Tag: Art

Organising Your Personal Library

Posted February 14, 2017 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 4 Comments

Recently I have been thinking about building the perfect library; this was due to a collection of essays I was reading called The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel. In this book, Manguel explores the process of building his personal library from an old barn but he also looks at the history of libraries around the world. Each essay is titled ‘The Library as…’ space, power, shadow, and so on. These essays explore different topics, giving you a wealth of information. Take for example ‘The Library as Shadow’, which explores a darker side of library history, from book burning to censorship.

What I am particularly interested in was from the essay ‘The Library as Order’, which focuses on how we would arrange our personal library. It does not matter where or how you house your personal library; every person has their own opinions on that topic. I wanted to explore the concept of how we arrange the books. There are so many ways to arrange books, currently my books are everywhere and there is a certain appeal to this. I have bookshelves around the house and any new books end up wherever it fits. If I need to find a particular book, I can spend hours searching for it. This is not always ideal but there is something about this literary treasure hunt that I enjoy. I often discover books on my shelves that I have forgotten about or I want to dip back into. Looking at a shelf that offers no rhyme or reason can be mesmerising, and who does not enjoy just staring at a bookshelf? While this method works for me now, it is not practical if I have a library, I need to arrange my books differently. In The Library at Night, Alberto Manguel suggests some different ways to organise books;

  • alphabetically
  • by continent or country
  • by colour
  • by date of purchase
  • by date of publication
  • by format
  • by genre
  • by literary period
  • by language
  • according to our reading priorities
  • according to their binding
  • by series

Amidst all of these choices, I have to admit ‘according to our reading priorities’ does sound appealing but I feel like this would continually change. The obvious choice would be to organise alphabetically (by authors last name of course) but there are some draw backs with this. Not only will fiction and non-fiction sit side by side but the idea of Charles Dickens sitting next to Philip K Dick or Jane Austen beside Paul Auster seems odd. Although for those authors that dabble in both fiction and non-fiction, like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn this system may be preferable.

Sorting by genre seems like a popular choice, and for all intents and purposes the most logical. As someone that reads on a whim, the ability to just head to somewhere like the detective fiction section and pick a gritty hard-boiled novel sounds wonderful. My only problem is the fact that it is often difficult to fit novels neatly into a single genre. Also, with an author like Jonathan Lethem you would have to separate his works, especially with his early books. I like the idea of sorting by genre but I found too many flaws in this system.

Picking an organisation strategy appeared to be much harder than it looked. Organising by colour is aesthetically pleasing but I never considered this as an option; it is just too random. I am playing around with a book-sorting app on my phone, which allowed me to create different shelves for organising. This allowed me to scan my books into the program and play with different ways to organise.

I eventually decided that there was no perfect way to organise a library, you can go into your public library and see evidence of this everywhere. I had to come up with a solution that worked for me. I do not have a library yet, but when I do, I am now sure I know how it will be organised. I have settled on sorting by continents for my fiction, this is because I have a keen interest in books in translation. I have discovered that splitting my fiction into continents will give me the opportunity to see where my strengths and weaknesses lie. If I organise my fiction by continent, I will notice which continents I need to focus on, like South America and Africa. I love reading around the world, I find it both an educational and rewarding experience.

If your reading journey and your library is a personal reflection, then the books that do not appear on your shelves say just as much about you as the books you do have on your shelf. When I became a reader, I quickly started building my book collection to a point where I have shelves and shelves of books everywhere. The problem I face now is the fact that I have only read about half of them. Publishers sent me books because of my blog but I also purchased books that sounded interesting. Now I have evolved as a reader and discovered where my literary tastes lie, there are books that remain on my shelf that are not a reflection of me as a reader. These books do not tell you anything about me because I have no desire to read them. While I know I should cull all books I have no interest in, it is hard to let go of a book that you have never read. What if it is fantastic and I just do not know that yet? There is the problem, but I do feel like I am getting to a point where I can be confident about a book I would not like. So maybe a purge is coming.

Now the problem with sorting the fiction by continents is that there are some countries I have a greater interest in – the literature of France and Russia for example. Do I split them into their own section? I am interested in all post-Soviet literature, so that brings up another question. How do I shelve these books? Russia seems too exclusive; calling them post-Soviet countries just does not sit right with me; Baltic and Slavic countries do not cover all the countries. This is one problem I need to solve, but for now I think this is the best choice for me.

