This weekend was chilledchimp's birthday and although I haven't yet delivered on the pressie and meal front, for various reasons, we did spend a pleasant day largely in company of Gilbert & George's impressive show at the Tate. I've been going to see them since 1986, about every 10 years. If you discount a period in the early noughties when they discovered high-end image processing and went a bit overboard on the production values, there's not much that I didn't like. Despite all the accusations of elitism, imperialism and otherisms from the media, the public response seems almost entirely positive (from those of us who like modern art).
I've really enjoyed the recent big shows at the Tate. I've seen Rousseau, Kandinsky and now G&G. Not only do they get a good proportion of their important works but they also produce very reasonably priced catalogues too (£10 usually).
I've been reading more HPL and such. This week it was Houellebecq's "Contre le monde, contre la vie", a rather short essay on HPL's psychology. It's only about 25,000 words, even in French. The bottom line, HPL hated lots of things (miscegenation, money, bad manners) saw he was on the losing side but was too much of gentleman to make a fuss. Ken Hite's Devious Shards talks more about this and Ken's own take on HPL, some of which you can catch in his recent Tour de Lovecraft.
The Ligotti that I started last week is still on going. I'm not sure what his angle is, and I don't suppose it will ever be as clear as it is for HPL, but I've started to enjoy it. Or perhaps I've just read a good story, The Strange Design of Master Rignolo. I think perhaps I haven't quite yet got his voice or it's one that doesn't quite work for me, or he's not quite good enough to make it clear. It's almost an audible thing for me, when I'm really into a book, I can almost hear is being read to me, in some kind of Radio 4 voice - which tends to be female for English books and male for American, I don't know why.