Thursday, 23 June 2011

Dan the egg man

I am inordinately happy to finally be reading Daniel Spoerri's An Anecdoted Topography of Chance.

I will share with you the second footnote on the first page.

"The author, off and on for about three years, has been so preoccupied with the preparation of an "eggcyclopaedia" that many of his friends call him "DAN THE EGG MAN". The book will explore the subject through such fields as advertising and alchemy, biology and business, cartoons and cookery, dancing and destiny, fables and feathers, garbage and games, happenings and hygiene, incubation and intriuge, journalism and juggling, the Kabbalah and the Koran, limericks and lapis lazuli, musicology and medicine, noodles and names, optics and orgasm, prophesy and poaching, quackery and quattrocento, radioactivity and ribaldry, sturgeon and sculpture, taboos and tattoos, vaginal stimulation and VIRGIL, warbling and WITTGENSTEIN, Yiddish yarns and yoga, zombiism and Zen, to pick a few categories at random. I myself caught the egg bug from the author, and after a month of intense and pleasurable research srrounded by my books at the Chateau de Ravenel was able to hand over to him more than 115 prime egg quotations in German, French, English, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Latin."

I would like nothing better than to spend the rest of my life researching "prime egg quotations". The only one I can think of now is that Dan managed to convince Tash that it was illegal to freeze eggs . . .

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


"a railroad car conveying basic non-private sleeping accommodation"

Sophie Calle and Annecy Attlee.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Pin-up for June? Nora Barnacle. Tomorrow is Bloomsday, so here is the lovely and long-suffering woman who made it all happen (by agreeing to meet a certian James Joyce on June 16th 1904).

"O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactusses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I though well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."

James Joyce, Ulysses

Monday, 13 June 2011

A dying art

I cannot throw away envelopes.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Dead letter office

I am reading about the dead letter office (a warehouse in Belfast) and undercover mail. Did you know that during the second world war post to enemy countries was sent via Thomas Cook in Lisbon?

"Letters and envelopes must omit the sender's address. They must only refer to matters of personal interest… (a) no reference may be made to any town (other than Lisbon), village, locality, ship or journey… No indication may be given that the writer is not in Portugal… (b) mention of a letter … received from or written to enemy occupied territory is not permitted… " Dr. Josef Wallach.

The same process for undercover letters was used thirty years later by Israel and the Arab states following the 1967 war. I am pretty excited, will have to see if I can find out more in Lisbon at the end of the month.

Monday, 6 June 2011

To the sky

Letters on sun spots.
The filling in of perfect blanks with iron pegs.
I have twenty-six pegs and none of them cast a shadow like the sun.
Its spots are fiery ink, bullet holes, visions.
And I am a mad man, long past the point of pulling threads from the sky.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Cast adrift

The storm scene from Robinson Crusoe looks like it's been through a real storm.