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Articles on this Page
- 01/21/17--12:49: _Fantin-Latour's Mod...
- 01/28/17--12:17: _Andre Beaudin: A Wa...
- 02/08/17--15:41: _Taking Another Look...
- 02/14/17--12:09: _Le monde de la douceur
- 02/21/17--12:58: _Fly-Over Season
- 02/28/17--12:31: _A Day Of Rain
- 03/13/17--12:57: _Mary Hiester Reid: ...
- 03/26/17--11:21: _Rain Blossoms: The ...
- 04/01/17--13:09: _Music Under The Rad...
- 04/06/17--09:08: _Music Under The Rad...
- 04/14/17--13:00: _Jacques Prevert: A ...
- 04/25/17--08:45: _Chaud Lapin !
- 05/01/17--07:53: _Marisol, Our Contem...
- 05/09/17--09:37: _Music Under The Rad...
- 05/23/17--08:39: _ Laziness: A Primer
- 06/09/17--09:26: _Camillo Innocenti: ...
- 06/20/17--10:14: _Michele Cascella: Y...
- 07/03/17--09:48: _Luigi Ghirri: Mixin...
- 07/06/17--00:01: _"They Told Me I Sho...
- 07/28/17--14:12: _Writing The Book On...
- 01/16/17--08:59: _Homage To Martin Lu...
- 08/10/17--18:08: _Johanna Grussner: O...
- 12/31/16--13:25: _Happy New Year
- 01/04/17--10:46: _The Long View: Vict...
- 01/13/17--10:36: _Ethel Sands: Not So...
- 01/21/17--12:49: Fantin-Latour's Modern Flowers
- 01/28/17--12:17: Andre Beaudin: A Wall, A Fence, A Boundary
- 02/08/17--15:41: Taking Another Look At Modernism
- 02/14/17--12:09: Le monde de la douceur
- 02/21/17--12:58: Fly-Over Season
- 02/28/17--12:31: A Day Of Rain
- 03/13/17--12:57: Mary Hiester Reid: Can A Working Girl Ever Win?
- 03/26/17--11:21: Rain Blossoms: The Waters Of March
- 04/01/17--13:09: Music Under The Radar: Josh Roseman
- 04/06/17--09:08: Music Under The Radar: Melanie De Biasio
- 04/14/17--13:00: Jacques Prevert: A Celebration
- 04/25/17--08:45: Chaud Lapin !
- 05/01/17--07:53: Marisol, Our Contemporary
- 05/09/17--09:37: Music Under The Radar: Alice Coltrane
- 05/23/17--08:39: Laziness: A Primer
- 06/09/17--09:26: Camillo Innocenti: The Cottagers
- 06/20/17--10:14: Michele Cascella: Youthful Prodigy
- 07/03/17--09:48: Luigi Ghirri: Mixing Anthropology And Metaphysics
- 07/06/17--00:01: "They Told Me I Should Go To Rehab....."
- 07/28/17--14:12: Writing The Book On Love: From Alcman To Jessica Fisher
- 01/16/17--08:59: Homage To Martin Luther King, Jr. - Alfred Manessier
- 08/10/17--18:08: Johanna Grussner: Out Of This World
- 12/31/16--13:25: Happy New Year
- 01/04/17--10:46: The Long View: Victor Segalen
- 01/13/17--10:36: Ethel Sands: Not So Cozy After All
Fortunately for us, the artist was wrong in this case. Henri Fantin-Latour is one of the great painters of flowers, able to combine such disparate elements as calm amidstthe stages of vegetal life. If there was any strain involved in creating these works, the artist has prevented us from seeing it.
Something else we might not be aware of is the lowly status that still life painting had in the hierarchy of genres in Fantin-Latour's day, although he was keenly aware of it both as reflected in the quote given here and in the many portraits he painted, works that he hoped would secure his reputation. For a still life to command attention it needed some religious or literary reference to lift it above the ordinary, so you could say that these flowers, stripped of alljustification but their own aesthetic loveliness, are the early flowers of modern art.
