A couple of months ago, the on line and print journal Zeek: A Journal of Jewish Thought and Culture created a partnership with Jewcy, an entertainment and media company. The print journal will continue to come out twice a year, but here on out on line content will be presented in more of a blog form. This new format gives Zeek "a more flexible web presence." I've published several translations of Israel literature in Zeek (see left sidebar for links) but my first translation to appear in Zeek @ Jewcy is the prose poem "Rita" by Roman Baembaev. This new format now allows readers to leave comments, which I hope will generate discussion around these texts. Also check out Lisa Katz's translation of "All" by Agi Mishol.
Artist Robert Ladislas Derr also participated in the "Theory and Practice" show that I saw recently at Gallery Aferro. His piece "Intellectual Economy" is a video installation consisting of two computer monitors standing, back to back, on a table. On one monitor, you see a man from the back, banging his head against the wall. On the other monitor, you see his head coming through the wall. In Derr's own words: "The front side view of the rupturing wall echoes the process of birth and challenges the notions of illusionistic space. Breaking through the wall from one side to the other illustrates that art is not easy."
I was reading about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and came across a bibliographic reference to Critical Kit-Kats, a 1896 collection of literary portraits by Edmund Gosse. I've never heard the term "kit kat" used to refer to anything other than a chocolate wafer confection so I was intrigued. The Kit-Cat Club was an 18th century club based in London that attracted those of political and literary persuasions (Jonathan Swift was a member). The name also refers to a kind of pie, named after Christopher Catling, a pie maker. In the preface to Critical Kit-Kats, Gosse offers another meaning:
In an age when studies multiply and our shelves groan with books it is not every interesting and original figure to whom the space of a full length or even a half length portrait can be spared For the low comfortable rooms where people dined in the last century there was invented the shorter and still less obtrusive picture called a Kit Kat and some of our most skilful painters have delighted in this modest form of portraiture which emphasises the head yet does not quite exclude the hand of the sitter I have ventured to borrow from the graphic art this title for my little volume since these are condensed portraits each less than half length and each accommodated to suit limited leisure and a crowded space.
You can download a scanned copy of the entire book through Google Reader.
Finally, I don't know how but I came across a fantastic and fun post on jellyfish by Molly Lambert, managing editor of This Recording. I find jellyfish endlessly fascinating and recently learned about an "immortal" variety, Turritopsis nutricula (which Lambert mentions). Appropriately titled "In Which They'll Outlive Us All," the post features a bunch of great illustrations and some mp3s. I also recommend this post on John Ashbery.