My blind contour drawing project I began in February hit 100 drawings, so I made a zine out of them. (You can see them all in higher resolution on Instagram.) My friend Wendy MacNaughton has a blind drawing exercise in this weekend’s NYTimes: “How to See, in Four Minutes.”
The text of this zine is cut out of the book How to Entertain With Your Pocket Calculator.
After I posted it yesterday, a few readers mentioned that it reminded them of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince:
Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.
The original French hung on a sign in Fred Rogers’ office: “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”
When I was making the zine, I was singing Kate Bush:
I found a book on how to be invisible
Take a pinch of keyhole
And fold yourself up
You cut along a dotted line
You think inside out
And you’re invisible
Filed under: zines
“Imagination is when you close your eyes and think of a door.”
“This is about lack of imagination.”
—Ali Khan, formerly of the C.D.C.
Imagination is simply the ability to make images in your head.
If you’re blessed with an imagination, it’s part of your job to bring better images to the world.
Stacy Schiff tells us this story about the first time the manuscript for Lolita was saved from incineration in her biography of Véra Nabokov:
She stepped outside to find her husband had set a fire in the galvanized can next to the back steps and was beginning to feed his papers to it. Appalled, she fished the few sheets she could from the flames. Her husband began to protest. ‘Get away from there!’ Véra commanded, an order Vladimir obeyed as she stomped on the pages she had retrieved. “We are keeping this,” she announced.
Her husband tried to burn his manuscript several other times and was thwarted only by her interventions. Schiff continues:
Plenty of manuscripts have burned, among them early drafts of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dead Souls. A three-person brigade intervened to save A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man from the flames; in Pale Fire, Kinbote looks on as John Shade indulges in a little backyard auto-da-fé. That Lolita did not meet with the same fate, in the context and climate in which Nabokov was composing in the early 1950s, is testimony to Véra’s ability to—as her husband had it—keep grim common sense from the door, shoot it dead when it approached. She feared that the memory of the unfinished work would haunt him forever.
“Without my wife,” her husband said, “I wouldn’t have written a single novel.”
Quarantine, week five: I finished a pack of bubblegum and thought, What does this remind me of?
Need to chew more gum so I can make more…