Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
OLA DUBH | HARVIESTOUN ALE
Ola Dubh is a Harviestoun ale, and presented to me in a box not dissimilar to expensive whisky brands; well, it is aged in whisky casks and the taste (and punch!) shows it! Great taste, great present!
From the box:
MEER VAN MIEN-YUAN, RECHTER TIE MYSTERY | ROBERT VAN GULIK
Ever since China sparked my interest during the 1980s, I find occasion to read or explore something on the subject, in whatever form. The 'Rechter (=Judge or Magistrate) Tie Mysteries' by Robert van Gulik offer an easy insight in China in historic times.
The titles from Dutchman van Gulik have been translated also in English; the name of the magistrate changed to Judge Dee.
Judge Dee (also, Judge Di) is the eponymous protagonist of Robert van Gulik's series of detective novels. The series is set in Tang Dynasty China and deals with various criminal cases solved by the upright Judge Dee (judges often play the investigator role in ancient Chinese crime stories).
Robert Hans van Gulik was born in 1910, in Zutphen,Netherlands and spent most of his youth in the Dutch East-Indies.
About this particular book:
Like the other books I have of Rechter Tie, this book also has a foreword and epilogue by Janwillem van de Wetering, explaining the historic context and customs of this book in relation to medieval China. Such as the rotational assignments (mostly every 3 years) of the magistrates and the fact that he brings his staff with him to his next assignment.
REVELATOR by TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND | MUSIC
Came across the music of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks on the Eric Claptaon 'Crossroads' dvd's and their music was a highlight for me. This CD, 'Revelator', hits the spot!
The Tedeschi Trucks Band, formerly known as the Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band is a blues rock group based in Jacksonville, Florida. Formed in 2010, the band is led by husband-and-wife musicians Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, and primarily features members from their respective solo groups. The core lineup is Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Oteil Burbridge, Kofi Burbridge, Tyler Greenwell, J.J. Johnson, Mike Mattison and Nigel Hall.The first CD under their new name 'The Tedeschi Trucks Band', named Revelator, was released on June 7th, 2011. Rolling Stone gave the album four out of five stars, referring to it as a masterpiece !
DEVIL'S DILEMMA | CARTOON (Dutch)
I thought this Dutch cartoon rather striking, detailing how are identities are read and stored, unerasable, somewhere floating around in cyberspace, looming ominous, available for use and abuse, all there our likes, dislikes, everything.
By Pieter Geenen ('Het Leven') in Vrij Nederland 10Sep2011.
INSPECTOR WINTER | CRIME DRAMA
Åke Edwardson (born March 10, 1953 in Eksjö, Småland) is a Swedish author of detective fiction, and was previously a lecturer in journalism at Gothenburg University, the city where many of his Inspector Winter novels are set.
This 4-dvd box contains the stories of 4 most recent Inspector Erik Winter stories.
EEN HOLLANDER IN PARIJS - S. CARMIGGELT | BOOKS
A classic from my bookshelf: (translates as) A Dutchman in Paris, by Simon Carmiggelt.
'Een Hollander in Parijs' tells about two Dutch ramblers strolling the streets of Paris: Simon who describes his observations and Otto Dicke provides drawings of the same.
THE SAVAGE ALTAR by ASA LARSSON | BOOKS
The story shifts between past and present, rural and city values, relationships and religion, written in a compelling style.
Rebecka Martinsson is a struggling young lawyer and she is called upon for help by Sanna, with whom she grew up with, and who is under suspicion of having killed her brother in a heinous manner. This means Rebecka has to return to Kiruna and her roots; traumatic memories surface but also good ones.
The detectives investigating Victor's murder are the heavily pregnant Anna-Maria Mella and Sven-Erik Stalnacke, her deputy. Carl von Post is their publicity seeking boss.
Truly an excellent book, a real page turner!
