April 18, 2011

A book for every minute of the day? The Guardian is looking for time-specific literary quotes.


The Duke from "The Thirteen Clocks" by James Thurber

Inspired by Christian Marclay‘s art film “The Clock,” in which thousands of movie clips were edited together to create a 24-hour film that shows an entire day pass through cinema clock faces, The Guardian is challenging its readers to submit time-specific moments from novels to create a full 24-day out of “clips” of literature. Here’s some examples of what they have in mind taken from Alice in Wonderland, Ulysses, etc.:

“Good heavens! nine’o’clock! I must get ready for mass at once if I am to have time to kiss aunt Léonie first.”

“As they crept along, stooping low to discern the plant, a soft yellow gleam was reflected from the buttercups into their shaded faces, giving them an elfish, moonlit aspect, though the sun was pouring upon their backs in all the strength of noon.”

The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already – it had not been light all day: and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices, like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air.”

“And off with him and out trying to walk straight. Boosed at five o’clock.”

“‘And ever since that,’ the Hatter went on in a mournful tone, ‘he won’t do a thing I ask! It’s always six o’clock now.'”

If you want to help them crowd-source their concept-art project, visit this page and submit your time-centric literary quote. Though I’m sure there’s no shortage of “midnight” quotations (2:17 might be more useful) I’ve submitted the following line from James Thurber‘s The Thirteen Clocks: “They found a corner without creatures and slept until the town clock struck the midnight hour.”

For more information about Marclay’s “The Clock” here’s a news report on the piece: