Thursday, 29 November 2012

We are an odd bunch

A rather nice find in a real dusty old book shop. Had to buy it, but not as cheap as I would have liked. So had to put a few other things back.

Monday, 26 November 2012

"There'll be books"

How Do You Want To Live?
Published by HMSO, 1972.

I got pretty excited when I found this, as it's tickles a lot of my hauntological fancies - post-war progress, PLANNING, public attitudes to, fear of etc - and I haven't found anything of the like before or since.  Was there a lot of this sort of thing back then?

It includes a specially commissioned poem by Philip Larkin, which was published later in the anthology High Windows as 'Going, Going'.

You can see the poem as it appears in HDYWTL? above (4th scan down). Note that it does not include the following bit, which does appear in the High Windows version:

"On the Business Page, a score

Of spectacled grins approve
Some takeover bid that entails
Five per cent profit (and ten
Per cent more in the estuaries): move
Your works to the unspoilt dales
(Grey area grants)!"

Here's Larkin reading the full version:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Compilation Tapes

Note: COMPILATION, not MIX.  I believe the latter term wasn't used in the UK before the internet, except perhaps by DJs.

A selection from the Bollops family archive; these examples 1987 - 91 or thereabouts

Apologies if this is a bit too recent, or not haunty enough, but re-finding these the other day reminded me that my unhealthy charity shop habit and fascination with books of the sort that get posted here was started by the need to find covers for the compilation tapes that I used to do for my then girlfriend.  Titles as well - the contents pages of popular science books were always good for that.  "The Moon's Strange Internal Strength", "Seven White Gates" etc.

Did anyone else do this, or were you all happy with a bit of silver pen on the tape itself?

Thought for the day: did compilation tapes play a bigger part in the eclecticisation of taste than previously suspected?

Friday, 9 November 2012

Sir, You Are Being Hunted

Hauntological / SteamPunk computer game needs your support on Kickstarter : Sir, You Are Being Hunted

Looks very Moon Wiring to me.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Project Club part 2

Way back in Feb 2011 I posted The Project Club Project Manual on Found Objects. I did have every intention of posting more pages from this book onto Found Objects........but......I forgot. Life got in the way and I got side tracked yet again. So finally 21 months later, here are some more pages from the wonderful world of The Project Club Project Manual. Staring at my congested shelfs, I think the build a record library page def struck a chord with me all those years ago.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Last and First Men

'Last and First Men' is a history of the human race, as told by somebody living billions of years from now.

Our future historian (speaking through the book's 'author', Olaf Stapledon) describes how Mankind has gone through numerous versions, each one rising or evolving from the ashes of the previous one and developing a sophisticated civilization before falling prey to catastrophe or terminal decline and making way for the next version.

It's a fantastic book, and those covers are lovely, but the main reason I'm posting about it here is the following passage, which should raise a smile, strike a chord or cause something to flicker in anyone with an interest in Hauntology, or who has read (or written) Simon Reynolds' book 'Retromania':

Background: the first four versions of Mankind have come and gone, and we are now with the Fifth Men.  They have developed a pseudo-time-travel technique, which enables them to experience the past by hitching a ride in the minds of people who lived hundreds, thousands, millions of years ago:


"The access to the past had, of course, far-reaching effects upon the culture of the Fifth Men. Not only did it give them an incomparably more accurate knowledge of past events, and insight into the motives of historical personages, and into large-scale cultural movements, but also it effected a subtle change in their estimate of the importance of things. Though intellectually they had, of course, realized both the vastness and the richness of the past, now they realized it with an overwhelming vividness. Matters that had been known hitherto only historically, schematically, were now available to be lived through by intimate acquaintance. The only limit to such acquaintance was set by the limitations of the explorer's own brain-capacity. Consequently the remote past came to enter into a man and shape his mind in a manner in which only the recent past, through memory, had shaped him hitherto. Even before the new kind of experience was first acquired, the race had been, as was said, peculiarly under the spell of the past; but now it was infinitely more so. Hitherto the Fifth Men had been like stay-at-home folk who had read minutely of foreign parts, but had never travelled; now they had become travellers experienced in all the continents of human time. The presences that had hitherto been ghostly were now presences of flesh and blood seen in broad daylight. And so the moving instant called the present appeared no longer as the only, and infinitesimal, real, but as the growing surface of an everlasting tree of existence. It was now the past that seemed most real, while the future still seemed void, and the present merely the impalpable becomingness of the indestructible past."

"At all times, in all pursuits, the presence of the tragic past haunted them, poisoning their lives, sapping their strength."

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