(See also a more extensive and better phrased review by Maxine Clarke,
CROW by TED HUGHES | POETRY
Crow is a collection of poems based around the crow. The nature poems such as Crowcolour (see below) are stark, dark, ferocious and sometimes brutal but definitely impressive.
Two poems I particularly liked from this collection:
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP | FILM
Since I became acquainted with Banksy's inspiring and funny Street Art, I was given this film to watch. And indeed it is, as described: "A hugely entertaining movie"!
"Ostensibly, Mr. Brainwash, whose real name is Thierry Guetta, was a French-born ex-pat living in L.A. who had been attempting to make a documentary about street art when he came in contact with Banksy. The outrageous plot of the film is that Banksy was so horrified by Guetta's would-be movie--there's even an over-edited, bad 'first cut' of the movie shown--and so fascinated with Guetta, that he turned the cameras on him, only to be completely blindsided when Guetta ripped off his style.
ANTON CORBIJN | PHOTOGRAPHY
Anton Corbijn showed his exhib 'Inwards and Onwards' (portraits of artists) in the FOAM Gallery (Amsterdam, Netherlands) while Misha de Ridder had photos and video here from Norway on show ('Solstice').
Foam proudly presented Anton Corbijn's most recent photographic project. In it he has aimed the camera at a few of his favourite artists, including Gerhard Richter, Alexander McQueen, Richard Prince, Iggy Pop, Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst, Tom Waits, Peter Doig, Bruce Springsteen, Lucian Freud and Karel Appel.
Corbijn's love for the musical and creative spirit is already well known. Collaborating on a short film (Some YoYo Stuff, 1993) with artist Don van Vliet - also known as Captain Beefheart - made his appreciation for the painter clear. This probably also had to do with the fact that his grandfather was a painter. The project strippinggirls which he produced with Marlene Dumas in 2000 also had an influence on his interest in the painter.
Anton Corbijn is interested in how artists struggle with the creative process: the pain and the drama of the act of creation. His monumental black-and-white portraits blend austerity and aesthetics and attract attention because of the deliberate and exacting way they capture the character of the person being portrayed. The work shows Corbijn's concentrated gaze, his feeling for wonder and his ability to empathise with another.
MARIANNE BRESLAUER | PHOTOGRAPHY
Marianne Breslauer (b. 20Nov1909 - d. 07Feb2001)
Amsterdam's Jewish Historical Museum (JHM) has managed to arrange an exhibition of photographer Marianne Breslauer, the first such exhibition in the Netherlands.
Breslauer is regarded as one of the most avant-garde photographers in Europe of the 1920s and 1930s.
She took lessons in photography in Berlin from 1927 to 1929.
In 1929 she travelled to Paris, where she briefly became a pupil of Man Ray. He convinced here to go her own way; she saw her future as a photographic reporter.
Marianne was a close friend of the Swiss photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, whom she met through Ruth Landshoff and whom she photographed many times. She described Annemarie (who died at the young age of 34) as: "Neither a woman nor a man, but an angel, an archangel". In 1933 they travelled together to the Pyrenees to carry out a photographic assignment for the Berlin photographic agency Academia. This led to Marianne's confrontation with the anti-Semitic practices then coming into play in Germany. Her employers wanted her to publish her photos under a pseudonym, to hide the fact that she was Jewish.
She emigrated in 1936 to Amsterdam where she married the art dealer Walter Feilchenfeldt.
Family life and work as an art dealer hindered her work in photography, which she gave up to oncentrate on her other activities. In 1939 the family fled to Zurich.
After the war, in 1948, the couple set up an art business specializing in French paintings and 19th-century art. When her husband died in 1953 she took over the business.
I thought it striking that of all the images here on display only the photos of Amsterdam showed no people on them.
AL WILDEY | PHOTOGRAPHY
'These images are superimposed digital photographs of specific journeys.
