"The comic strip character Dennis The Menace featuring a young boy in a red and black striped shirt debuted on March 12, 1951 in 16 newspapers in the United States. Three days later in the UK a character called Dennis The Menace, wearing a red and black striped jumper made his debut in the children's comic The Beano. Both creators have denied any causal connection."

-my old teacher used to say about phenomenons like these that sometimes ideas lie in the air and it's just a matter of grasping them. they don't belong to you, you can just catch them. and sometimes two people catch them at the same time.

remembering the future

'It's very good jam,' said the Queen.
'Well, I don't want any TODAY, at any rate.'
'You couldn't have it if you DID want it,' the Queen said. 'The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday -but never jam today.'
'It MUST come sometimes to "jam today,"' Alice objected.
'No, it can't,' said the Queen. 'It's jam every OTHER day: today isn't any OTHER day, you know.'
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first--'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
'--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.

(from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll)


the cabinet of curiosities

wiki says about these marvelous cabinets the following:
"A cabinet of curiosities was an encyclopedic collection in Renaissance Europe of types of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined.
They were also known by various names such as Cabinet of Wonder, and in German Kunstkammer or Wunderkammer (wonder-room). Modern terminology would categorize the objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings) and antiquities. "The Kunstkammer was regarded as a microcosm or theater of the world, and a memory theater. The Kunstkammer conveyed symbolically the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction."
Of Charles I of England's collection, Peter Thomas has succinctly stated, "The Kunstkabinett itself was a form of propaganda". Besides the most famous and best documented cabinets of rulers and aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science in Europe also formed collections that were precursors to museums."

there are too many words in this short little description that let the bells of my phantasmatic desires ring:
ethnography, archeology, relics, antiquities, precursors to museums, encyclopedic collections, yet to be defined boundaries, natural history (sometimes faked!)... -oh these wonders of the world in these delirious, weird collections. i get excited just by looking at these banal little pictures and imagining the thrill of stumbling upon someone's cabinet of curiosities by accident, where all the mysterious little objects of desire of that one person lie jumbled together in seemingly random, yet somehow universally sensible order of beautiful, insane and insatiable longing.




“Let us consider first of all, the radical and necessary heterogeneity of an inheritance, the difference without opposition that has to mark it, a ‘disparate’ and a quasi-juxtaposition without dialectic (the very plural of what we will later call Marx’s spirits). An inheritance is never gathered together, it is never one with itself. Its presumed unity, if there is one, can consist only in the injunction to reaffirm by choosing. ‘One must’ means one must filter, sift, criticize, one must sort out several different possibles that inhabit the same injunction. And inhabit in a contradictory fashion around a secret. If the readability of a legacy were given, natural, transparent, univocal, if it did not call for and at the same time defy interpretation, we would never have anything to inherit from it. We would be affected by it as by a cause - natural or genetic. One always inherits from a secret - which says ‘read me, will you ever be able to do so?’ The critical choice called for by any reaffirmation of the inheritance is also, like memory itself, the condition of finitude. The infinite does not inherit, it does not inherit (from) itself. The injunction itself (it always says ‘choose and decide among what you inherit’) can only be one by dividing itself, tearing itself apart, differing/deferring itself, by speaking at the same time several times – and in several voices”
( Derrida, Specters of Marx, 1994, p. 18.)


‘to tell a story is always to invoke ghosts, to open a space through which something other returns’  
(Julian Wolfrey: Victorian Hauntings: Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature, pp. 1–3)


the mask behind the face

why masks? to alienate, protect, disguise, punish, perform
the invisible mask
the mask behind the mask
the infinite dissemblance and disguise


what has always drawn me to the realm of the arts is not so much what louise bourgeois describes as art being a guarantee of sanity but more art being a socially accepted stalking horse for so-called obsessive, compulsive disorders. (-although this clinical term already is such a pretentious definition of napoleonic schmocks who claim sanity as subjection to prevailing ideology.) what draws me in is that these "disorders" not only find understanding but even appreciation and celibration amongst one's environment, which would otherwise probably direct you to the psychiatrist's.
you are allowed to be mental and noone expects you to act supposedly "healthy".
sophie calle, who i sometimes enjoy and celibrate enthusiastically and sometimes find a little too obnoxious and self-important, making me feel embarassed for her shameless and insolent public display of rudeness and transgression, -though on the other hand i then again think: shamelessness -wonderful! insolence-yes! at least she's not following some "english schoolboy notions of honor" (augie march) and is just being a punk-, published the goodbye letter of her lover just to send it to 107 experts to dissect and analyze it and turn it into a work of art.
sophie calle wrote:
"I received an email telling me it was over.
 I didn't know how to respond. 
It was almost as if it hadn't been meant for me. 
It ended with the words, "Take care of yourself." 
And so I did. 
I asked 107 women (including two made from wood and one with feathers), 
chosen for their profession or skills, to interpret this letter. 
To analyze it, comment on it, dance it, sing it. 
Dissect it.  Exhaust it. Understand it for me. 
Answer for me. 
It was a way of taking the time to break up. 
A way of taking care of myself."

a very exciting, strange, impudent and beguiling work.
just like the voyeuristic thrill of reading other people's letters, searching for personal traces in ruins, finding out your christmas gifts before you're supposed to, being a detective, putting together paranoid conspiracy theories.
i have to say i kind of love this work, but then again i guess i'm just too "civilized" to say that without a trace of embarassment of being a nosey bugger myself, interested in everything and often without the adequate sensitivity towards the embarassment of my fellow men. but then again i also think: oh fuck it. life is too short not to enjoy the befuddling freedom of being a freak.

more titles

memories, dreams, reflections by c.g. jung
flowers of evil
journey to the end of the night
paradise lost
poems of humor and protest
the stranger
moby dick
the idiot
faces, images and their truth