The Fage series on the words of the artists is a good resourcefor anyone who wants to know how artists see their own works. However, once the work is released to the world, like a bird, it may take a surprising path and who knows where it will light?
To read more Words of the Artists (in French).
Henri Fantin-Latour - untitled, possibly 1872 (see writing in upper left corner), Louvre museum, Paris.
" (T)he lack of understanding of the work of Beaudin constitutes one of the greatest injustices of our time." - Pablo Picasso, translation by J.L.
Whether his paintings were figurative or abstract, Andre Beaudin's pictures shows the influence of his background as a tapestry designer and his training in decorative arts. Although he was living and working in Paris during the 1920s when Cubism was in style, Beaudin found it too formulaic and too rigid for his purposes. He excelled at using form and color, making lyrical canvases that seem to move before our eyes. As an example of his boundary-pushing work, La cloture (The Fence) could hardly be more exemplary. If this is a fence, it is a peculiar one, wayward, inconsistent, and even anarchic.
Andre Beaudin (1895-1979) studied at l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1919 he married the painter Suzanne Roger. Writing for an exhibition at the Pompidou Center in 1970, Re4ynold Arnould had this to say about Beaudin's magical colors: " His color has a kind of transparent quality, that of reflection..." - translation by J.L.
The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that an orderly landscape was the cornerstone of political stability. The Romans agreed, elevating Terminusas the god of boundaries, the keeper of property and agriculture. Boundary stones, called termini in his honor, often contained his carved image in the walls thatprotectedfarm fields against trespassers and thieves. Even the feast of the New Year was dedicated to Terminus, celebrated with gift-giving of wine and stones. To show how seriously the Romans took their boundary lines, the punishment for violators who moved the stones was to be burned alive, along with their livestock. ( This ghoulish bit of information comes from one of the great histories of the 19th century, The Ancient City (1864) by Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges.) Today, the jack o'lantern is a secular descendant of the termini.
Roman law fixed the sacred boundary space at two and one half feet, wide enough for walking, worshiping, and patrolling. Mayhem aside, evidence left to us in the paintings of numerous 19th century artists show the Italian landscape still bisected by these antique walls, but in this more settled agrarian state, serving as resting places for humans and their dogs.
Anrde Beaudin - La cloture (The Fence), 1941, Musee des beaux-Arts, Troyes.
These two works are not new nor are they new to the Museum of Modern Art. Mon pere et moi by the Iranian Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (b. 1937) is a large work that uses bright colors to depict an intimate relationship. Alfred H. Barr, Jr., bought the work for the museum the year Zenderoudi created it, in 1962. Zenderoudi studied both fine arts and decorative arts in Tehran. Ibrahim ElEl-Salahi's The Mosque, painted in 1964 and purchased for the permanent collection the following year, is small, its colors muted while the artist's use of Islamic calligraphy suggests the mosaics used to decorate architecture in Arabic countries. Even without knowing the calligraphy's lexicon, it is easy to see a sense of uplift in the juxtaposition of forms and gestures that run across the midsection of the canvas. Born in Sudan in 1930, Ibrahim El-Salahi came to New York on a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1954. He became friends with the African-American painter Jacob Lawrence, whose monumental Migration Series is divided, half at the Museum of Modern Art and half at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.
2. Ibrahim El-Salahi, The Mosque, oil on canvas, 12.12" x 18.12", 1964, Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
(One thing that the internet is not good at is suggesting the relative sizes of the images reproduced.)
By the time President Thomas Jefferson was took office in 1800, the American farm had already assumed the outlines still in evidence today. The best farms were situated on hillsides facing south, with barns and other sheds forming a screen around the house, the kitchen garden located nearby for protection from the elements, and a wood lot to the north that acted as a windbreak. There were trade-offs, of course, between the richer soil in the valleys versus the longer growing season on the sun-soaked hills. Farms on the north slope of hills often failed to prosper because of the shorter growing season and even today these lots are more likely to be timberland than farmland. A sheltered site for the house also lessened the need for firewood. A farmhouse was located near the top of hill so that a well with pure water would be protected from farm water runoff.
