Hannah was as good as knighted for suggesting Letters to a Young Poet - this gem, this walnut of wisdom. Members clutched their copies passionately, fingers caressed lines in the text, voices spoke them out loud emphasising the beauty of Rilke's words and the thoughts he had on life, love and loss. There were shouts of 'Yes!' and I do believe one may have punched the air with enthusiasm at this man's verbal unction. In his letters, Rilke turns a young man's quest for critical advice into a bible for the secular man. It is the sign of a good book when editions are discussed, and who the best translation is by. We all fawned over Michelle's copy as it was hardback, with a portrait of the young artist, and translated by Stephen Mitchell. I'm not sure any of the English translations replicate the poet's tone exactly, nevertheless Rilke's wise words sparkle like wet leaves at dawn.
Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop started a mighty discussion. Milly said 'You're having a laugh!' She felt the entire film was a set-up. There was an embarrassing moment when she said, hands up who believed Mr Brainwash was real?' When I heard his name said out loud, I had to laugh. What a muppet. Him or us? Most felt his art was an amalgamation of pastiches. But we couldn't decide whether Banksy had entirely orchestrated Mr Brainwash's coming out show Life is Beautiful in LA or whether Thierry Guetta actually had a soupcon of interest in making his own art. Is Banksy cashing in on Mr Brainwash's creations, or has the art market truly been had by a poser? I'm keen to watch the film again to see whether Public Enemy's Don't Believe the Hype, occurs as background music anywhere in the movie. The film offers a brilliant insight into the hooded boy from Bristol's working life and it raises questions about the creation, dissemination, interpretation and acquisition of art. It opened a can of worms that can best be dealt with by reading Sarah Thornton's excellent book Seven Days in the Art World.