Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Detailed Jeff Wall interview, one of my favorites
Barrie Nichol on beginning:

"At a certain point you decide to start with what's in front of you. There's no point in despairing for a subject, or carrying on some misguided search for a 'great' theme when all you have to do is start with what's in front of you: the blue lines, the ink, the pen, the letters the pen shapes, the words the letters make, the table, the window, those leafless trees, these leaves in this notebook in front of me -- the stuff of poetry."
Not much going on in the shop this afternoon, or in the neighborhood for that matter, probably the result of mixed torrential rain/hail and sunlight. David Holland Quartet on the stereo and several hundred new books to code for Alibris in the office.
My friend Arnold Shives has added some new images to his website. I keep returning to the intaglio prints, particularly the Taiya River series, whose waterfalls seem to spring out from the space surrounding them, much like Barnett Newman's zips.
Huge West Coast skies this morning from the swaying trolley bus over Granville Bridge, the sun still rising, and the clouds' white edges rimed with light.

I remember criticizing similarly expressionistic skies in the work of my painter friend Ben Reeves, describing them, I think, as painterly, show-offish, and otherworldly, only to have him laugh and say, well, that's because you don't look up.

Bruno Latour, from Harper's, April 2004:

The critic is not the one who alternates haphazardly between anti-fetishism and positivism like Goya's drunk iconoclast but the one for whom, if something is constructed, then it means it is fragile and thus in great need of care.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
My ex-boss Skip, responsible for teaching me most of what I know about mass-market paperbacks, with Rascal the Wonder Cat, live trapped in the alley behind the old store by Skip's ex, Kim. Note the white gloves!
Shout out to the Incredible Talking Cats, of whom more later
Guilty Pleasures Dept. -- analyzing public companies, a fun & profitable alternative to memorizing lyrics or sports scores, made all the more hilarious by my total lack of financial savvy.

Irwin Michael Investment Counsel has great analysis of selected Canadian companies

Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. has Warren Buffett's annual essays and lots of other goodies. Without Buffett's example, and Roger Lowenstein's excellent Buffett biography, it's safe to say I'd be still working at the library. Or Granville Books. Not quite sure which option frightens me more.

Shout out to my Nebraska pals at A Novel Idea Bookstore

Shout out to Peter C. in Nanaimo and Gary, Milo, Dirk and the rest in Seattle

Shout out to brother Dru and everyone at
Shout out to my pal Sylvia Grace Borda

The series 3176 was shot in and around my late grandmother's house two falls ago. An estate sale was in process as Sylvia photographed the house and its contents. The circular chair on the second page of thumbnails was sold and carted away just after Sylvia shot it. A kind of funny feeling, looking at the bare carpet and wallpaper where the chair had been seconds before.
A sort of introduction:

I'm Christopher Brayshaw. After a more or less chequered career as a library page, used bookseller, art gallery intern, comic book convention organizer, art critic, curator, new bookseller, and occasional book scout, I opened Pulpfiction Books, a used bookstore in Vancouver, Canada, on my birthday in June 2000. Four years on, I find myself with two locations, six staff, and 75,000+ books. Barring crises (of which more later), field trips, and perpetual depression, I hope to be here more or less daily.
Listening to (in no particular order):

Miles Davis, Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel

Dave Holland Quartet, live

Cecil Taylor, courtesy Dr. Brute

Radiohead, Hail to the Thief

Thelonious Monk Live at the "It" Club

Mojave 3, various discs lying around the store

Lucinda Williams, ditto

Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins, one disc the CD thieves didn't steal

Larry McMurtry quote, on the wall above my desk:

THE FACT THAT, for twenty-six or twenty-seven days each month, I lead an intense life as an antiquarian bookman -- on the sorting floor all day, unboxing, pricing, sorting, and responding to the public's endless curiosity about Lonesome Dove--in part explains the brevity and intensity of my drives. I don't want to be gone from the bookshop long, but three or four days on the road, just looking and moving, isn't long. Working with books always relaxes me, but the books bring people, and people are a mixed bag; there comes a point at which I want to be away, drive somewhere, see some sky--it's my safeguard against the burnout that a month in the bookshop can occasionally produce.

Dark out, the smell of the second floor telemarketers' doobage mixing now with the scent of cherryblossoms on the trees outside. Steely clouds, black-blue, over the Lions and Capilano Lake, a straight shot down Main Street and over the lights of downtown. Radiohead's There There on John's battered ghettoblaster, deep reverb of the drums, sneaky guitar and bass lines snaking up out of the mix, Thom's voice coasting effortlessly over top. No clue what he's singing about. Not that it really matters.

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