Saturday, 12 July 2008


Michael Ondaatje's brilliant new novel Divisadero is a haunting series of interlocking stories of characters who emerge from their own privacy only just enough to connect with each other. Ondaatje's narrative lets them keep their privacy, with only tantalising glimpses into their lives:

"Anna had met no one like him. There appeared to be no darkness in him. Though he would tell her of an earlier relationship that had silenced him completely, and how he had almost not emerged from that. He was in fact coming out of that privacy for the first time with her. All over the world there must be people like us, Anna had said then, wounded in some way by falling in love -- seemingly the most natural of acts."

"I learned that sometimes we enter art to hide within it. It is where we can go to save ourselves, where a third-person voice protects us. Just as there is, in the real landscape of Paris in Les Miserables, that small fictional street Victor Hugo provides for Jean Valjean to slip into, in which to hide from his pursuers. What was that fictional street's name? I no longer remember. I come from Divisadero Street. Divisadero, from the Spanish word for 'division', the street that at one time was the dividing line between San Francisco and the fields of the Presidio. Or it might derive from the word divisar, meaning 'to gaze at something from a distance.' (there is a 'height' nearby called El Divisadero.) Thus a point from which you can look far into the distance.
It is what I do with my work, I suppose. I look into the distance for those I have lost, so that I see them everywhere...."

"In spite of everything that had existed between Coop and Anna for those two months on the Petaluma farm, they had remained mysterious to each other. They'd really been discovering themselves. In this way they could fit into the world. But years later, never having married, never having lived with anyone in a relationship that intended permanence, she still sidled beside her lovers as if she were on Coop's deck, glowing in secret with the discovery of herself. So there had always been and perhaps always would be a maze of unmarked roads between her and still needed to move warily, with hesitance, within it."

You can buy it from Fishpond here.


Anyone who's crazy about fonts will love Fontstruct - a free tool that allows you to create modular fonts quickly and then download them for your own use! You can also share them publically either in the Fontstruct gallery or embed them in your own webpage.

There is an animated tutorial here which shows you what to do.

Monday, 7 July 2008

New Tim Main show

Tim Main's stunning, subtle designs based on New Zealand flora draw on the tradition of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, but have a gentle elegance all their own. His new show at CoCA is a must-see. It's on until the 20th July.