Another issue I found with sorting by continent is that the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland fall under Europe but they do not feel the same. There is so much literature from the United Kingdom anyway, I feel like it would require its own shelves. I wonder about North America but honestly, does it matter if Canada and the United States sit together? For me it does not, although this may displease my Canadian friends. There are so many things to consider and this is only a small fraction of the problems I face with sorting my books.

When it comes to non-fiction, it was not difficult; this was always going to be sorted by subject. Philosophy, history, Russian history, books about books, art, and so on. However, that posed some interesting questions as well. Do you include philosophical novels like The Stranger by Albert Camus or Either/Or by Søren Kierkegaard in the philosophical section? My feeling is yes but where do you draw the line? There are novels that are philosophical in nature that I would not include under philosophy, like The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

I will continue to ponder just how I would organise my dream library, but I wanted to give you plenty to consider. Instead of reviewing The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel, which everyone should read, I preferred to explore what I got out of this essay collection. I have not even touched on any of the other topics in this book; I will leave that for you to discover. Also, I have not even talked about other aspects of setting up a library, like using the Dewey decimal system, or a card catalogue system. Thinking about setting up a dream library is an exciting activity for every bibliophile and we all have different ideas. I loved reading about someone’s journey and it gave me plenty to contemplate. For now, I will continue cataloguing my books using the app BookBuddy and working out how to organise everything. This experiment should also help me discover the gaps in my own library so I can pick better books to purchase.

10:04 by Ben Lerner

Posted August 5, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary Fiction / 0 Comments

10:04 by Ben LernerTitle: 10:04 (Goodreads)
Author: Ben Lerner
Published: Granta, 2014
Pages: 241
Genres: Literary Fiction
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

10:04 tells of a time with increasingly frequent super storms; the novel is bookended with Hurricanes Irene and Sandy (although they are never referred to by name). Our unnamed narrator has also been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, which is almost always fatal. Faced with the state of the world and his own mortality, this narrator must question his legacy. Not just biologically but as a writer he must consider what he will leave behind.

A Brooklyn based writer, this narrator starts off early within the novel talking about just what kind of life he has. In one particular passage he describes visiting the Metropolitan Museum, a frequent occurrence, with a friend. “We often visited weekday afternoons, since Alex was unemployed, and I, a writer.” The two like to look at all the melodrama found in the 19th century, in particular his favourite; a painting of Joan of Arc. This passage not only sets up an introduction to our narrator and his female friend Alex but also an indication of what type of novel to expect here.

Ben Lerner has an uncanny ability to write a unique novel that is both beautiful and moving but at the same time remaining hilarious and intelligent. I will admit that the novel did make me feel stupid so many times but I love a book that makes me work to fully grasp it. I always get a real sense of accomplishment when I finish a book like 10:04. For those that are hesitant about reading a book that might make them feel dumb, I think 10:04 is worth the effort and the challenge.

This novel explores a lot of interesting themes from friendship, sex, memory, legacy, art and politics; think of this as a book that explores the landscape of the contemporary life. The narrator is a bit pretentious but then again the circles he hangs out in are full of pseudo-intellectuals. The New York literary scene has been done time and time again, however I am a huge fan of this setting and I think there are so many opportunities to explore interesting ideas. 10:04 did exactly that.

It seems like Ben Lerner is going to be one of those authors that the literary world will need to watch. His first novel Leaving the Atocha Station was met with critical acclaim, showing up on all the major literary magazines’ best books of the year list. A novel I have yet to read but if it is anything like 10:04, I know I will love it. Ben Lerner manages to capture so many emotions in one single narrative, 10:04 is just a great book and I expect to see many more great novels from Ben Lerner in the future.

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

Posted November 2, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Contemporary / 0 Comments

The Flamethrowers by Rachel KushnerTitle: The Flamethrowers (Goodreads)
Author: Rachel Kushner
Published: Harvill Secker, 2013
Pages: 383
Genres: Contemporary
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Reno is a young artist from Nevada who moves to New York with the ambitious dream of making it in the art world. In a new city she finds herself as an outsider; lonely and spending her weekends watching the people of the city. She intends to turn her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art, ironically moving to the east to create art about her life in the west. Eventually she finally makes it into the New York art scene only to find that it is full of more posers than artists.

