Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Saturday night in the world, in winter

is an astonishing piece by DM Fraser. The finest piece I’ve read thus far about this city. Not a street name in sight. Yet all the discombobulation inside and outside the window and that walks along with you somedays. And weather, excellent meditation on winter and momentary surrender.

Snow being something you look out at here, in my experience, tho’ now we are beginning to dress for it.

Mr Fraser foxtrotted me away from Bataille. Lovely to be stunned on a Sunday night foray to the stacks. It’s a story I’d like to learn by heart and call up when crossing at the traffic lights.


Film 1965. (Samuel Beckett/Alan Schneider/Buster Keaton)



Hello Kitty flip flops belonging to seventy year old feet.

Stomach scar on pale flesh that was too low to be open heart surgery.

Two female in their late seventies high five each other on recognition in the shower.

Aquafit, an undefeatable nation that once bounced in the shallow end, has morphed to rule the entire pool.

Aquafit: Resting place for house music rejected by aerobics.

No lifejacket if you are more than 90 pounds.

Industrial noise protection ear plugs worn to keep water out of ears while swimming.

What is the definition of swim continuously?

What if you cannot swim continuously?

Are you swimming intermittently?

Can continuous swimming be policed or is it based on an honour breathing system?

The strange thing about flooding is the never ending feeling it will always be back. It may receed, but somehow there’s the promise of return. A reminder of something. I’m here.

I was playing with this image in a futuristic story that I wrote earlier this year called Four Upping. That water would, will continue to rise.

Must get back to it. Stories tend to receed similiarly after flooding the brain or getting beaten back. Yet they tend to call again at odd moments.

This is a story I would like to create on the new Bookriff software.

Astonishing flood footage from Cork, Clare, Galway. Incl. paintings being lifted from gallery @ UCC in frantic bid to save them. Note the attempt to open the main road but basically trying to drown the farmers houses near by. Jesus. Automobiles over folk.



Wind rural. I have Wind urban but it’s currently missing in bluster and will join its windy sister forthwith


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I’ve had to place myself on a strict Bataille diet. I’ve had to limit the Monsieur to un chapitre per journee towards the end of the journee otherwise I spend the entire journee wandering in his words. And there are a couple of other pressing priorities such as feeding the chickens and learning to write Ruby computer code or shoes code (or building v simple graphic apps in Shoes with Ruby language), whichever it is the Puffin and I are learning, thanks to the mighty Sarah Mei and her inspired ideas and instructions.

Our weather channel with literary forecasts continues to grow over at View all 8 forecasts and counting speculation here

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Day two with Georges (Bataille) has proved mighty fruitful. We’ve covered piety, obsession with death, bull fighting, Charles, Robert, Catholicism, split second and steady and lasting obligation, mothers, nerves, odious utterance, transgression… et en plus.

It’s rather like the most sitting down with the most comprehensive menu ever handed to you and finding endless first choices and be able to afford to choose every one of them.


This piece got me brain thumping. In relation to how the Pastoral might be played with …. and juggled or inverted.

Jonathan Raban in NYRB on Dorothea Lange


Pastoral, Empson wrote, was a “puzzling form” and a “queer business” in which highly educated and well-heeled poets from the city idealized the lives of the poorest people in the land. It implied “a beautiful relation between the rich and poor” by making “simple people express strong feelings…in learned and fashionable language.” From 1935 onward, no one would read Spenser’s The Shepheardes Calendar or follow Shakespeare’s complicated double plots without being aware of the class tensions and ambiguities between the cultivated author and his low-born subjects.

The rain continues to slant in the light of the lamp posts day after day. Ceasing for periods of recess of approx 10 mins twice a day. Rivers have burst their banks in three countries to my knowledge at the same time. Vancouver Island around Duncan has floods to their doorknobs, Cork City has no drinking water, the 110 ft Christmas tree collided with the Shannon Bridge, roads in the West are completely impassable (Claremorris very flooded) and the army are out. In Cumbria the situation is equally drastic and other parts of England.

Historically our weather systems are in opposition. If it’s pouring there, not the case here. Somehow all the rain lined up in unison.

For our December forecast here on the West Coast, based on this wet pattern, the suggestion I read today is that when colder weather system moves in it, the likelihood of snow is high with these conditions. Here’s a link to the animated radar from Environment Canada (scroll down). And the more widescreen, tapestry of satellite radar — my preferred view for weather enlightenment. (click play, and speed it up for a remix version!)

Today I tried to find the Map Magazine mentioned earlier: wanted to see that MAP commission described. Library didn’t have it, but shall persist.

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Georges, Georges. Beckett did mention you, but it took me a while to find you. I am having to strictly limited my consumption to L’Abbe C in between vital bouts of hoovering and household chores because I could happily suspend all daily activities including breathing and delight only in this prose.

Mr Bataille has already solved 2 and a half of my problems. This will be a vital acquaintanceship.

I love these chance encounters I have with the shelves @ VPL. I met DM Fraser this way. I only found Mr Bataille today because Angela Carter had disappeared down the back of her shelf (2 copies imagine) and a diligent man was furrowing around out the back trying to locate her, so I ambled up shelf and on the down low shelf an orange book flicked through and some sentences caught my eye and I went from there to his fiction, and to desk and afternoon bliss.

I resent the challenges of access to resources that I want to read, but every time such a challenge presents there are rewards beyond the drag of the initial challenge. It’s a petrol of urgency for the written word.

