art & photography


Edward Hopper Scrapbook

A while ago I came across this scrapbook on Edward Hopper.

I’ve been a fan of Hopper’s paintings for some time now, and there’s something about his work that really appeals. There’s such a wonderful quality rendered to his scenes—that which is unsaid, things which aren’t painted, the missing artifact or person. So much is suggested from light, from what is framed. I wish there was more art or fiction like this.

I often wonder about a similar technique in fiction. I get the same kind of feeling when I look at his work that I do reading a Katherine Mansfield story, or a Hemingway novel. The things that are working unseen—sometimes obviously so—beneath the prose. You can look at a Hopper painting for hours wondering about the direction in which he was sending you, so have a look at the scrapbook, explore.


Kerouac Scroll

This weekend I’m hoping to visit Jack Kerouac’s scroll, from his Beat-slick generation-defining novel, On The Road.

He wrote it in just three weeks, furiously and loudly tap-tap-tapping away on his typewriter on 12ft long reels of paper so that he did not have to stop, just writing writing writing fuelled only, he said, by coffee…

It became one of the most important American novels of the last century and yesterday the original manuscript – a scroll taped together with eight reels of paper – of Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” was unfurled in the UK for the first time.

Interesting how the manuscript itself has now become an object of art—something that is never really thought about by many writers, I’d imagine.

Clearly something must be done.

I should warn any potential readers from the Pan Macmillan offices: should I get carried away (if you know me, you know how likely that is) there’s a strong chance I’ll be handing in my next manuscript on a scroll, in just such a state, into the offices in London.


Edward Hopper House Panorama

Pretty much what it says in the header.

I’m a big fan of Hopper’s paintings. They share a similar quality to a Hemingway short story in their laconic style, and the narrative between the line (or brushstroke, I guess). There’s such energy in the restraint used by each of them, a desperation for the stories to be explored in more detail. (As an aside, I think people misunderstand Hemingway as merely tight prose, which it is and isn’t—some of his sentences were ridiculously long and breathless.)

And by looking at the view as linked above, it isn’t difficult to understand why Hopper felt New England a good place to settle.


There’s more of a travelogue here:

THIS time of year Corn Hill Beach in Truro, Mass., on the outer arm of Cape Cod, is a joyful, teeming playground. At low tide, the warm water of Cape Cod Bay recedes to expose banks of smooth sand, which swarm with kids, dogs and blissfully vacationing parents. As the sun sinks toward Provincetown, it cuts through a hazy summer sky, shimmering off the quicksilver bay. It picks out Corn Hill, at the north side of the beach, and daubs the tiny cottages at its crest in sure, vibrant strokes.

I desperately want to visit.


I’m Back

Back from Worldcon, even if my luggage isn’t quite… Anyway, far too much to say about the event. Denver is a great city, the convention was so much fun, and I really enjoyed catching up with so many people. And drinking. Lots of gin and tonics. The Hugo Awards weren’t quite how I’d have liked it, but these things never are. All in all, I’m back, and tired.

This is me at Lou Anders’ Pyr “Brazil” party, which served cocktails I can’t remember the name of.