Thursday, 8 March 2018

Photos each side of Reculver, Hampton and Margate, another visit to the Waste Land TS Eliot exhibition, bit of a ramble

I bought some books in Hampton-on-Sea (at the other end of Herne Bay) today which is the local resort development that was mostly washed away by the sea. This is a story in itself and we do publish a book about it, so for anyone interested – one to browse; next time you’re in the bookshop. Alternately a link to the buy it now wosisname

Having filled the Volvo estate with books we went down to the seafront and took a few pictures, link later.

On to Margate for lunch at Turner Contemporary, the café has started playing muzak, with the level of chatter, clinking of cutlery and god knows what the muzak is supposed to sound like in a quietish environment – I really couldn’t tell; well I now have the secret weapon. This is my third set of noise cancelling headphones, the first two didn’t do much in terms of cutting out the background noise, good makes, JVC and Sony but honestly not much better than ordinary headphones, but my new ones Bose QC25 cut out nearly all of the background sound.

So, I sat in Turner Contemporary Café listening to TS Eliot reading The Waste Land – some say it’s the most depressing poem in the English language, but compared to the muzak mixed with the noise it’s reasonably jolly.

I then went around the exhibition and wondered how many people encountering the exhibition would connect it to The Waste Land if they were just plonked in it unlabelled – the exhibition, that is; not them silly.

It was good see the gallery so busy on a March weekday, and while the exhibition is growing on me I think it is becoming less connected to the poem for me.

The trouble with something like this is that if you have a poem, and in many senses a great poem, if you have known the poem for years, then you have a wosisname? Set of mental images, ‘s not quite right. Perhaps an idea of what your set of images would be like if you had them. And I suppose the exhibition just isn’t like, as Eliot says, doesn’t connect, to what’s in my head.

There wos this geezer called Kant who said something like, the framework in your head does more to tell you about what you see than your eyes do. So if you go into a kitchen, what you know about water coming out of taps and Cornflakes being in boxes it far more significant than what your eyes see. So with the exhibition I have a sense of opening a door labelled “kitchen” and arriving in a bathroom; that said it’s a pretty good bathroom.

I am not knocking the gallery here, putting on an exhibition associated with a famous piece of writing like this is a brave step and if you are interested in the poem or the poet it’s a must visit.    

Photograph wise I have put the content of my phone camera card on the internet, here is the link

and the content of my camera’s camera card on the internet, here are the links

Onto bookshop, do you call it advertising with bookshops, libraries, art galleries, theatres? Advertising would suggest something associated with making money. Where do you draw the line?

I was rather taken with the Margate Hospital fundraiser

However you see it here is the link to the picutres of the books we put out on the shelves in the bookshop here in Ramsgate yesterday  

An interesting thought here is the Tracey Emin book, on sale in Turner Contemporary at £55 and I would expect the trade price i.e. what the gallery shop would have paid for it would have been in the £33 ballpark. Now you can buy it from Amazon for around £35, that is new and including P&P.

Obviously we pretty much all like to have shops, like that gallery to have a shop, like our local shops to be there. I think the price that Amazon would pay for the book would be about the same as a book wholesaler would pay, around £22 and the old world where as a shopkeeper you bought the book from the wholesaler for £33 who had bought it from the publisher for £22 and sold it to you the customer for £55 well it’s gone.

Another side of this, is that given the general decrease in activity and associated rise in retail supply chain costs, if the demise of the independent bookshop hadn’t occurred the shop price would have been around £35 anyway.    

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