Rachel Kushner’s second novel The Flamethrowers seemed to get a lot of book buzz when it first came out but I don’t know anyone that has read it. I was walking through my library looking at all the random books they have when I came across this one and decided I will try it. This may have been a mistake, it was a tough start; I failed to find something to keep me interested to begin with and that struggle continued throughout the entire novel. In hindsight I probably should have put the book aside and tried again later but it was a library book so I forced myself through it.

I am struggling to work out if the book was the problem or if it was just the wrong time to read it. This is a particular problem, I can see glimpses of morbid beauty throughout this novel and for all intents and purposes this should have been the type of book I would enjoy. However I feel no desire to try and reread this book to find out who was at fault.

I spendta lot of time feeling disconnected from the plot, but I have to wonder if this was intentional. The Flamethrowers is a novel about the unspoken rules of modern society; how we should act in order to fit into the social circles. The need to belong runs high through this book but this is more than just social status. There are insights into art, reputation, sanity, love and life that play a big part in that ultimate class/social struggle.

I felt like this book was constructed along the lines of Midnight Cowboy but set in the world of Andy Warhol. Replace the word prostitute with the word artist and you pretty much get the idea of what to expect from The Flamethrowers. However, this felt more like a social satire on the art world, poking fun at all the poseurs and the art scene. The idea that Reno felt the need to move to New York to pursue her art career places a big part in The Flamethrowers and is what led me to suspect this was a parody.

Weirdly enough, trying to gather my thoughts and understand what happened in the novel in order to write this review gave me more insight than reading the book. The book felt like a constant state of confusion which my brain had to sort out later. There was something there in this novel but sadly I never connected. I would love to find someone who loved this book to understand what I missed.

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Posted October 29, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Graphic Novel, Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloudTitle: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (Goodreads)
Author: Scott McCloud
Series: The Comic Books #1
Published: William Morrow, 1993
Pages: 215
Genres: Graphic Novel, Non-Fiction
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I have been getting into comics lately and I am quickly discovering there is so much about this medium that I do not know. When trying to review a comic or graphic novel, I find it easy to talk about plot but talking about the art is difficult. I picked up Understanding Comics because there is so much to learn and I wanted a better grasp on the art form. And it is art, it might not be as highbrow as artists like Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet or my personal favourite Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, but it is still art. To exclude comics as an art form would be like removing Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack or René Magritte from the art world because you ‘don’t get it’.

Now that I have had a little rant about art, let’s talk about comics and Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. This book is a graphical look into comics as an art form, exploring the history of comics and tries to explain the meaning behind the art. It starts off trying to define what a comic is, which I quickly realised was an impossible feat. McCloud ended saying “Comics are juxtaposed pictorial and other images in a deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer” but then went on to explain how problematic that definition can be.

A highlight for me was found in chapter two where Scott McCloud explored the vocabulary of comics. The chapter begins with explain René Magritte’s painting The Treachery of Images (1928-29), an artist I am a big fan of. I actually went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the hope to see The Treachery of Images, but it was currently on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago. What I liked about this chapter was how he took the meaning of this painting and expanded on it to help explain comics. He took something easy to explain and built upon that to the more complex ideas.

Reading Understanding Comics makes comics sound like highbrow pieces of art and maybe that is how we should view them. Instead of thinking about comics as a lowbrow medium, it is about time we experience the art and what it can tell us. In this book six major ideas around the art. Idea/purpose, form, idiom/style, structure, craft and surface; explaining how they can all work together to make great pieces.

There is a lot of information within Understanding Comics and I don’t think I have explored it all yet. It has equipped me with some new tools when reading and reviewing comics. The best thing about this book is the way Scott McCloud changes his art style and methods to explore the different ways you can execute the theories behind this book. I am glad he referenced all his work, especially when talking about other artists and how they write comics. The graphical representation of the art theory in the book helped me to understand comics a little better but there is just so much here that I will need to reread this a few times before it sinks in.

Time for some Cultural Studies

Posted August 17, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Education / 4 Comments

ms marvelWhile writing a review for Ms. Marvel: No Normal I came to the burning realisation that I don’t know how to review art work. As a result of this realisation, I had to leave out any thoughts of the art. This got me thinking, I have a book blog that has been a great tool for developing my skills in reviewing and talking about literature. This blog sadly still gets neglected a little too much but I think I can make use of it for developing my skills.