If i have a thought and I need a book to consider that thought against, I want that book now precisely when I have that thought. Often I may not have the book. It may require a bedraggled cold tramp in the rain (not always successful) to obtain it, but in that tramp there’s something else to trip on. Somehow the lack of instant access (whether it be printed book or online journals) makes the final encounter that much more appreciated or richer. Especially in the matter of journal articles because a hunger has been created by the abstract. There’s also crushing disappointment if it turns out to be a dry table of figures and one paragraph of some bunk that doesn’t live up to the abstract. Today that were not the case! It was blue, it was bound, it was compelling.

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I am placing all my faith in George Bataille for the next five day period.  On va voir what he drums up.


Caught sight of this paragraph or description that may inform on what I was getting at earlier in investigating the way the brain has changed in relation to narrative and how we interact with it. The distinction between physical archive and user generated content in particular. Or it may not. I can’t tell you right now because have to wait for it to be uploaded to the MAP Commission section of this magazine. There are however other interesting interludes in this mag to meet and listen to, such as this amiable eccentric encounter. Or in honour of weary, pulsating heads that carry on Craig Mullholland’s Peer to Peer (excerpt)

MAP Commission by Gintaras Didžiapetris takes a more direct approach by exploring oral culture’s relationship to ethnography. the creation of a narrative structure is not perhaps solely compelling, but the way in which the aesthetic enterprise of narrative has been atomised, undermined and reinterpreted by numerous artist practices in recent years does, nonetheless, warrant some timely attention. the resurfacing of narratives within performance appears to have particular resonance in the work of Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Spartacus Chetwynd and Mark Leckey. Subtly, the constant unfolding of narrative presents new paths to navigate the distance between the physical archive and user-generated content.


Was watching a video piece (The video documentary Colony (2006) by Cinema Suitcase) ce soir firstly sans audio and secondly with audio. In listening and watching I also moved closer to the screen on the second innings.

Earlier in the soiree my son was watching a Scooby Doo episode with audio and subsequently without. The second innings was on a substansially bigger screen. He rejected the first because it kept hopping, and preferred it soundless rather than hopping.

There may be much to be said for watching things twice: first no sound and second add sound. Unless it’s Scooby Doo which the opposite appears to satisfy.  I say this because once I heard the piece, I saw another piece, that added to the first piece I’d watched.

Sometimes I get very confused watching documentaries and films therefore if I watched them in two incarnations I wonder if the confusion would lessen. I think it’s because one’s own imaginative narratives invade the actual narrative and one can become quite convinced the imaginative narrative is the actual narrative until you stands outside on the pavement in the rain and compares notes with the person sat next to you throughout it.  It’s never uninteresting since a whole other has emerged. Just requires a bit of explication. Or not if you are more inspired by the other. Or your other person on the pavement may offer the suggestion that what you thought you saw was more interesting than what you actually saw. Or dismay can set in at what you may have missed if it cannot easily be recouped in another sitting. What lies between what’s said and what’s heard being of course it’s very own colony.

On furthering the construction

To add to the construction of reconstructing: what if pieces of the book were to then disappear. Thus the author was to randomly remove them each week. Or if the author was to upload them in sporadic episodes and then take them away. Would the reader form attachments to single parts? Would the reader check to see when that part might return?

Would there be any point at all? I hear you ask. Well I read something where Cormac McCarthy alluded to the fact that the brain had changed and thus it would not matter if you wrote some 5000 page epic and it was almighty in quality. People won’t read it was essentially what he was saying. If this is true, then how has the brain changed and what are its newer appetites (note the petit in appetit(e))

Are readers more willing to have a relationship with an ongoing piece of prose, the way they’ll have a relationship with a going  blog or stream of tweetation. You could argue that the episode is seeing a resurgence like no other form. Whether it is through the web comic, or the blog, or the podcast, or the moment a la tweet.

If our brains have changed to embrace smaller amounts of text will we embrace a flittering manner of delivery?

I’m increasingly curious about the visual conquering the theatrical in cinema (tho’ I accept this happened eons ago). A droning monologue once had a place in a film that it may no longer have. Yet the monologue is a mainstay of youtube.  In my earliest memories of being read to was Listen with Mother (we were sat on the kitchen floor beside a wireless and each day a voice said are you sitting comfortably, then we’ll begin…) It was somewhere around lunchtime I think. Then there was Jackanory (sp?) where a person in rocking chair read a book on television. There was also the man who drew and talked and stories unfolded. But essentially there’s very little in the difference between that and sitting on a train listening to a podcast or a comedy. My child consumes far more audio than I had access to.

I digress.

We need to consider if the brain has changed, how it has changed.  The neuroscientists could enlighten on this.

Construction of reconstructing

The construction of this fascinated me more than the actual content. But the ambition that a novel would be  only an auditory world that we encounter in an interface — and we choose the sequence in which we want to hear it, if we so desire — was most alluring. (Or that it could be the primary introduction, a priming of and for the reader to continue to encounter the book in some other or later incarnation)

It offers possibilities that the static page cannot. For one thing the winding sentence may sit better in this form. The winding sentence heard and understood by the author but unable to perfectly translate its rhythm on rereading or reinterpreting. (That said whole new rhythms arrive instead, just as valid, if they’re embraced)

Maybe it is the hopping, wavering numbers on this particular page but there’s much more sense of floating in some kind of galaxy and planet loafing rather than the demands of stone to stone jump with no room or allowance for an ankle to slip and right itself and in that righting be amazed by the feel of muscles it never knew it had.

The Radio Collector – a slide show What useful skills. I’d love to be able to fix my old radios.

The breeze in this was intermittantly intoxicating. Quiet, too. Nice and quiet, I was pondering a man whose unwell while watching it.

Derek Jarman.A Journey to Avebury (1971)

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