Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-09-13 - 8:19 a.m.

James said a lot of very interesting things while he was briefly in Guildford. For example how much he liked being back in Moscow in all its strangeness - he arrived and though - oh yes I remember now how weird this place is - I guess the wild east must have a strong allure for young men and women who can handle its strange ways.

He also mentioned the atmosphere in and around the high performance female rowing teams. His girlfriend was in the Cambridge team which beat Oxford this year - and she was also in the college team that was head of the river. James said that this form of collective endeavour is very emotionally charged - everyone is always emoting - not to say bursting into tears. I suppose there may be a functional side to all of this? But can you imagine a society of highly intelligent highly motivated women always going boo-hoo?

I have been exploring the Pacifica (bought from James) and the amp-simulator - on the 6 note chords that held my interest the last time I picked up a guitar. The Pacfica is not all that edgey but I think maybe I will change the height of the pick-ups.

When I was in Birmingham on Friday afternoon I saw a little MIDI-driven Hammond sound box - complete with chorus. They wouldnít let me try it - using the (feeble) excuse that it lacked a power supply. I said I would return with a power supply and with the Dhorn to see what it sounded like in the way that I might use it. I have had very little success in tracking down anything about the box on the net. But would I get better value for money from that Casio synth with the virtual draw bars?

Exchanges with Tony Reif, Andrew K and Lizzy N. Yet more Plathery arrived - a short memoire by Jilliam Becker who knew SP during the last weeks in NW1(she was one of the last people to see her alive) and the Silent Woman by Janet Malcolm who sees to have been provoked into writing by the reactions to the Stevenson bio. This seems to be a recurrent feature. Someone writes something about Plath that provokes a reaction and this repercusses into a stream of books.

The Malcolm book is a good study - she goes round to various protagonists and interviews and then compares her assessment of the witnesses and the testimony to the use that is made of the testimony.. For example she interviews the amazing Prof Rose and has a look at some of the arguments that broke out between Rose and the estate. Malcolm gets Roseís number pretty well - essentially the Prof relies on an argument from academic freedom plus the fact that she is at the leading edge of post-Freudian structuralist thought. I think Malcolm is post-structuralist - she records a kind of constructivism at work with the Plath-entity. But she has some sympathy with the estate in terms of how hard it must be to be on the receiving end.

The story of the Estateís struggle is a good read in anticipation of the new ND bio. Larry wrote from Santa Barbara with some news on timings.

The difference is that Plath left a lot more evidence - the journals and the memoirs she has provoked. With ND the evidence is pretty meager and very hard won. The similarity is that in both cases itís the art-work that does the haunting and keeps the show on the road.

I have started to wonder whether there isnít another parallel in terms of the imagery. In the long Imac piece there are a couple of paras about imagery and I think it would be possible to use that as the basis for a comparison. At root I think both ND and SP used their art to attempt to stabilise their psychic lives and the internal warring forces - a strategy that worked spectacularly well for quite a while - and then didnít. They were both ferociously ambitious too.

I think I might have finished the vid which uses Colossus. Hopefully within a couple of days the 10SS will be up on the net.

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