The land is a palimpsest, written on again and again, written over until details of previous times are obscured. By comparison with cities and suburbs, rural areas still offer a rich visual story for those who take the time to look. Now is a good time to take a ride in the country.
John Pfahl (b.1939) is an American photography, a graduate twice from Syracuse University, who now lives and teaches in Buffalo, New York.
For further reading: Common Landscape of America, 1580-1845 by John R. Stilgoe, New Haven, Yale University Press: 1983.
1. John Pfahl - Nursery Topsoil - Winter + Lancaster New York, 1994, Janet Borden Gallery, NYC.
2. John Pfahl - Blue X, Pembroke, New York, 1975, Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
3. John Pfahl - Pingry Hill Road, Andover, New York, 1979, Joseph Bellows gallery, NYC.
4. John Pfahl - The Very Rich Hours of a Compost Pile, 1994, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
("Je ne suis pas devant la nature, je suis dedans.")
- Pierre Tal-Coat, translation JL.
Everything changed when he encountered the antique Chinese landscape paintings from the Song Dynasty (900-1279). Here, centuries before landscape emerged from the background of religious and court paining in Europe, was a full developed genre that used the technqiues of the brush to express human emotions. Under its influence, Tal-Coat turned from portraying nature through visual perception to using paint to record his immediate emotional responses to nature4's ephemera, foam breaking on a rock, raining falling on a hillside. In contrast to the unrelenting pessimism of Samuel Beckett, who saw nothing but negations in the artist's later work, I am reminded of some lines from The Outermost House, the naturalist Henry Beston's bestseller first published in 1928. "The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach."
In 1961 Tal-Coat moved to a building at a Carthusian monastery in Normandy where he worked and lived quietly until his death.
What is it about accomplished women that makes them disappear like the Cheshire Cat, leaving behind their works to be sure, but barely a trace of a shadow?
Hiester's painting of her Wychwood studio contains the flowers and light-capturing objects that so impressed viewers in her work. There is no way to denigrate her mastery of such subjects as 'women's work.' After all, no one apologizes for such flower painters as Pierre-Joseph Redoute and Henri Fantin-Latour. The year after Hiester Reid died, a retrospective of more than three hundred paintings was mounted at the Art Gallery of Ontario in her adopted home of Toronto.
Unlike some of his contemporaries who turned their noses up at color, considering Kodachrome a dirty word, Haas quickly became adroit at catching temporary effects, becoming the first photographer to receive a solo exhibition of his color work at the Museum of Modern art in New York City in 1962; there would not be a second such for another fourteen years. Prejudices, however baseless or silly, fade slowly. Just look at the Cosmo (below), its rain-drenched petals mimicking the shape of an iris for a moment.
1. Ernst Haas - untitled, date not given, Ernst Haas Estate.
2. Ernst Haas - Cosmos, California, 1981, Ernst Haas Estate.
It may be a long way from Brazil to New Jersey, but not so far as you might think and the trail winds leads through an undeservedly overlooked song, Long Day, Short Night.
Bacharach wrote the song for the Shirelles in 1965, with every expectation that it would be a hit as Baby It's You had been for them in 1962. Both songs make use of the baião, a style originating in the rural states of northeastern Brazil, less familiar than the urban bossa nova but just as mesmerizing Once you know that the baião is characterized by percussion-driven melodies dominated by a bass drum, the link between The Shirelles'Baby It's You and Josh Roseman's version of Long Day, Short Night is obvious.
Trombonist Roseman has been a sideman with a too many jazz musicians to name but his recordings as a group leader suggest a strong connection with some in particular, Art Ensemble of Chicago member and trumpeter Lester Bowie is his Brass Fantasy phase and his collaboration with Don Byron on the clarinetist's klezmer project.
Bacharach had studied composition with French composer Darius Milhaud whose Le Boeuf sur le Toit (1920) is a melange of popular tunes lifted from Brazilian well known musicians, put through a French press of Parisian urbanity. For more on this subject - lots more! - check out the website of Daniella Thompson, a jazz programmer at KPFA, 94.1 in Berkeley, whose Boeuf Chronicles is just one of her many explorations of Brazilian music.
