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On December 21, 1921 an advertisement established a writer’s most hated cliché and foe.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Writers generally hate cliché. Here we are writing in the most depressing hours of late, late night with the only light in a our lives the glow of a MacBook monitor reflecting off our thick black-framed spectacles while we drink glasses of Jameson as we sit in our ironic, self-deprecating fashions torturing ourselves trying to find the perfect way to say that thing we are not always sure we are trying to say. And then there is getting someone to read and find meaning in our selection of words.

And then there is the picture, with its immediate way of communicating what writers do for page after forsaken page.

I like tension, though. A lot. There is tension there, in that cliché, in that distance created by making words and image enemies. Neat, interesting stuff comes from tension.

I thought I would like to use this space to explore ephemera, and while I would still like to highlight the texty, transient side of image, I would also like to explore the different ways writers have conflicted, notsoconflicted, relationships with the visual, by highlighting a visual artist who uses text in their work, or featuring a writer who also identifies as a photographer, painter, imagemakinghooligan. Every now and then I’ll also put out a call on a theme for readers to submit images.

Or you know what, just send me images. I like me a nice picture. Email me, faceturnsread@gmail.com.

Photo is courtesy of Union Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

—Hossannah Asuncion

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Published Oct 11, 2010 - Comments Off

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