correspondence with barbara

A short email exchange with Barbara Campbell about serendipity and op-shops…


Hi Lucas
Thank you for your story. Have just finished doing a tiny bit of editing on it. I think it’s interesting that it has that chance feel to it and then when the prompt appears, one is forced to think, oh so either, that is an extraordinary coincidence, or perhaps the whole thing is contrived. Some lucky book finds that’s for sure. When I was reading your bit about channelling and op shops, I remembered this thing I’d written recently about second-hand bookshops:

The experience of going to a bookshop has always been for me like visiting the Oracle at Delphi. For a long-time I lived near Nicholas Pounder’s second-hand bookshop in Darlinghurst. The books in the window would at first glance seem unrelated to each other but if I stood looking through the glass long enough, all kinds of beautiful patterns would emerge and the synapses would start firing in sympathy. Of course they weren’t as random as I in my youth had initially presumed. There really was a hidden code. One that had been written by a former owner, consciously or unconsciously following his or her own interests perhaps over a lifetime, perhaps until that life ended, until Nicholas or Simon from the bookshop was given the task of sifting through that collection, of adding the commercial imperatives of bookselling to the personal predilictions of the former owner, but none the less collaborating in the act of selection and finally, of placing an even-more refined selection in the window for me to wonder, at the great serendipity of finding just the right thing, just here, just metres from the laundromat I attended every Sunday. What great good fortune.

I look forward to performing your story at 5.42pm
cheers
Barbara

barbara
thanks for your story about the bookshop, it was great. perhaps i can reproduce it within the blog?

yes, the delicate procedure was contrived. i didnt think it was a problem that the text prompt wasnt included in the story, but then it seemed to fit just right there.

i was not sure if this story was all that great. i cut it down a lot from a larger amount of words. in one way, i thought it improved, because it became less wordy. on the other, cutting words sometimes jeopardises flow. what do you think? then again, it was written “in the moment” and i have no distance from it yet.
Cheers
Lucas

Hi Lucas
On 07/04/2006, at 11:07 PM, lucas wrote:

barbara
thanks for your story about the bookshop, it was great. perhaps i can reproduce it within the blog?

Yes, that’s fine – I kind of like these interminglings between
projects.

yes, the delicate procedure was contrived. i didnt think it was a problem that the text prompt wasnt included in the story, but then it seemed to fit just right there.

I’m glad you were able to insert it. I think that shock of seeing it
there created interesting questions about what we were reading.

i was not sure if this story was all that great. i cut it down a lot from a larger amount of words. in one way, i thought it improved, because it became less wordy. on the other, cutting words sometimes jeopardises flow. what do you think? then again, it was written “in the moment” and i have no distance from it yet.

I thought it flowed well. I wonder what it would be like to take that journal feel of the writing and write it in a different way – the way a novelist might tell such a story for instance. Just a question for me, as I come to read more and more blogs. I like the way 1001 nights cast can accommodate different kinds of writing. It’s a very handy umbrella.

And this is what I got back from Lionel:

mmmm i like it have been reading him every day
thought it good to extend my loyalty from one project to two. he has beautiful observations and works well at making connections. the crystal street community shop sounds lovely doesnt it.

and

speaking of op shopping i had the same wondrous experience as lucas today always think that the op shop holds s a work waiting to be unveiled today i scored a beautiful silver salt and pepper shaker set which will become point/legs in a form, at some stage objects are so loaded (aren’t they Neil!)

[referring to my late partner Neil Roberts:
www.neilroberts.com.au]
x
Barbara

1 thought on “correspondence with barbara

  1. Nicholas Pounder

    And on the other side of the window behind the books, and further back behind me, were many postcards issued each year by BC. Tacked to the flaking dampness with bluetack they chronicled a whacky creative progress through her art in 12 months and pointed obliquly to a possible direction next.

    Nicholas Pounder

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