Long Day, Short Night
Josh Roseman Unit, trombone, Treats For the Nightwalker,2003, Enja Records
Baby It's You
Image: unidentified photographer for BBC - Josh Roseman
"I'm gonna leave you, yes I'm gonna
I'm gonna leave you 'cause I want to
And I'll go where people love me
And I'll stay there 'cause they love me"
For anyone familiar with the outlines of singer Nina Simone's biography, it would be easy to imagine that she wrote these lyrics but, in fact, they were written by her guitarist who, on the evidence, was a keen observer of the artist who first became known as 'little girl blue' but was well on way to becoming the 'high priestess of soul" when they began working together. An angry, wounded song from the 1960s has recently been given new currency from an unexpected quarter - a Belgian singer and songwriter who knows a good song even when it arrives smothered by a Broadway pit orchestra.
Rudy Stevenson, who wrote "I'm Gonna Leave You", joined Nina Simone's band in early 1964, while Simone was recording I Put A Spell On You, her finest studio album for Phillips Records, in New York City. Stevenson, also a composer and arranger, wrote a song ("One September Day") and an instrumental number ("Blues On Purpose") for the occasion. Buried on Simone's next release High Priestess Of Soul was another Stevenson song "I'm Gonna Leave You." It sounds as though it was recorded in a hurry, without much thought or care, in an uptempo Broadway-style arrangement. Simone herself was famous for introducing her own incendiary civil rights anthem "Mississippi Goddam" with the comment, "This is a show tune, but the show hasn't been written for it yet." Still, the song has presentiments of a more intimate meditation laced with payback than what usually gets belted out across the footlights.
Melanie De Biasio (b.1978) is a Belgian jazz singer who writes many of the songs she sings, so her inclusion of a song recorded by the American Nina Simone in the 1960s De Biasio knew she would not be able to afford much studio time to record No Deal, which she produced herself, so she spent weeks working out the ambiences she wanted for each track in three short days.
I'm Gonna Leave You
Melanie DeBiasio, 2013
I'm Gonna Leave You
Nina Simone, 1966.
Melanie De Biasio, courtesy Worldwide FM, Gilles Peterson.
Prevert's gallery of usual suspects included clerics ("Poetry is everywhere as God is nowhere") and the military but, unlike others he named names, never hiding behind abstractions. That was the kernel of his "anti-intellectualism," his scorn for the typical scholar who would "expend his life erecting a self-glorifying monument of theories." Prevert called out the "religious insincerity" of the Popes, especially during war times, and social injustices in the persons of Marechal Petain and the French colonials in Vietnam. His youthful encounters with the poor, introduced through his father, led t Prevert to join the Ocotber Group, a troupe of amateur actors in the 1930s. The plays they put on may not have been much more than "agit-prop" but Fabian Loris, a Prevert biographer syas, "It was not a theater, it was a way of life, with Jacques Prevert as its strong foundation, his humor corroding like acid on a plate." The Communist Party was not amused but the public was and this kept the group members safe. Meanwhile Prevert also put his politics to work in screenplays, among them Le crime de monsieur with Jean Renoir (1935), an idyllic story of a publishing cooperative in the days of the Popular Front and Quai des brumes with Marcel Carne (1938), the story of an Amry deserter.
Paris-Prévert by Danièle Gasiglia-Laster was just published by Editions Gallimard in Paris.
1. Israel Bidermanas - Jacques Prevert in Paris, 1954,Pompidou Center, Paris.
2. Gilbert Poillerat (1902-1988) - Portrait-de-l'oiseau-qui-n'existe-par, 1979, Pompidou Center, Paris.
"To the carrot, the rabbit is the perfect incarnation of Evil." - Robert Sheckley.
A detail from The Lady And The Unicorn, wool and silk tapestry, c.1495-1505, (Musee nationale du Moyen Age) Musee de Cluny, Paris.
The tapestries were deisgned in Paris and woven in Flanders. They disappeared from puiblic view, only to be found by Prosper Merimiee, author of the novel Carmen, in 1841. