Friday, July 07, 2006

Bubble lamps, the hundredth monkey, noodles cycloids and squircles

- are just a tiny fraction of the things mentioned in a very unusual (and very large) book I just borrowed from the library: The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher.
Fletcher is a designer. He says in the introduction "More of a visual jackdaw than a compulsive collector, I acquire stuff...This book attempts to open windows to glimpse look at things from unlikely angles...The book has no thesis, has no beginning, middle or end. It's a journey without a destination".

The following passage on synaesthesia caught my eye for somewhat personal reasons:

"Alexander Theroux listed things that he felt 'seemed' yellow: 'maiden aunts, gumdrops, diffidence, the letter H, all women's poems (except Emily Dickinson's, which of course, are red), lewd suggestions, debt, the seventies, Nat "King" Cole's song China Gate, sadness, the Yale English department faculty, the name as well as the country of Brazil, August, the House of Congress, the word "hills", lampshades, physicians, insurance agents, the thin, squealing noises of children in playgrounds, political compromise, the state of Nebraska, illness in general, old wagon wheels, and the vapid name Catherine.'"

Well, I like yellow, write poems (women's poems, of course), and my birthday is in August - but "vapid"? What's with this guy?


OldLady Of The Hills said...

I like yellow, too! He obviously see's "yellow" in a different way than you or I...To me "yellow" is a positive color---like The Sun, you know? Hmmmm. I wonder what IS with him???

Here from Michele this early morning.

paris parfait said...

I've read this book and it is quirky and interesting. I think writers tend to look sideways anyway - or at least pay attention to the detail and the small things.

Anonymous said...

I love the name Catherine! And yellow poems? Whatever.