North of Onhava

Official Website of Novelist and Screenwriter James Greer

Tag: artificial light

The Woman Who Wasn’t There

Inspired by the example of my betters, here’s a short film I made in France. It was shot at the Château D’hérouville, about an hour outside of Paris, which was once a famous recording studio – the “Honky Chateau” of Elton John fame – but is now overgrown and mostly a ruin. I intended at […]

Bad Polaroids

Recently, rooting through my garage, I came across an old Polaroid JoyCam which must have been given to me sometime in the early- to mid-90s. I also found several cartridges of very old and poorly stored Polaroid film. So I figured I’d see what would happen if I tried to use the old camera with […]

Sunset Gun

“Photography is unclassifiable because there is no reason to mark  this or that of its occurrences; it aspires, perhaps, to become as crude, as certain, as noble as a sign…. Whatever it grants to vision and whatever its manner, a photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see.” Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida […]

Sky Writing

When I was young we used to call this a mackerel sky. Maybe we still do. I don’t know, I’m not young anymore.

Reading List 2011 – Part Two of Three

As promised in this post, here is a list of the non-fiction books I’ve read thus far in 2011, either written in or translated into English. Almost everything on here was read for purposes of research, with the exception maybe of the books on/by Godard and Tarkovsky. Though I would argue that these are more […]

Reading List 2011: Part One of Three

I’ve seen a few people compile lists of books they’ve read so far in 2011, and the thought ocurred to me: I like lists! But I don’t like lists that are too long, so I’m going to parcel these out in manageable portions. This first list confines itself to fiction written or translated into English. […]

Tilia

Under der linden an der heide, dâ unser zweier bette was, dâ mugt ir vinden schône beide gebrochen bluomen unde gras. vor dem walde in einem tal, tandaradei, schône sanc diu nategal. Under the lime tree on the open field, where we two had our bed, you still can see lovely broken flowers and grass. […]

William Tyndale

By writing the first translation into English of the Bible, from original Hebrew and Greek sources, William Tyndale essentially invented the English language in the period 1525-1530 or so. For his efforts, he was strangled and then burned at the stake by the Catholic Church as a heretic. The “authorized” King James Version, published in […]

Letters to Baudelaire

It’s not uncommon for admirers of certain dead authors, poets, musicians, actors, and Jim Morrison to leave posthumous epistles on or near their graves. The grave of Charles Baudelaire in the Cimitière Montparnasse is no different. What I found both touching and slightly pathetic about the letters fixed in place by small stones atop the […]

June Bloom

The extraordinarily talented and discerning Andrew Leland let me write a short post, at the site he curates for the Oakland Museum of California, about pretty much the one thing I like about living in Los Angeles. Which is jacarandas. You can read it here. Thanks again to Andrew.

Quote of the Day

    “I become self-conscious about having a funny accent. Unlike Conrad or Nabokov, I didn’t have circumstances which would have coerced me out of my native tongue altogether. But the time may come when my German resources begin to shrink. It is a sore point, because you do have advantages if you have access […]

Godard: A Travelogue

This extraordinary item appeared in the New Yorker last week (at least it appeared online last week; I no longer subscribe to the print weekly and also I killed the book industry,  just for fun). I only discovered it this morning because I do have other things to do, you know. Get off my iCloud, […]

List of things I don’t understand

  1. People who can write with music playing, whether loud or soft or near or far, in whatever style or form. When I listen to music, I do so with every part of my brain, involuntarily. Whatever kind of music is playing, I find myself listening to the production, the playing, the structure, the […]

I think: therefore, I’m not who you think I am.

[Editor's Note: If you're the type of person that enjoys experimental short film, you might enjoy this. If you're not, I promise to not.] Here’s another short I wrote and directed. This time out, I used a crew instead of trying to do everything myself. In essence, the film is a re-telling of the story […]

Contempt

  “Jean-Luc Godard isn’t the only one who films the way he breathes, but he breathes the best.” – François Truffaut, L’Avant-Scène, 1967 Source: The Criterion Collection

SmokeLong

Thanks to the discerning eye of guest editor (and very fine writer) Ben Loory, I have a very short story up over at SmokeLong, which is a place on the internet that publishes very short strories. My story is about elephants. That’s why there is a picture of a trunk at the top of this […]

Zombie James Franco is Stalking Me

First, I join the Los Angeles Review of Books as Contributing Editor. Next thing I know, James Franco is a Contributing Editor to the Los Angeles Review of Books. I shake it off. Probably just a coincidence. Following this, I contribute to an anthology called The Speed Chronicles coming out later this year (information here, […]

