Friday, 2 July 2010

A fascinating review of The Red Mannheim

Fascinating review of the Mark Alexander works I reviewed here. Fugitive Ink again pulls off that most difficult thing: pointing out what should be evident but somehow isn't. As Orwell said 'to see what's in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle'. We're lucky that Fugitive Ink is there to struggle - elegantly, as ever - on our behalf.


Anonymous said...

Amusing - i thought Wittgenstein said that about seeing what´s right in front of your nose; but then he would have liked a lot of Orwell, so i guess they both said it.

Gaw said...

It's a strange, rather unfathomable skill that can look easy but is actually incredibly difficult to put into practice consistently. I recommend Fugitive Ink as a place where this sort of thing happens rather often.

Barendina is also like Orwell in that she re-evaluates previously disregarded or under-appreciated works and artists, typically ones that have wrongly resided beneath some rather flip persons' notice.

I also think - like George, again - her conclusions are not always particularly comfortable. Partly this is because she's unflinchingly truthful (if invariably civil). It's also because she manages to draw one in, make one feel implicated; and this involvement proves dynamic. One certainly finishes (re-)reading her posts feeling satisfied that one has learnt a lot of worthwhile things that one wouldn't have found elsewhere. But, one can also finish thoughtfully disturbed - and I mean disturbed, in the sense of finding yourself in a different place from the one you started in, one which you probably didn't know existed.

Barendina Smedley said...

Thanks for the link and the super-kind words.'Barendina is also like Orwell in that' ... there's a line I thought I'd never read!

You're almost certainly being rather too generous there, Gareth - but don't think I'm not enjoying it.

By the way, the way in which you use 'disturbed' - that very literal sense, which I suppose must have something to do with pushing someone out of the proprieties of the city - would, had I thought of it, have been a good way to describe the effect of 'The Red Mannheim'. Hmm.