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I en intervju (apropå hans nya roman Brooklyn Crime Novel) säger Jonathan Lethem:

I like this characterization very much, but I’m not sure I ever thought about ‘scales of information’, so much as I freed the voice of the book to conduct a kind of inquiry that was by its nature obsessive, burrowing, gnawing. Yes, I’m thinking of “termite artistry,” but also that Columbo kind of persistence in investigation—picking up a cigarette butt and putting it in the pocket of a trenchcoat, then going to a bar and putting the cigarette butt up on the bar and staring at it through the duration of four drinks…

Dan Fox/Keep All Your Friends, “Issue 34: Jonathan Lethem’s Not-Quite-Last Interview“, 17 december 2023

Jag blev tvungen att kolla upp vad “termitkonst” är/kommer ifrån och jag gissar att det är en uppfinning av konstnären/filmkritikern Manny Farber i en essä med titeln “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art” i Film Culture, 1962-63. Så här skriver han:

A peculiar fact about termite tapeworm-fungus-moss art is that it goes always forward eating its own boundaries, and, likely as not, leaves nothing in its path other than the signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity.

Manny Farber, “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art”, Film Culture, nr.27 (Winter 1962-63)

Han exemplifierar med Helan & Halvan, men också med John Wayne i The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:

In an Arizona town that is too placid, where the cactus was planted last night and nostalgically cast actors do a generalized drunkenness, cowardice, voraciousness, Wayne is the termite actor focusing only on a tiny present area, nibbling at it with engaging professionalism and a hipster sense of how to sit in a chair leaned against the wall, eye a flogging overactor (Lee Marvin).

Jag ska hålla utkik efter termitkonstnärer.