Housing and Regeneration Struggles in South London 26 October, 29 & 30 November, 2017

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‘Friendly Words’

Margaret_B_Owen-The_Secret_of_Typewriting_Speed-1917

 

List of “friendly words,” in Margaret B. Owen, The Secret of Typewriting Speed ( 1917 ).

 

In one manual, Margaret B. Owen’s The Secret of Typewriting Speed (1917), its author—who declares typewriting a form of art and links its exercise to unconscious reflex  —includes the list shown in figure 4.13. These “friendly words” consist of terms whose inclusion in the list is based not on syntactical coherence but on statistics alone; typing mastery over the listed words was gained in a daily process of repetition. Owen advises, “in order to get the most benefit from the practice of these words I would suggest that you combine a number of words in sentences instead of writing each word over and over again.”

— Sven Spieker, The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2008, p.77

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A Soviet Alphabet by Vladimir Mayakovsky (1919)

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Roman Jakobson tells us that ‘Mayakovskij and I worked on his Soviet Alphabet together.When he had the first line of a couplet, but the second wouldn’t come to him, he would say: “I’ll pay you so much, if you can think up a good one!” There are quite a few of our joint verses there.’

It amused him a lot. There existed a school-boys’ pastime — indecent aphabets, and several of these verses recall them somewhat. Some of these alphabets existed in manuscript form and even were sold underground. The association was obvious and for this reason Mayakovskij was attacked terribly for his Alphabet.

Roman Jakobson, My Futurist Years, New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1997, pp.50-51.

A Soviet Alphabet was written in the second half of September, 1919 and appeared in October that year. Mayakovsky’s recollections:

 

It was written as a parody on an old pornographic alphabet… It was written for use by the army. There were witticisms there that weren’t fit for salons, but which went quite well in the trenches…After writing the book I took it to the Central Printing House to have it typed. There was a typist there who hadn’t yet been purged, who told me with great malice: ‘Better I should lose my job than type this filth.’ So it started. Further on, no one wanted to print the book. … I had to publish it myself… I made three to five thousand copies by hand and carried the whole weight on my back to distribute it. This was genuine work by hand at the time of the most ominous encirclement of the Soviet Union.

— A speech at the House of the Komsomol on 25 March, 1930, quoted in Roman Jakobson, My Futurist Years, New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1997, pp.289-290.

Apparently there was a theatrical version too:

Mayakovskys_Alphabet-from_Joel_Shcechter-Popular_Theatre_a_Sourcebook

— From Joel Shcechter, Popular Theatre: a Sourcebook.

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Dawn and Decline (index)

20Horkheimer-Dawn_and_Decline-Index-1961-1969

Max Horkheimer, index to Dawn & Decline consisting of two parts written between 1926-1931 and 1950-1969 the first part originally published under the pseudonym Heinrich Regius as Dammerung, Notizen in Deutschland 1926-1931 (1934), the second part appears to be unpublished in Germany(?).

Max Horkheimer,  Dawn and Decline – Notes 1926-1931 and 1950-1969, (Trans. Michael Shaw), New York: Seabury Press, 1978.

Horkheimer wrote of the first section:

They were written down during periods of rest from a demanding piece of work, and the author did not take the time to polish them. This is also the reason they do not constitute an orderly sequence. They contain repetitions and even some contradictions. Yet the themes explored provide a kind of unity. They critically examine and re-examine the meaning of concepts such as metaphysics, character, morality, personality and the value the human being had during that phase of capitalism. Since they predate the final victory of National Socialism, they deal with a world that has become anachronistic since… yet the thoughts of the author who lived his life as an individualist may not be wholly without significance at a later time.

These are often deeply pessimistic entries, but in them a loose form of communist theorising (specifically in terms of melancholy over the failed German revolutions of the 1920s) which advances positions almost completely  unrelated or even opposed to those Horkheimer took publicly, especially after his assumption of Directorship of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research in 1931. As a kind of  intellectual diary, it is a shadow conversation, we may wonder with whom? In the later section, written between 1959-1960, Horkheimer mentions ‘communization’… ‘the communization of the world’.

Horkheimer-Communization

Max Horkheimer, ‘Philosophy of History, A Speculation’, Dawn & Decline: Notes 1926-1931 and 1950-1969, Trans. Michael Shaw, New York: The Seabury Press, (1959-1960) 1978, p.189.

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A is for Arcades (index)

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via http://hhnnccnnll.tumblr.com/post/159604464163/call-for-statements-of-interest-for-contributions

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A bas le travail!

by André Thirion

 

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André Thirion, ‘A Bas Le Travaille!’, in Variétés: Le surréalisme en 1929 ,
André Breton and Louis Aragon, (Eds.). Brussels: Editions Variétés,, pp 43–6.

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Break/Flow Index

from Infotainment, No.2, 1998

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Beholder Halfway Noise and Capitalism Radio set

A discussion and music revolving around the book Noise and Capitalism with its co-editor Anthony Iles.  Anthony discusses the book’s emergence out of a London noise scene, the potentials that the music opened and also its limitations, and the very notion of noise as a genre itself.

http://www.beholderhalfway.com/2017/04/episode-19-noise-and-capitalism.html

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The Banquet Years (index)

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Trump Mines Seriality

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