Knowledge Lost was created to allow me to talk about what I have learnt and I can apply them into a blog post. So I have to wonder why I am not trying to socially critique all things pop-culture. Thanks to two recent books I’m starting to see issues relating to feminism (The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss) and sexuality (Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith) in everything I see. I’ve decided to practice these skills and start critiquing movies, TV shows and obviously art. The goal is to improve my writing skills in these areas and gives me an excuse to look more into pop-culture.

I have plans to talk about a few topics already, so I’m hoping that this blog is going to be neglected less. If you read my book blog you may have seen my manifesto where I have decided to write every day. So stay turned, it might not be as educational as before but this blog is now my new playground to practice and develop my abilities. I think the term for this is cultural studies, it is very similar to literary criticism but it applies to all things related to pop-culture.

Provenance by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo

Posted July 10, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

Provenance by Laney Salisbury and Aly SujoTitle: Provenance (Goodreads)
Author: Aly Sujo, Laney Salisbury
Published: Penguin, 2009
Pages: 301
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

For those that don’t know, a provenance is a document (or documents) that chronologies the ownership of a historical object. In the art world, the provenance serves almost like a certificate of authenticity as well as a historical document of the ownership, custodies or locations the piece has been displayed. The problem was, there was a time in art history where authenticating a provenance was all you needed to prove the art was genuine. This lead to all kinds of problems, in the world of computers and photocopiers it became very easier to make a document look authenticate than it was to forge a painting. This book explores this very problem; Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art tells the story of what was described as ‘the biggest art fraud in the 20th century’.

Provenance has one of the most extraordinary narratives I’ve ever read in a non-fiction book; it reads like an art thriller, full of suspense and mystery. It wasn’t what I expected from a true crime book on art history, I was hooked in this world and on the edge of my seat to find out what will happen next. The authors of this book, Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo are both investigative reporters and spent the time to research and tell us the story of John Drewe, a villainous con man that set out to defraud the art world. Recruiting a struggling artist, John Myatt, to paint the forges, it is estimated that over 200 forgeries were made and only about 60 of them recovered. This means there is about 140 paintings still out there been accredited to artists like Giacometti, Dubuffet and so on.

If I may, I want to quickly touch on the problematic approach to authenticating a provenance rather than a painting. As I said before the use of computers and photocopiers made it easy to fake these documents, but John Drewe went further by sneaking forged documents of auctions, gallery displays and so on into the archives of museums and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. What was scary about the elaborate efforts Drewe went to to make this provenance real is the fact a test on the painting might have been so much quicker. If they took the effort to test the paint they would have found that Myatt used a combination of emulsion paint, K-Y Jelly and then vanish to make the paintings look like oil paintings.

All my knowledge on art forgery came from people like Neal Caffrey (White Collar) so I’m not nearly knowledgeable on the topic, as I’d like to be. Art history and art crimes can be fascinating topics and what I loved about Provenance is how it showed how crime seeps in and becomes part of the history. When John Myatt served his time he decided not to point out any paintings that he had done, and that raises an interesting question. Is it better to point out the 140 or so fakes still out there and have the owners lose all that money or not? If a fake is just going to be burnt is it better to own up to the forgery or let it remain a piece of art? The financial and artistic costs would be devastating but what about the moral code that Myatt wished to live by?

This is what made for a fascinating read, I learned a small part of art history, art crimes and it also raised some philosophical questions. I know I might have said a little too much but this is history, can you give spoilers on historic events? It is a great piece of narrative non-fiction and a great way to learn more about art crimes.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Posted April 20, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Contemporary / 8 Comments

The Goldfinch by Donna TarttTitle: The Goldfinch (Goodreads)
, 2013
Pages: 771
Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Carel Fabritius was a talented Dutch painter who was considered Rembrandt’s most gifted pupil. His paintings often featured delicately lit subjects against a light coloured background. He moved away from Rembrandt’s renaissance focus and developed his own painting style, with a strong interest in the technical. In 1654 he was injured in The Delft Explosion; 30 tonnes of gunpowder exploded destroying most of the city. Fabritius soon died from his injuries at the age of 32. Possibly one of the last paintings he ever painted, The Goldfinch depicts a goldfinch (a popular pet of the time) on light background. This piece shows his control over a heavily loaded brush as well as demonstrates his interest in lighting and texture.

