March is the month I catch up on my reading. The weather is iffy…  rain, fog, nights laced with chill.

I’ve buried myself in Jedediah Berry‘s The Manual of Detection, a seductive distraction that keeps me up past my bedtime. It sports a superb cover design by Tal Goretsky.

Every review I’ve seen compares the novel to Kafka,  and it’s impossible to avoid it. But Manual is funnier than The Trial. I’d love to make the  movie version if only someone would bankroll the budget. It’ll require big bucks for set design and special effects. It would have the look and feel of  Terry Gilliam‘s Brazil,  crossed with Blade Runner. 

It could easily be shot here in the Bay Area with all the bad weather we’ve been getting. The incessant rain in the novel—(Charles Unwin’s socks are always soggy)—matches my mood and it just might suit yours. BYOU. (Brng Your Own Umbrella.)  

Read The Manual of Detection and I swear you’ll think you dreamed it.

Speaking of dreams…I just finished La Subversion des images (you can read a capsule review on Zoom Street)  which includes Brassai’s somnambulistic La Tour Saint-Jacques (1932), and Dora Maar’s nightmarish photograph Le Simulateur.

I can probably praise David Clark’s Photography In 100 Words (Focal Press) in 50 words or less, if necessary. It features 50 top photographers explaiing what motivates their work. Clark plucks out keywords for each artist, creating a poem of sorts  on the nature of creative forces. OK, how many words have i written? 47, excluding edits? Oh, the hell with it. This is an imaginative approach to defining photography and a wonderful collection.


Grab a copy on Amazon.


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