Saturday, 10 December 2005

Birthday Week Recap

I forgot to finish my list of birthday presents. It's important to keep track of this stuff, you know.

This is how far I got before:

Dorian's parents: lovely turquoise earrings which I'm wearing now

Ampersand Duck: Sullen hillbilly holding Jesus made of balloons

Hairdresser who cut my hair badly one time only two years ago: voucher for complimentary glass of champagne with any colour and/or set of acrylic nails

Baz: nothing



Since then Baz has coughed up: I said "Yes, catfood, but what are you giving me for my birthday?" and he ran off and crouched himself down on top an LP which happened to be lying on top of the record player, so I understand that to mean he is giving me "Songs fron the Big Chair" by Tears for Fears. Cats don't know the concept of personal property so it's not his fault he's giving away stuff that not only doesn't belong to him, but was actually purchased with the recipient's pocket money about fifteen years before he was even born.

Dorian gave me perfume. He read on my blog that I like perfume. O Brave New World. Thank you, darling.

My parents gave me a book voucher and an apron my mother made in the design education subject she's been doing this semester. It's decorated with a picture of Mae West holding a cake - thanks to Mum's mad Photoshopping skillz, hurray! Thanks Mum!



Last night I went to Borders to get rid of that burdensome book voucher. Since they only had one of the nine things I had on my wanted list, I came home with Cynthia Ozick's new novel The Bear Boy, a little book by Tony Moore about the Barry McKenzie movies, two DVDs - Midnight Cowboy and The Lair of the White Worm (thanks Zoe), and Zadie Smith's On Beauty. I started reading the Barry McKenzie book last night, and while I'm yet to be convinced those movies are all that worthy of celebration - don't know if I'd recommend showing them on information nights about travelling to Australia, for instance - I'm enjoying the book itself. The two novels I don't think I'll read for a little while just yet, though I've wanted to read The Bear Boy for months and finally got tired of waiting for it to appear in paperback. Last week I read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and it's so, so good that I think it'd be a little unfair to read other books with it still so vivid in my consciousness. I have put aside Jonathan Strange already because of this feeling. This will sound sappy, but I feel privileged to be alive at a time in history when people like Ishiguro are writing.

Zadie Smith's novel I bought 20% because it's probably worth reading (though after The Autograph Man I am less sure of that) and 80% because of the cover. Whoever designed this book did a superlative job.





There must be a name for that regularised, stylised floral medallion / ogive pattern, anyone know it? Very 1970s Ottoman revival. Anyway, I love it in just about any form, and here it's presented in rich surprising colours. Some parts of the patterns are printed in gloss inks which makes you want to pick up the book and run your hand over its surface and tilt it to catch the light. I've seen this technique used a bit lately, like in this literally gorgeous Art & Australia cover -



- the image is a detail of a James Morrison painting - where the insects, part of the same surface as the rest of the painting, are on the cover picked out in glossy enamel-like printing. Maybe this is old news in commercial printing (it's probably the same technique used to metallicise titles on airport novel covers) but it's new to me. I like it, especially on the magazine cover - it announces that the reproduction isn't necessarily trying to substitute for the experience of the original.

11 comments:

fluffy said...

I have it on good authority that the whole image is printed in matte and a gloss screen is applied over the top to the bits which are to be shiny.

Also: which perfume? is it nice? a tricky business buying perfume for someone.

Lucy Tartan said...

Ah, thank you! Is it a fairly new technique?

The perfume is Jean-Paul Gaultier classic. The Poison of my generation, heh.

Ben.H said...

Where did this sudden obsession with Bazza McKenzie come from? Also, I remember there being a bit of a vogue for the gloss-on-matt printing for certain record covers in the late 1980s.

lsklbtw

chuck said...

I seem to be one of the only people who liked Autograph Man, which maybe says something about my tastes as a reader.

At any rate, I'll be curious to know your take on her new novel because I'm not sure I'l have a chance to read it until it hits paperback in about six months or so.

Lucy Tartan said...

Interesting - it's in paperback here - in vast towering Christmas-shopping towers of paperback, even.

Barry McKenzie, well, where do sudden obsessions with anything come from? I rather think it's because I heard the book discussed on Radio National and then it was pictured on our internet home page for about a week. Oh and Barry Humphries was in the Kath & Kim Christmas special "The Kath and Kim Code", I guess that accounts for my sudden interest.

I have no info on why Currency Press decided to publish the book. According to the author he's been digging Bazza since he was a little 'un.

Ampersand Duck said...

A printer I deal with a lot here in Canberra has just started using that 'coating' technique a lot, and sent me down to the local supplier for a sample book. It's a screenprinting technique, and can be done in all varieties of gloss, glitter, foil, textures and that scratch-off stuff they use for lottery tickets. I'd like to do a catalogue where you can't see the artists' names until you scratch off the panel! fun!

The company is unfortunately called 'Allkotes': http://www.allkotes.com.au

Rob Manderson said...

I love this comment

'Cats don't know the concept of personal property so it's not his fault he's giving away stuff that not only doesn't belong to him, but was actually purchased with the recipient's pocket money about fifteen years before he was even born.'

Only a true cat person could have written that! :-)

Clancy said...

Last week I read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and it's so, so good that I think it'd be a little unfair to read other books with it still so vivid in my consciousness. I have put aside Jonathan Strange already because of this feeling. This will sound sappy, but I feel privileged to be alive at a time in history when people like Ishiguro are writing.

Why don't you elaborate on this thought and post it to The Valve? Here you've really captured one thing I really would like to see more of at The Valve: affect. Passionate, emotional response to beauty.

Clancy said...

Ack, apologies for the double "really" there.

worldpeace_and_aspeedboat said...

happy birthday Miss Tartan!

join the happy happy December gang - a bunch of the ForBattle crew are Decembers as well (Ob, Cozling, Pete, and me, and some of our non-bloggy friends too). apart from being too close to Xmas I love an early summer birthday...

Lucy Tartan said...

Hey, cheers, WP - Coz's birthday is exactly the same as mine - same date. Woah.