Opacity adjustments on each layer create a composite image where details dissipate and meld to produce an image with faint traces of each singular photograph, creating an implied sense of the cumulative journey. Much like a short film compressed to a single frame, details disappear and in their place, only an impression persists.'
HEAVEN'S FURY & STEPHEN W FREY | BOOKS
HARM DONE by RUTH RENDELL | BOOKS
STREETS OF THE WORLD | TRAVEL & BOOKS
Now I came across his book in which he describes his background, how his career got under way and this idea of visiting all (capitals of) countries of the world entered his head... And yes indeed it is possible these days to visit all the countries on the globe, but... it takes money, time & effort - he and his family & friends went through a lot of trouble and discouragement before they finally got 'the show on the road'.
The books has details about all that.
It also describes the difficulties in obtaining visas, how he had to hire protection for his photoshoot in Port Moresby, his acute appendicitis in Cairo and much more.
He intends to complete the project in five years time (the clock started in 2009).
Swolfs has no adress in the Netherlands, as he spends most of his time abroad. The book is about leaving family, meeting lovers but without the prospect of a relation, for he will leave again as his mind is firmly fixed on this project.
It can be lonely on the road, it is about that too, but this book is not written about the blues for the style is very upbeat and enthusiastic.
The countries described here are in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, Middle East and I found his visit to India particularly moving. Very nice reading and I intend to check (almost) daily where he's at now..
Jeroen Swolfs: www.streetsoftheworld.com
LEONARD COHEN | MUSIC & BOOKS
UPDATE: Leonard Cohen died 07Nov2016. See Blog 2016 Q4.
NIETZSCHE & KANT LEZEN DE KRANT (dutch) by ROB WIJNBERG | BOOKS
In 'Nietzsche & Kant lezen de krant' Rob Wijnberg discusses actualities using the history of philosophy. Current affairs (2008) explained in a clear manner by philosophers going back to Plato and Aristotles!
I tremendously enjoyed Wijnberg's clearcut style and prose; am looking forward to reading some of his sources of more recent philosophers & writers such as Naom Chomsky, John Gray and Thomas Friedman.
Great read! (Dutch, Bezige Bij, 2009)
DAN PEEK R.I.P. | Music
DUTCH STATISTICS | NETHERLANDS
Days off for people in the EU
ROAD DOGS by ELMORE LEONARD | BOOKS
In 'Road Dogs', Leonard unites 3 characters from previous novels: Jack Foley, the handsome bank robber from "Out of Sight"; Cundo Rey, the Cuban hustler from "LaBrava"; and Dawn Navarro, the con artist and supposed psychic from "Riding the Rap."
Foley has been serving in prison with Cundo: they are road dogs, who watch each other's back.
Cundo, who has access to money, hires a lawyer who wins Jack's freedom. They soon meet in Venice, Calif., where Cundo's lover, Dawn, and his partner, Little Jimmy, are keeping an eye on the two homes Cundo owns, worth a total of $6 million.
Part of the problem is that macho Cundo persists in the delusion that sexy Dawn has been faithful to him during his 8 years in prison.
Dawn tries to win Foley over to run with Cundo's money.
Various other colourful characters appear on the scene. The plot thickens as they say.
A very entertaining book to read.
WOMEN by CHARLES BUKOWSKI | BOOKS
Unromantic in its style of writing. Perhaps endearing at times. Opportunistic would describe the style of Henry 'Hank' Chenaski's encounters with women. Research by a low-life writer end unrepentant alcoholic...
I see him bare-foot, unshaven, in his underwear or worse, taking a gulp from a bottle of wine. Waiting for a female admirer or girl friend to call upon him.
The book is filled with Bukowski's observing, indifferent humor; another report from the life on the edge. Enjoyable, but I like Bukowski's poetry better.
SKåRBY CHURCH, SKåNE, SWEDEN in WALLANDER SERIES
We were surprised to see Skårby Church in an opening scene of the Wallander detective series. I recognised it immediately, put the dvd on hold and compared it with photos in the photo album. YES!
