It’s easy for me to review stuff. I like it, and I think I bring something to each work, or play or film or whatever. However, it’s not the only thing I’m on about, or that this site was meant to be about.
It’s time to go back to first principles. Instead of reviewing works, I’m producing creative responses in some kind of ekphrasis. Initially, I thought about writing stories and perhaps poetry, and posting in response to the kind of things I usually review. And, I was going to do it here. However, I’ve moved this idea to Tumblr, for the immediacy of its feed and requirement for some brevity. There, in a line or paragraph, I can share the translation of my immediate response to whatever the stream happens to throw up, or whatever I can find on the British Library DRM free Flickr site that piques my fancy.
Socrates talks about ekphrasis to Phaedrus thusly:
“You know, Phaedrus, that is the strange thing about writing, which makes it truly correspond to painting.
The painter’s products stand before us as though they were alive,
but if you question them, they maintain a most majestic silence.
It is the same with written words; they seem to talk
to you as if they were intelligent, but if you ask them anything
about what they say, from a desire to be instructed,
they go on telling you just the same thing forever. Plato: Phaedrus 275d
With its art and photos, text and gifs that move as though they were alive, so far Tumblr has been the perfect medium for this ekphrastic-like dalliance, even if not all of my responses are confined to art, as the strict meaning of the term requires. It’s been fun.
This is also practice. When I’m asked where I get my ideas or inspiration from, I say something like everywhere and anywhere, but occasionally they flow to me, or I deliberately hunt and pin them down so I can write whatever comes to me in that moment.
As well as fun and practice, it’s just a quick escape from opinion and the urge to review, since everyone who can click like or ‘write something nice’ thinks they are reviewers now. And they are most certainly not.
I’ve railed at this before, here . Saying something is good, or bad and revealing the plot is not a review. Not even close. Yet, this kind of expression has muddied the interweb waters so almost every one of few those who can actually offer a considered critique is stained and stuck too. So, while I will continue to review and reflect on things here (including Doctor Who), I will use Tumblr to regularly remind myself that not all my responses to stuff in the world need to be analytical.