the rivers on which these cities stood
bottles of white wine standing on the grass between them
crossing some high Alpine pass between one Central European spa and another
where the sea could be heard crashing down on the shingle
faced with white stucco grooved to look like stone
a low gasp of recognition being involuntarily released
battlefields of Flanders with their water-filled trenches and blasted trees
made ripples on the surface of the stream
water that had clung to the trees
collected on the lampposts and on the tiled roofs
and on the undersides of the gutters
the difference between melancholy, and sadness, and nostalgia


the certainty that I had had interesting experiences
to convey their poignancy in words of great precision
disappear into the electric blue of the dusk
sun after rain on a suburban road
race through it as fast as my eyes could carry me
dipping into, dipping out of, the old guidebooks
waiting for a door to open, or a floorboard to creak
late afternoon, after riding, or on being collected from school
a sun-drenched field that stank of dead cows
traversed by a series of boundaries
sometimes induced in her fantasies of noble birth
with strong bones and deep-set eyes


wisteria clinging to the wall
a straight avenue of bedraggled trees
the discharge of energy and praise
not the evidence of the eyes, not the touch of the finger
alien to have a scale of things
city gates which preserved their medieval names
the same disapproval of irregular liaisons
with which life around us pulsated
waited on the pavement outside the school
a wild contorted mass of flailing arms
overflowing the pavement and spilling onto the road
curtains drawn with a narrow crack


an aesthetic that revelled in shadow
decorated only by the flickering shadows cast on its walls
had brought a pervasive electric glare
a proliferation of shiny white surfaces
in league with the rude light
a country that has embraced technology perhaps more than any other
the miraculous boom of the 1970s and 1980s
as consumer electronics flooded the global market
economic decline that followed in its wake
conformity seems to be a social imperative
fashions seem to come and go faster there
mutating into ever more astonishing forms


assisted by accelerating technological innovation
and eager consumers hooked on novelty
playing with sartorial and cultural codes
and producing spectacular hybrids
incompatible and superficial explanations
usually uncritically gleaned from journalistic sources
the prose rushed, the tone arch
the subject-matter ridiculed rather than analysed
the frivolous demands of an excitable and gullible public
flexibility to deal with the complexities of style
betrays a lack of confidence in the very notion of the individual
becoming an adult is not an attractive option, it is a soft revolt


a master at filming with available light
the light of day, the city lights of night
strikingly combines naturalness and artificiality
everything beautiful is self-illuminated
when the daylight is too bright
when the light indoors or in the streets at night is too dim
an image and not the way things would look in reality
why must there always be a story?
all he seems to do on set is find fault with the lighting
sets up a contradiction between image and story
the barren yet open suburban horizon
the enclosed space of a Parisian grand hotel

       Sources: Raoul Coutard, Novalis


what were dreams of escape are now dreams of holding on
image brings the story to a halt
story robs the image of its autonomy
a fractured generic story that gives rise to memorable images
in line with the development of consumer society
more of an essayist than a storyteller
moving radiant points and rich shades of darkness
the play of saturated video colours
the melody stands for life and the harmony for death
the beauty of the images with its affirmations
the narrative of history and its negations
the order in which we get to know their history

       Source: Schubert


a background, forgotten base rhythm
education seemed like a capacious bag
into which all manner of information was thrown
the overwhelming sense of phoneyness in encounters with the world
defined neatly as performance
the combination of intellectual curiosity and subjectivity easy to indulge
the self as purely contingent
a shape-shifting construction of altering circumstances
arrives into an already established social world
careful ritual and fear of embarrassement hold social order together
the social actor's impression management being colluded with
merely described using the metaphor of drama as a tool

          Clark Allison 2004