Culturedarm.com is the work of Christopher Laws. Born in Durham, I have lived in York and Umeå, with briefer spells in Istanbul and Amsterdam. I am currently studying towards a PhD in literature at the University of York, with my area of research the writings of James Joyce.
Culturedarm seeks to bring together a diversity of culture. Long-form pieces range across the arts, weaving tapestries from loosely assorted threads, showing points of connection between individuals, genres, and moments. Some of the most successful long-form pieces include ‘The Scythians and The Rite of Spring’; ‘Clotted Hinderparts and Privy Drains: Game of Thrones and a History of Death on the Toilet’; ‘Art and Architecture Towards Political Crises: The 1937 Paris International Exposition in Context’; and ‘Themes and References in Joanna Newsom’s ‘Sapokanikan”, which was cited by Jim Fusilli in The Wall Street Journal.
Specialisms in Russian literature and James Joyce, Hitchcock’s cinema, Björk, Van Morrison, and Vincent van Gogh stand alongside interests in wrestling, Swedish baking, sneakers, election politics, and perfume. But many of my favourite pieces have involved first-time subjects, as with ‘Mughal Painting and the Akbarnama: Miskina and Mukund’ and ‘Pyongyang Architecture: Eddo Hartmann and Matjaž Tančič’.
Daily Visuals offer well-defined snapshots of world events. There is an ongoing look at ‘The Best Albums of the Decade So Far’. And other regular items go behind popular songs, discuss songs of the month, or provide concise movie reviews, while Cultureteca amounts to a collection of disparate stuff pertaining to each week.
The front page and the site’s various categories will do a better job of presenting the content. It is an attempt to encompass culture with an inevitably skewed vision and a limited grasp. What began in January 2013 as a WordPress blog in September 2014 took a new host and a new design, with a regular, almost-daily pattern of posts. Culturedarm.com is connected to four or five Tumblr accounts, a Twitter account, Facebook page, Instagram, Flickr, and so on.
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The name of this site derives from a line in Ulysses. In the ‘Wandering Rocks’ episode, Lenehan and M’Coy have been talking about Bloom in a rather unflattering context: Lenehan is recalling fondling Bloom’s wife in the back of a coach on a ride home after a party, as Bloom sat opposite and pointed out the stars and comets in the night sky. Then they pause:
M’Coy’s white face smiled about it at instants and grew grave. Lenehan walked on again. He lifted his yachtingcap and scratched his hindhead rapidly. He glanced sideways in the sunlight at M’Coy.
– He’s a cultured allroundman, Bloom is, he said seriously. He’s not one of your common or garden … you know … There’s a touch of the artist about old Bloom.