Burning Buildings

These images speak to the need for looking at the usual in an unusual way. With writing, it’s finding a word, a phrase that upends the norm. That keeps you looking–or thinking. From The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht, for example: “He had a thin voice, and a doughy face that looked like it had been forcibly stuffed up into his hat…” Keeps us reading. And in the case of this post I’ve re-blogged, keeps us looking. These images haunt and howl.

Red Nails and Teacups

I hated Chemistry at school. Seeing things fizz (peanut in a bunsen burner, a chunk of liver in hydrochloric acid) was the only thing that piqued my interest long enough for me to raise my head from it’s horizontal station on top of my textbooks – even then, the theory and equations either side what ever our hapless teacher was combusting made me twitchy with frustration – and with the exception of clipping safety tongs to the Head of Science’s lab coat, I spent most of my science department hours paralysed with boredom. Still, some of those demonstrations at the front of the class must have remained buried in my head, because Australian artist Jennifer Mehigan‘s work, reminded me , amongst other things, of the multicoloured flashes you get if you through pure sodium in a flame (a point: I have both tried this over my gas stove unintentionally…

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One response to “Burning Buildings

  1. Thanks for pointing us to this blog, Jill! Dagoberto Gilb is my hero for making the usual unusual. One of my favorite examples is the story “Al, In Phoenix” from his MAGIC OF BLOOD collection. I’m also reminded of Updike’s line in “A&P,” after Queenie pulls a dollar out of her swimsuit top: “I uncrease the bill, tenderly as you may imagine, it just having come from between the two smoothest scoops of vanilla I had ever known there were . . .”

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