A microbrewery for book-lovers

Author: Julie Rafalski

A Mischievous Painting (Julie Rafalski)

While walking through the National Gallery recently, I noticed several paintings that I had first seen many years ago. They seemed strangely familiar, like places one remembers from childhood only because of some inconsequential detail. One such painting was a 16th century portrait of a tailor by Giovanni Battista Moroni. The last time I had

Watching a Film Not Yet Seen

“The future is but the obsolete in reverse,” wrote Nabokov.  Both the future and the obsolete are to varying degrees deficient in images representing them. Traces of the obsolete can often be found in attics, archives, junkyards, museums, sunken ships and memories. “Traces” of the future, however, are intangible and images of the future can

Palast der Republik

I recently came across a postcard of the Palast der Republik* (Palace of the Republic), which was a building in the former East Berlin. The Palast appears on the postcard, under a sunny sky, surrounded by people, streetlamps and trees. The clouds are scattered, the flowers in full bloom. Near the entrance of the building,

Word Chain

If you follow a pencil carefully, from the moment it is created from the wood of a tree that grew by a Czech lake which you once saw through the train window while on your way to Vienna where a waiter then used that pencil to write down your order, to the moment when that

About a Word

Names, smells or tastes that we remember from childhood and have since kept locked away somewhere in the vast storehouse of memories sometimes appear suddenly, like people who we take to be strangers before we slowly begin to recognize them. Coming across a name or a smell is the perfect recipe for a Proustian madeleine

A Drifting Country and a Sea in London

Dreams often allow us to do things that are impossible in waking life: hovering in mid air, walking across Antarctica, becoming a character in a film, sipping tea with a famous actor, sharing jokes with a relative who has been dead for years, speaking unknown languages flawlessly, travelling to places not found on any map…

Balka’s Black Box, Versions 1 and 2: Julie Rafalski

Recently I read about the latest commission for Tate’s Turbine Hall, an installation by Miroslaw Balka. Entitled ‘How It Is’, after a prose work by Samuel Beckett, the piece was described by one critic as “a darkness you struggle to measure, or rather a darkness that measures you.” Through the secondary sources of online photographs

How I Came to Live in a Book: Julie Rafalski

After recently coming across Novalis’ statement that the true reader must be an extension of the author, I began thinking about how readers become the final “producers” of the “screenplay” they’re reading and more specifically, about how the settings in novels and stories are constructed in the reader’s mind. While reading the first volume of