Check my travelreport in Skåne, Sweden.
35mm SINGLE LENS REFLEX CAMERA | PHOTOGRAPHY
Today I decided to dispense of my book "35mm Handbook" by Michael Freeman (1980, Quarto Publishing). Not sure if I learned many lessons from this 'how to'- book, but I am sure it was of some help if not inspiration. Thanks.
STAMPS | NETHERLANDS
Needed a stamp for a letter. This shop only does sheets of 10 stamps, at another place you can pay per letter, but you get a sticker on it stating the amount paid. No stamp.
When I bought the stamps today I noticed there wasn't a figure for postage paid on it... Today it represents the value of 46 cents; tomorrow it may be different but postal services don't need to reprint new stamps because of these changes.
I guess stamp collectors don't like this, but I probably can use the same stamp 5 or 10 years from now because it doesn't show how much I paid for it. Postal services probably find something for this, so they can cheat me of my small gain..
RESILIENCE by Mike Roelofs | PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographer Mike Roelofs and anthropologist Fanny Jol have recorded the lamentable circumstances of the Roma in Romenia in image and text. This has resulted in the book ‘Resilience’ as well as an exposition which I admired a few months ago in Naarden-Vesting (Netherlands).
Mike Roelofs (from Eindhoven, the Netherlands) travelled in 2008 for the first time into Romenia to record the living conditions of the Roma. The images he returned with saw Mike being awarded with the 'Zilveren Camera' (=Silver Camera) op.
The book Resilience was published in 2010 (ISBN: 978-90-815848-1‐4).
CHAPTER 11 FOR BORDERS (Books) | News
Borders has abandoned efforts to refinance its debts, and is preparing bankruptcy papers and seeking financing agreements that would keep it operating during the Chapter 11.
GORKY PARK | BOOKS AND FILM
This week I had the opportunity to see the film GORKY PARK (1983, William Hurt, Lee Marvin - see imdb.com). Everybody knows one should first read the book and then see the movie, not the other way around.
An investigator on the Moscow police force relentlessly pursues the solution to a triple homicide which occurred in Moscow's Gorky Park. He finds that no one really wants him to solve the crime because it is just the tip of a complex conspiracy which involves the highest levels of the Moscow city government.
MUMFORD AND SONS | MUSIC
That is how Mumford and Sons entered my life.
Formed in December 2007, Mumford & Sons consists of four young men from West London: Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane.
They create a gutsy, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with the might of Kings Of Leon.
The four friends were playing various instruments in various bands in London throughout the summer of 2007. They were united to perform impromptu renditions of Marcus’ earliest attempts at song-writing in front of crowds of friends in sweaty underground folk nights in the capital. They bonded over their love of country, bluegrass and folk, and decided to make music that sounded loud and proud.
With each release, the music of Mumford & Sons got brighter, bolder and brawnier, with an increasing focus on their empassioned and intimate lyrics.
Their success continued to build, too, with two glorious benchmarks being their place on the BBC Sound Of 2009 Poll shortlist, and their London ICA show selling out in 24 hours.
SEASICK STEVE | MUSIC
My 2nd album by Seasick Steve, bought it a few weeks ago when I was over in Scotland: 'You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks'.
Steven Gene Wold, commonly known as Seasick Steve (b. 1941), is an American blues musician. He plays (mostly personalized) guitars, and sings, usually about his early life doing casual work.
HONDA XL600V TRANSALP | MOTORCYCLE
The decision has been made: I'll sell my Honda XL600V Transalp! While manufactured in 1994, I've been the owner since 2000.
When I bought it, replacing my Honda Shadow, it had some 47.000 kms on the clock. Now it has a mere 63.000 kms. I never got around to taking it abroad or fullfilling the other plans I had for it. It was esspecially great for a quick dash into the Big City where a car slows you down and is expensive to park.