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This week's Bookshelf comes courtesy New York-based photographer Marcelo Gomes

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Marcelo Gomes has more than the average photographer’s affinity for light. His just out of focus images, like a careful shifting of attention between the subject and the space they inhabit, are a refreshing alternative to the high-gloss, high-fashion and highly-overrated images dominating the commercial world. As much as anyone with an awareness of their influencers, his selection for this weeks Bookshelf feature is a nuanced lot and not at all obvious. Good read, readers!

L.A. Noir: Dave Hickey in Las Vegas

I found this book a while back, turns out it’s a periodical of illisorts, published by a guy named Simon Horning under the title Other Times.  I’ve been a fan of Dave Hickey’s writing for a few years, my friend Sean Carmody had told me about Air Guitar and I got through that one and Invisible Dragon in less than three days.  This “bookazine” is a compilation of notes of Hickey’s undergraduate fiction writing class “L.A. Noir” at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  I think Dave Hickey has made me think of art in general as a massive and nuanced gradient that comes and goes almost at random, and I now feel a bit more free to make connections between disciplines and that helps me to understand myself a little better.
www.wikipedia.org/dave-hickey
www.specificobject.com/la-noire

Jun’ichiro Tanizaki: In Praise of Shadows

I don’t actually remember how I came across this one; it is a fairly short essay on Japanese aesthetics. It was originally published in 1933 by the novelist whilst he was building his home and it’s a treatise on or perhaps for the lack of light, or darkness and, to me, it made me think about elastic/slow light, and texture (lots of texture) — it’s funny, sometimes I think I try to find things to read that more or less justify what I like to see or try to do on my own.
www.wikipedia.org/in-praise-of-shadows
www.amazon.co.uk/in-praise-of-shadows

Caetano Veloso: Verdade Tropical/Tropical Truth

This is an autobiography, though it’s not necessarily structured as such since it’s fairly free and quite idiosyncratic considering all the self-questioning that takes place throughout the book. It was a lovely read, though I’m completely biased (at the time it came out a lot of people said it was overwhelmingly self-indulgent, but I thought/think “isn’t that what you’re supposed to with your autobiography?”).  Caetano is perhaps my favourite living artist – I’d probably read his grocery list and enjoy it.
www.amazon.co.uk/tropical-truth
www.wikipedia.org/caetano-veloso

Thomas Pynchon: Gravity’s Rainbow

I’d never read anything even remotely like this book.  In fact, I’m still not done with it.  The reason I don’t give up is because I think I figured out how to read it, and its purpose to me escapes narrative completely. Each page is saturated with so much texture, colour — it’s somehow even graphically/aesthetically pleasant in the way he orders the words — that I feel satisfied with getting through them so dementedly slow. It makes me want to be better (and makes me know that I don’t really know anything) without actually humiliating me, so it’s pleasant.  It’s like that 10,000 piece puzzle that is somehow kind with its steady and nice pace of discovery.
www.amazon.co.uk/gravitys-rainbow
www.wikipedia.org/gravitys-rainbow

Nick Tosches: The Nick Tosches Reader

I’d read some of Nick Tosches work over the years, I remember reading some short essays in magazines like Purple in the late 1990s and early 2000s and one day I decided to get this big book of his essays and poetry published by Da Capo. I love how his prose is super masculine but also very fragile.  I remember how he used to personify New York City to me, I don’t even remember why really.  There are a lot of really beautiful fragments in this book.  It opens like this:

To those who did not run.
To those who broke and entered with me
Into the cathedral of the heart
To those who took my back,
In right and wrong.
Vobis.

I think he’s really good at what he does.
www.amazon.co.uk/the-nick-tosches-reader
www.nicktosches.com

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    Bookshelf: Marcelo Gomes

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Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.