Donna Tartt’s new novel The Goldfinch tells the story of Theo Decker, who survived a terrorist attack on a New York museum. Moments before the explosion his mother was pointing out Fadritius’ painting and telling Theo why she loved it; in all the confusion Theo manages to take the painting. Orphaned and alone, Theo struggles to find his place in this world while also trying to avoid being taken by the city.

While The Goldfinch is essentially a coming of age story, there are some interesting social observations being played out with the help of the stolen painting. On one hand, the painting represents Theo’s love for his mother and his need to hang on. I also feel that the painting represents that part that you keep hidden from the world; the secrets and shames that you tend to think will destroy friendships if revealed. This also serves a purpose when it comes to Theo’s friendship with Boris further in the novel.

While this is a novel about art and its seedy underbelly, I found myself a little disappointed in the lack of art history, art forging or art heists (technically there is a heist but that wasn’t thrilling). When I discovered my love of literature and learning, I also discovered an interest in art and art history, an itch that I’ve not scratched. I was hoping that Tartt’s novel would give me both entertainment and art history lessons but I was left disappointed. I expected Desperate Romantics but all I got was a bulky Catcher in the Rye.

I’m not saying that I didn’t like The Goldfinch, my expectations for the novel was different to what I got. Donna Tartt spends a lot of time looking at the idea of terrorist attacks and the lasting effects they have on the families of the victims and survivors. This grief serves as a baseline for Theo throughout the novel. Often it can be forgotten about but then you catch glimpses of the scars that remain and while they don’t justify his behaviour it really serve as evidence of the emotional rollercoaster he is stuck on. Tartt’s character development is the key to this book; she has created richly complex and flawed characters that feel so real. Theo, in particular, serves as both the narrator and protagonist; his voice throughout the novel manages to be both direct and reflective.

Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch is complex but over padded; there is a lot that could be cut out to make this a shorter book. I can appreciate the way she captured the life of Theo Decker; making this a sweeping saga, packed with emotion and growth, still would be achievable with a hundred or more pages removed. This is a tragicomedy in every sense of the word but my biggest problem was that there were some situations where things resolved themselves a little too conveniently; it happens but not that often.

 In the end, I found myself sitting on the fence with The Goldfinch. On one hand the characters and development of this novel was spectacular. The other hand is the fact my initial expectations weren’t met and the novel dragged on too much. I know that expectations should never get in the way of a good book and my head is telling me that I should jump on the bandwagon, however my heart just isn’t in it. I’ve heard good things about The Secret History but I have reservations about it now.

House of Leaves: An Art Piece

Posted November 29, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 4 Comments

I picked up the book House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski as part of the Literary Exploration book club (check out my review) and while it is a weird postmodern novel, I think it is art more than literature. So I wanted to talk about my thoughts on this book as art. First of all Postmodern is a weird concept that I don’t fully understand; surrealism makes more sense to me. So I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into.

The book starts off like a normal book; in the sense that it’s formatted normally and you just read down the page. But then it turns into something weird. Different fonts, different coloured writing, upside down and even backwards writing spread out all over the page. It’s at this point where you have no idea how to read it.

Just looking over the book before I even started reading it, I got the sense that this was insanity written on the page, with the multiple voices represented in different typesets. But there is more on the page. The word house is represented in a blue font; even haus and maison show up in blue as well. This was a weird experience for me in the book, my brain wanted to tell me it was black writing so sometimes my eyes played tricks on me with that one word.

Mark Z. Danielewski’s sister, Anne Danielewski, known professionally as Poe wrote an album called Haunted which is meant to accompany this book. While I didn’t read the book while listening to the album, it gives this whole experience a multimedia experience. It is an interesting experience reading excerpts and hearing songs with similar themes. I believe they both toured together for a book tour.

As a piece of literature, I raged, but if I look at this book as art, there really is something unique about this book. Apart from making me pretentious for reading it and having it on my book shelf, this book has a very strong visual component to it. It is what I respect the most from this book. What do others think of this book? Literature or Art?

