Thursday, June 20, 2013

Staying small

“To be small and to stay small”: words to live by for the protagonist of Robert Walser’s 1909 novel Jakob von Gunten.


“‘Big paintings sell and they fill space,’ he says, without a trace of disdain. ‘That's not my style. I’m trying to compose in an area I can defend’”: the photomontagist John O’Reilly, quoted in a 1995 New York Times article.

The Walser sentence is from Christopher Middleton’s translation (New York: New York Review Books, 1999). I’ve had the O’Reilly passage saved in a notebook for years. The Times article notes that O’Reilly’s then-recent works measured 5" x 3 3/4".

[Caution: Some of the O’Reilly works available from the link are NSFW.]

comments: 0