Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Breaking the rules

There was something slightly illicit about browsing the British Library's Breaking the Rules exhibition subtitled The Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900 – 1937. It was, I later realised, because someone had turned the lights out. Many of the artefacts - such as scores by Schoenberg - are protected by the gloom of the vault. It's like you shouldn't really be there. Those that weren't in the dark included one of Joyce's notebooks for Finnegans Wake, a first edition of Ulysses and an edition of Bataille's Acéphale magazine. I was particularly pleased to see these. But, generally, I'm not one for exhibitions. I have no patience just too stand and look. And as I hurried around the space, I couldn't help but sing along with our very own avant garde.

By the way, if you're in the area, next Monday evening (3rd of December), the library hosts a debate What happened to the Avant Garde? lead by AS Byatt and Gabriel Josipovici.


  1. Hey I was just at the exhibit last week! I thought it was great, really interesting stuff, especially the El Lizzitsky works. Did you pick up the book on futurist typography? I really enjoyed it.

  2. I didn't pick up that book, no. Would've been good to have a catalogue. Don't think there was one though.



Stephen's currently-reading book montage

Summer in Baden-Baden
Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War
My Secret History
Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp
Luther: An Introduction to His Thought
Friedrich Hoelderlin: Selected Poems and Letters

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