My Art Adventure

Posted September 12, 2011 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Art / 9 Comments

While normally I don’t write blog entries about myself, I feel inclined to share some experiences I’ve had recently that do link to the overall theme of this site. I was in Spain and France for a holiday, which was an experience in itself but there was a few cultural activities that were done that I want to talk about.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

First stop was the Museo Reina Sofía, which is dedicated to 20th Century Spanish art. This meant a lot of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Recently I did a few posts about Picasso and the main reason I went to this museum was to see his masterpiece Guernica. I have to admit seeing this in real life was an experience in itself, there is no pictures out there that really do this painting justice and I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of it anyway. It was awe inspiring, I’m not sure if all the Spanish history leading up to this picture made this an experience or if it’s the painting itself. But there are no words to describe this encounter for me.

A bonus was the Surrealist wing of this museum. There is something about surrealism that I love, it’s weird and wonderful. This wing consisted on a lot of Salvador Dalí paintings, which were exciting to see, but it also included a painting by my favourite surrealist Rene Magritte. Magritte has always been my favourite surrealist, his works are so distinctive, recognisable and often very witty. The painting I saw wasn’t one of his more famous pieces but it was still exciting to see. The particular painting was his 1930’s piece Pink Belles, Tattered Skies.

Rene Magritte - Pink Belles, Tattered Skies (1930)

Museo del Prado

The Del Prado is the Spanish National art’s Museum which features a lot of Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, Titian, Rubens and Bosch as well as a huge selection of Romanesque, Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings. I was fortunate enough to see my favourite Titian picture; Sisyphus (1548-1549) but the highlight of this museum and possibly the trip was the two Caravaggio paintings. Most readers will know my love of his work, so it was exciting to finally see some of it. On loan from the Vatican; was The Entombment of Christ (1602–1603) and from Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; David with the Head of Goliath (1607).

Titian - Sisyphus (1548-1549)

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

We were lucky enough to go to the Guggenheim during Aste Nagusia (an annual festival in Basque country) and experienced this museum with live Jazz music playing. The music definitely enhanced the experience. While I’m not sure how I feel about modern art, especially Abstract; it was interesting to see some Pollock and other bizarre pieces.

Musée du Louvre

Probably the most visited and even the largest museum in the world, but it’s interesting to see that most of the people go to see the Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo. While it’s good to see both, there is so much to see and it would take you days to go through it all. The Louvre has a lot of sculptures and decorative arts to look at as well as paintings by the greats including Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and of course The Death of the Virgin (1606) by Caravaggio. While there was some amazing art at the Louvre, it was so spread out the experience wasn’t as enjoyable as the other museums.

Caravaggio - The Death of the Virgin (1606)

It’s been quite an adventure and later I will tell you more, I just wanted to share with you the great museums and art I saw along the way. There really is nothing like seeing the art in real life, it was a real eye opener.

Half Yearly Review – 2011

Posted July 12, 2011 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Writing / 0 Comments

The first 6 months of 2011 went really quickly.  I don’t think I got a chance to write a blog post every week but I was really impressed with myself and what did end up on my blog. A few interesting miniseries showed up over the past six month, including a look at Picasso with Picasso – The Icon Breaker & Guernica; Picasso’s Masterpiece. The highlight for me was my Romantic period series; A Quest for Liberty, The Romantic Bond With Nature and then the quick look at the three most known romantics; The Romantic Brooder, The Romantic Bad-Boy & The Romantic Celebrity.

 In regards to popularity with the readers, here were the top 5 posts;

5. Autodidact Vs. Higher Education
4. What is Wrong with Dark YA Novels?
3. What is a Cult Book?
2. My Literary Wall of Shame
1. What Would You Read in an Introduction to Fiction Course?

As for my reading goals for the year, I’ve been working through some really amazing books and I would recommend the following books, based on what I read in the past six months;

5. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson (2011)
4. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (2010)
3. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2006)
2. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
1. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)

 I’m really happy with how this year has been going for my blog, I know there has been a bit of a focus on Literature lately, but I hope no one is thinking I’m neglecting a topic. I write a topic based on what has been on my mind and what I’ve been learning so you may get batches of one topic. I do except a lot more to do with literature in the future but I won’t neglect the other subjects; I promise. Is there a particular topic you would like to see here? Anyone interested in doing a post for this blog?