Obooki’s Archive (and Wandering Cat)

I discovered today that the laptop I broke when I dropped it on the floor and thought didn’t work, actually works again – so I’ve been able to recover the posts from Obooki’s early days which I thought lost to posterity. Anyway, here is the archive so far for Feb-Apr 2008: I’ll post up the rest when I’m at a loss for anything to do. You can access them also, somewhere on the left.

[I found the full archive, and have put it here (in a somewhat annoying format, but one that was simple enough to create and upload). Might take a moment or two to load up in the browser.]

A few of them (but very few) are posted as part of the main blog. (There was that one about What is Fact?, which I remembered during our debate about history – but I was frustrated I couldn’t find the second post on the topic. – Well, it’s there now).

Also, LeroyHunter just mentioned Melville’s Le Silence de la Mer, and I was thinking to myself that I’d never even heard of it. Well, I guess I must have heard of it, because I watched it and even reviewed back in March 2008.

I used to write a lot of posts back then – perhaps because I wasn’t working full-time, or I was enthusiastic or something.

Actually, now I look into the matter, the gap in the blog is between 30/11/08 and 04/12/09 – though all the posts from 30/11/08 backwards are badly formatted.

Here’s a picture of one of the cats who often seek sanctuary in Obooki’s flat:

Obookian Cat


11 thoughts on “Obooki’s Archive (and Wandering Cat)

  1. What were your thoughts re-reading these lost-then-found semi-orphans?

    Interesting that Jean-Pierre Melville coincides with Saint-Exupery. Have you ever read Marc Bloch? His book Strange Defeat (written in secret before his execution by the Gestapo) adresses many of the issues you raise discussing Flight to Arras. Both of which remind me of the film Un Hero Tres Discret.

    What happened to the novel?

  2. I was a bit annoyed there was a post in which I claimed literature was merely a game; especially when I was just about to write a post in which I claimed that literature was anything but a game. Oh well. – It occurs to now, though, that these aren’t the posts which are missing – there are only a few more from December 2008, but what happened between then and December 2009 I don’t know. An entire year has been erased from my life.

    I find it interesting I used to write a lot of book reviews (I never thought I did), and then somewhere along became distracted by this obsession with proving that the avant-garde weren’t really avant-garde.

    I have not read Marc Bloch. I shall look into the matter.

    I am still writing, or not writing, the novel.

  3. I almost included Le Silence de la mer in this year’s Literature and War Readalong. Did you read it? I need to get to it sooner or later.
    I must seriously rethink my reading choices and go back to French literature for a while.
    I have no idea how I would feel about an erased year. That reminds me that I wanted to save everything on a disc…
    That’s a soulful little face.

  4. No, I didn’t know there was a book – just watched Melville’s film. – I was going to read Jules Romains’ Verdun – I might try and dig that out today.

    That cat turned up round our flats as a stray and lived in and out of several houses. Really my Polish neighbours took it over, and then they took it back to Poland when they moved away from the UK.

  5. Did you watch any of Jonathan Meades’s series about France? He talked a little about Melville in the last episode, claiming that he was the French director most influenced by Hollywood.

  6. No, I haven’t watched it, but I may do – on the i-player. I find Meades ok in small doses, but after a while he begins to jar. – All of film noir is indebted to the Americans, surely.

  7. I think Meades was referring not just to Melville’s films, but also to his public image: the name, the hat, the sunglasses. Plus, I can imagine some sort argument (not one that Meades made) that Melville’s films were stripped of the ‘poetry’ characteristic of classic 30s French noir, and more influenced by the harder-edged Hollywood gangster films of the 50s. I can imagine such an argument being made, though it would have to make a lot of room for nuance for me to go along with it.

    I like Meades. He can be irritating, but at least he isn’t boxed in by the conventions of the major documentary series: overbearing music, pointless dramatic reconstructions, overemphasis, repetition, excitable and patronising delivery, talk of journeys (particularly epic journeys), etc. Also, though I disagree with a fair bit of what he says, he’s not boring. However, I did notice that he brought his right-wing politics more to the fore here than in previous series. When he claimed that liberal-left support for decolonisation was a mere fashion, he was indulging in ignorant provocation.

  8. If you are going to criticise France for fetishising style over substance ( and it is a legitimate criticism ) I think you need desist from slapping on the stylistic mannerisms that Meades is prone to.

    I liked the one I saw in this series a lot more than some of his recent offerings but the style can be extremely distracting. Agree Captain Ned in that his politics seemed far more evident than usual. One too many bad holidays in Burgundy?

  9. CN: But Godard and Truffaut also v American influence – Cahiers du Cinema and all their Hitchcock fetishism (though he might be English originally). All American influenced.

    ET: I was wondering who you meant at first, but I see it was Meades.

  10. Sure, but a more ambiguous and critical relationship, no? At least in terms of politics. Plus, he wasn’t claiming that no other directors were influenced by American culture.

    ET: I’m not sure that Meades was always criticising style over substance; he seemed to rather like all those frilly French roofs.

  11. I watched about as much of the Meades as I could take – and it hadn’t mentioned Melville to that point. He really didn’t seem to like the French all that much: felt they were hypocrites; and yet I felt his entire thesis was based on the most heinous cherry-picking (and, naturally, delivered as a masterclass of rhetoric). Yes, America influences the rest of the world: but even in our own culture, which is – I’d guess – more saturated with American culture than most, the majority of things about us are still recognisably English. – Besides, I always think rap music sounds better in French – or at least, more amusing.

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