided to read the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. I finished them and read the Pirkei Avot, Sefer Yetzirah and the official Apocrypha. I suppose this book represents the “unofficial” Apocrypha. After this I’ll read the Gnostic Gospels. Then the Koran and then major Hindu and Buddhist texts. Just getting started, so I don’t have much to say about it.

Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book Three: Moore/Bissette/Totleben
Moore’s run on Swamp Thing is highly-celebrated and rightly so. Book Three introduces John Constantine of Hellblazer fame. A great sci-fi/horror comic with Moore’s bits of occult mysticism.

Finn: Jon Clinch
This is a book about Pap Finn, Huckleberry’s dad. It’s a great idea, but I am bogging down about 80 pages in. I’m reading this with a book club. I’ll be interested to see what they think. I like the prose style, very descriptive and poetic. It echoes but doesn’t ape Twain.

Collected Poems: Theodore Roethke
What I’ve enjoyed about this collection is getting to read the range of Roethke’s work. I’ve read the anthologized poems for years, but I was unaware of his poems that operate like surrealistic folklore. I was also talking to a friend of mine about how brilliantly Roethke writes of the textures and smells of soil.

Watching
The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011)
An intriguing history of world cinema in 15 episodes.

Louie: Season Four
Is it the addition of Steven Wright that’s made this season so great? I’ve liked the show since the beginning, but the writing and acting on season four made some of the best episodic TV I’ve seen in a while.

A Place in the Sun (1951)
Montgomery Clift plays a young guy who starts working for a rich uncle hoping some of that fulfilled “American Dream” will rub off on him. He gets caught in a love triangle with Shelley Winters and Elizabeth Taylor and the movie takes a surprisingly dark turn. This is one of several ‘50s films that I’ve seen recently that has made me want to research this era of film.

I made a lazy Sunday of new episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen on Netflix.

Listening
Several times I’ve written about a lack of time to listen to music. Lately, with lots of housework, grading, and child-watching time, I’ve been exhausted and have had some listening time.

Alvin Lucier: I am sitting in a room
I’ve been obsessed with this piece for a few weeks. It’s simple and amazing, but not for everyone. Click this link for the description and here for a recording.

Alvin Curran
Curran’s music moves from found sounds to something like Aphex Twin’s ambient works to Philip Glass to Naked City. I’ve particularly liked some of the piano pieces including For Cornelius and the Inner Cities series.

Gary Lucas: Cinefantastique
Great film music performed by a great guitarist. Lucas is known for his work with Captain Beefheart and Jeff Buckley. I love his take on the Psycho theme.

Writing
Grading is in the front seat currently. I’m processing and dabbling with my piece(s) for the next Laboratory episode. I’ve got a variety of wordage to do for the next three or four collaborations I’m doing with Derek Ballard. They are all in various states of completion. In the first Laboratory episode I give more detail about some of it.

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