Against The Day

I was at a dinner party recently at which I met a Famous novelist, who told a story about meeting the Very Famous novelist Thomas Pynchon, who I’m sure you know has a reputation for being, shall we say, a very private person. He doesn’t give interviews. He doesn’t do readings. It’s big news when […]

Music For the Last Good Kiss

I dug up part of an abandoned novel about a guy who drives from New York to San Francisco with the corpse of his girlfriend (he accidentally kills her in the first chapter)  in the front seat. If you’re squeamish, don’t worry. I cut out all the gross necrophilia stuff. If you’re not squeamish, sorry, […]

Prayer For No One (In Particular)

The excellent site On Earth As It Is has seen fit to publish a short thing I wrote. Both that site’s proprietors and myself would be very happy if you would take a minute to visit. Here.

A nation weeps…

…and that nation is Belgium. Although France probably ain’t too happy, either (but then, they’ve got their own problems).  

Cellini’s Salt-Cellar

Over at Fictionaut, I posted a new story. It’s about the salt-cellar created by Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571), pictured above. It’s pretty short. If you want to read it, go here.

A short comment about comments

Due to a truly impressive volume of spam comments appearing here recently, I’ve had to put all comments into moderation mode, and I’m also going to ask that you register with the site in order to comment. Feel free to register with a fake email and psuedonym, it’s not like I’m going to check. But […]

Jean Cocteau: à haute voix

Thanks to the wonderful, indispensable, and many other superlatives repository of the avant-garde, UbuWeb, you can hear and or download a four-CD collection of Jean Cocteau reading/speaking from his work, or introducing the work of other people (for instance introducing Edith Piaf, a close friend, before a performance). I don’t need to explain who Cocteau […]

Cannes: A Retrospective

The French newspaper L’Express has on the occasion of the 64th Cannes Film Festival put up a collection of all 64 Cannes Film Festival posters on their website, here. The poster above, for the 1961 festival, is one of my favorites, but almost all of them are pretty great. This one was designed by A.M. […]

Clip Art

Bits and pieces of this have been floating around for a while now, but turns out there’s more, much more, than I had previously thought. If you go here, you can benefit from the hard work of a bunch of people who are not me, who’ve been digging through New York’s Channel 13 archives for […]

North of Onhava: Picks of the Week

Two books and one DVD that you should not hesitate to buy/rent/steal: These movies don’t need my recommendation, but the collection itself, with its wealth of extras and (as always) immaculate transfers, is worth its weight in a precious metal slightly less expensive than gold but more expensive than silver. I don’t know what that […]

LATFOB

This week in Los Angeles there occurred (and as I type this is still occurring, though not for a few hours yet) a book festival called the Los Angeles Time Festival of Books. It’s a compete clusterfuck, but people seem to enjoy it. Last year I went for the first time. I sat at the […]

Self-Destruction, Vol. 1

For anyone curious about my next novel, I posted a story on Fictionaut here that was originally published in the brilliant and very worthy of your attention literary magazine trnsfr. A radically altered version of this story will be used for the thing-in-progress. Over the next few mothns, bits and pieces of the new novel […]

Summer Reading

  A brief list of inde rock summer reading recommended by Brandon Stosuy over at Stereogum includes Artificial Light, which is nice. You can read the list here. While I would argue that Artificial Light is very much not “GBV-themed,” nor “indie rock-themed,” nor “rock-themed,” — it’s mainly about a librarian, after all — a […]

Auguste-Louis Lepère

Courtesy of the wonderful site BibliOdyssey via the Bibliothèque nationale de France, a set of gravures by the French artist Auguste-Louis Lepère for A rebours by J-K Huysmans. Astonishing.

Man With A Movie Camera

  Dziga Vertov’s 1929 pseudo-doc still retains its power to amaze. Post-modern before the term had even been (unnecessarily) invented, Vertov presents a documentary about a documentary, while at the same time showing us a documentary. The only character is the cinematographer, or to be more accurate, the man with the movie camera (various English […]

Stabat Mater

The Stabat Mater is a 13th-century hymn to Mary. There are actually two Stabat Maters: the Stabat Mater Dolorosa (about the Sorrows of Mary) and the Stabat Mater Speciosa (about the Nativity). The title refers to the first line: Stabat mater dolorosa, or “the mother sadly stood,” and: Stabat mater speciosa, “the beautfiul mother stood.” […]