Xiaolu Guo: Why Do We Still Pretend We Are Free? | Guernica
Guernica: How did you come to start writing in English? How do you decide which language to work in on a given project?
Xiaolu Guo: It’s not a choice. Either I write or I don’t, especially when I’m in a foreign culture. I’ve lived in London for years, and I must continue my writing and filmmaking. The most important thing for an artist or an author is to continue her work. Languages and settings are the tools but not the first thing.
Guernica: I’d say it still takes a significant amount of effort to write in a language that isn’t your mother tongue, no matter how strong the drive to create. Was there really no part of the move to publish six original works in English that happened on a conscious level?
Xiaolu Guo: When I came to the U.K. ten years ago, everyone told me I couldn’t send my books directly to publishing houses—that I had to go through a literary agent. So I did, and then I found out the agents couldn’t provide a translator or read my Chinese. There was—there still is—a big shortage of good Chinese-English literary translators. So for two years in London, I was stuck waiting, not writing, with several Chinese books I couldn’t get translated.
That’s when I decided to write in English, since I had been living here and had decided to reconstruct my life here. Even if I wrote in broken English, it was better than getting bored and weary and bitter on the long queue of authors waiting to be translated by a stranger. That decision was really liberating; I managed to find some [viable] ways to approach the foreign language in A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. It was written as a linguistic exercise and was an awakening for me in terms of using ‘other’ ways to create literature.
Pilot Parallel Pen
by Ewa Landowska
This is the most beautiful song I’ve heard in a very long time…
Thank you to the people that showed me it.
"Come with every wound and every woman you’ve ever loved; every lie you’ve ever told and whatever it is that keeps you up at night. Every mouth you’ve punched in, all the blood you’ve ever tasted. Come with every enemy you’ve ever made and all the family you’ve ever buried and every dirty thing you’ve ever done; every drink that’s burnt your throat and every morning you’ve woken with nothing and no one. Come with all your loss, your regrets, sins, memories, black outs, secrets. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you"
- Warsan Shire (via 691180)
(Source: ragingcat, via paper-trees)
Gravity-Defying Land Art by Cornelia Konrads
German artist creates mind-bending site-specific installations in public spaces, sculpture parks and private gardens around the world. Her work is frequently punctuated by the illusion of weightlessness, where stacked objects like logs, fences, and doorways appear to be suspended in mid-air, reinforcing their temporary nature as if the installation is beginning to dissolve before your very eyes. One of her more recent sculptures, Schleudersitz is an enormous slingshot made from a common park bench, and you can get a great idea of what it might be like to sit inside it with this interactive 360 degree view.
(Source: asylum-art, via jilli-beans)
Minimalist Illustrations That Will Make You Smile
"I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art."
- Helena Bonham Carter (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)
(Source: bird-madgirl, via thatkindofwoman)