How to build an Anthology?

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How to build an Anthology? #Jazz

Maybe you remember, I wrote an article about the fact that one book-lover could read only prefaces.

Imagine you have three hours free in a place full of books. You can pick one, or you can pick two dozens, reading prefaces only. That’s what I’d do, I think…

Yesterday I bought a book, “Jazz en 150 Figures”. It’s a great hardcover book, not about stars of this music, but about creative jazz.

This, alone, could be an article :

Choose a field (poetry, photography, history, etc), and don’t look for stars, but for creators. I reckon that they’re sometimes the same – but let’s focus on lesser-known explorers.

The foreword is one paged. The author asks What is an anthology? – to tell us, of course, what his book is NOT.

  1. It’s not a dictionary, concerned to be exhaustive – and being objective, boring.
  2. It’s not a kindWho’s who“, telling for example that a tired aged musician is as great as himself as a young explorer.
  3. It’s not an Almanach of an elite, made from a list from stardom status.
  4. It’s not a chronological retrospective.
  5. It’s not a ecumenical overview submitted to different kind of quotas.
  6. It’s not a chory monstrosity which tries to make an impression.

So here I am reading this book randompagely, discovering names like Jimmy Lions, Grachan Moncur III or Roscoe Mitchell… with YouTube.

Tools here are multiple :

  • Buying a good anthology, as a map do discover a universe you don’t know at all, or almost.
  • Thinking, when you build something, about what it should not be.
  • Reading prefaces only why not? Go to a library, then.
  • Which domain to dig, for creators?

OK, I’m now writing something about Ran Blake – you know him? Me neither!

Thanks for reading!

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https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/50-greatest-jazz-albums-ever/

https://www.jazzwise.com/features/article/the-100-jazz-albums-that-shook-the-world

https://www.senscritique.com/top/resultats/Les_meilleurs_albums_de_jazz/193105

“One or Six but not Two” (the buying bookseller dilemmas)

Booksellers or often books buyers. They are visited by editing companies sales representatives, who present them books they’ll sell a few months in advance.

For example, these weeks of September I order Christmas books…

This is something you can teach (there are a few “principles”), but mostly, you need a few years of experience to be a good buyer.

Flaws are obvious : you can order too many books, or too few. You can have a crush for a book which dismally fail, or you can hate a… future hit.

When you order books, you logically have to think about… where you’ll put the books when they are delivered later.

You order none if the book is impossible, or too complex for your customers, or… if you really disagree with the subject – which is rare, because most booksellers have this phrase in mind (often told as a Voltaire quote but it is not) :

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

  1. You order one if you need one on his shelf : you have to have it, but you don’t need to “show” it on a display (specialized books, unknown poets…) or you don’t have the room.
  2. You can show books on long lecturns (then you order 4 or 5 – one on the shelf (you HAVE TO), the others in sight), or on tables (then it’s a stack : 6 or 8), or on front displays for big authors or probable success books : 10, 20 or more.

 

Booksellers have private jokes. One is “You never order two!”. Why? Because it would be one on the shelf and an orphan volume you effing don’t know what to do with.

In fact, you sometimes do it (when you have to put it aside for you or a customer, when you’re pretty sure you’ll sell one quickly, etc)…

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25…

Never 7 or 11 or 13, or 17 books ordered. Why? Who knows?

I endeavor to once order 7 books during each appointment I have with a salesman. It’s a lucky charm, and it makes people smile. “Seven are you suuure?”. Yep!!

My instinct knows when to do it : in front of an improbable lovely book, the oblique one, the unexpected one. This job is very cool, you know?

One or Six, not Two, nor Seven. Could be a rhyme, right? In which other territories do we have “holes” like these. Numbers, but “you’re not supposed to use this one”. 13th stairs? What else?

Thanks for reading!

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(Picasso : Boy with a Pipe)

 

 

Books on a Bench : #serveyourself #📚

We have more and more “Boîtes à dons” (donations boxes) and other Books-Boxes in the city, but I prefer give mine on bus benches, or in parks. I let a note : “Free, serve yourself”.
Usually if I have to come back there (after errands for example) I see people exploring the pile or I see… nothing.
Have a good day!
JP

from Instagram: https://ift.tt/2JU6WKu

Conversation, Essays, Eyes

You’re alone in the quiet, at home. You grab a book.

If it’s a novel, it’s perfect : you get into a dream. You see things…

Tonight I wanted a conversation instead. So I picked a book from Siri Hustvedt (The Shaking Woman) and a glass of Chardonnay.

I opened the book in the middle of random (it’s something I love to do) and read great pages about how a new born baby and his mother stare at each other. This deep each other’s look means so much, so many things happen. A bond is building. An intelligence is blooming…

(I remember I did this, with Lili and Eliette, my daughters)

Hustvedt explains that if a mother talks to a baby and waits a little, the baby answers – in his own… voice.

An essay is like having a part of a conversation. The part where you just listen. Just choose your partner well! It’s OK – even if you miss the partner’s questions, the slow ping-pong of spirits.

And the eyes…

I wrote this. Now I’m back to my chair. Bidou the cat on me knees. Hi Siri!

Conversation.

Thanks for reading!

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Drawn up Ping Pong : Slow Motion Conversation

Stand up Blogging : “What begins commands” & Lost Branches

There are many ways to blog. You can write a novel chapter by chapter, or you can “react” to news in the world, or comment fashion, or new trends in food. You’re good.

My article talks about bloggers who needs ideas and inspiration. This is what I try to do, and I like this way, because it puts your brain in alert. You glean

Gleaning in loop : the “Gathering Seashells” Type

Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

Blogger’s Words Horniness & consequences

You read a magazine, you talk with a friend, you got and email, you have a walk around the block, you bake, or you take a shower : Bim! (this is the sound of an idea coming to you).

Bim!

(The symbol is a bulb over your head, right?)

You hurry to sit in front of your computer. You click on “Write”, while your brain is already organizing things…

What begins commands. We all have our patterns, and when you start you more or less know where you’re going.

My tool here is :

Dial : Beware of “What begins commands”, because it’s too easy. You follow one path but :

  1. you could lose branch points
  2. you could ignore good bypasses
  3. your steam can hide possibilities.

Lever : Stand up, for blog’s sake! Finish your article if you’re too excited, but at one point, don’t publish. Stand up. I mean for real! Stand up and go away. Open a window. Wash a cup and a fork. Pet a cat. Breathe.

 

 

Flaubert, the French author who wrote Madame Bovary, had “un gueuloir”, a “scream room”. He was walking and yelling his texts in this room. It’s crazy? Not that much. You’ll have to find your own way. Just do something else while you think about your article or your page. Maybe print it and take a pen. You’ll find ideas, “furthers”, new branches, words, style nuggets, inversions, interesting bypasses, etc.

OK, go back writing now, you fool 😅

Thanks for reading!

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