bart plantenga spent years wandering the haunted streets of NYC & Paris, cluttered with ghosts & memory, rich in phenomenological detail, friends & foes, encounters & coincidence & the enticing scent of decay, which allows the old to ignite the new. This sensory wealth tends to overpower a city’s residents &, to survive, they must learn to ignore it all.
One day they wake up & wonder why they’re living here; they must now either put up or shut up; it’s either reinvent one’s relation to the surroundings or get a divorce. & rather than do the easy thing – taking snapshots – plantenga began recording what the 5 senses registered; scribbling down a “snapshot” per day for a year with the writing-while-walking strategy producing a unique form of dérive as well as countless notepads of barely legible scribbles.
The Unloaded Camera Snapshots series began as an exercise to document everyday life. These eidetic, epigrammatic, not-quite prose poems, not-quite journal entries, served as meta-factual attempts to re-pollinate existence with the fecund, oft-neglected details of the everyday: la vie quotidienne. Think of it this way: Brassai & Doisneau meet Cartiér-Bresson in a Montmartre cafe &, over Pastis, decide to smash their cameras & triumphantly take up pens instead.
Jean-Luc Godard once said: “There is just a moment when things cease to be a mere spectacle, a moment when a man is lost and when he shows that he is lost.”
WARNING: The depictions of friends & acquaintances contained herein are more than mere coincidence.
• See also the companion book NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor
Free Sample of Paris Scratch:
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About the Author
bart plantenga is the author of Beer Mystic, a novel that circumnavigates the globe in a unique pub crawl. He is also the author of the short story collection Wiggling Wishbone and the novella Spermatagonia: The Isle of Man and the companion to this book: NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor. His books Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the Worldand Yodel in HiFi plus the CD Rough Guide to Yodel have created the misunderstanding that he is one of the world’s foremost yodel experts. He is also a DJ & has producedWreck This Mess in NYC, Paris & now Amsterdam since 1986. He would like to thank Chris Potash for publishing the original 16 page chapbook of Paris Scratch long ago.