Here’s a conundrum for you. Back in 1860, Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793-1865) worked up this little scene. A woman, walking along in a pose very familiar to us today, is about to be confronted by a suitor bearing a flower. The painting was titled ‘Die Erwartete’ (‘The Expected’). So was Herr Waldmüller a … More Why yes, it’s proof of time travel, or not
Hey folks, I’ve been back to cooking again, and I’ve got a couple of rice recipes which I can’t choose between. Which of these sounds better? Boiled rice glop served in a revolting steaming splatter on a plate Ingredients ½ cup rice 1 cup frozen carrots and peas ½ cup grated cheese Tomato sauce 1 … More Which recipe would you eat?
Does anybody listen to British folk-rock? Stuff that flourished, really, in the late 1960s on the back of the counter-culture and some of which floated away on a cloud of Tolkien influences into the 1970s. That wasn’t surprising. In its British incarnation the counter-culture took on overtones of ‘Merrie England’, the nineteenth century sense of … More Tolkien and folk-rock and us
It’s over a decade since I paid a stupid amount of money to attend a lecture given by Malcolm McLaren – yes, that Malcolm McLaren. It was touted as a ‘cyber lecture’ in which he was going to reveal the philosophy of his approach to art. And after he’d dribbled on about nothing for about four hours, he … More If writing’s art, what should we deliver?
I have never understood the appeal of post-modern abstract art – you know, the pile of ordure sitting in the middle of a whitewashed gallery, from which you’re meant to deduce some profound statement about the nature of society, and if you don’t ‘get’ it then you’re a stupid luddite. To me this sort of … More When writing isn’t writing?
The other day I heard a panel discussion on New Zealand’s national radio. They’d called together a group of Kiwi artists – a couple of composers and a couple of writers – to comment on their work. I usually listen to these things with a certain cynicism. Here in New Zealand I find ‘arts’ discussions … More Write it now: grounding your writing in practical realities
As far as I am concerned one of the more facile questions authors – or artists of any kind – get asked is ‘who’s your influence?’ It’s as if nobody can do anything original. There’s an automatic assumption that a creative artist – like a writer – has to be ‘influenced’ by the style or … More Write it now: who’s your writing influence?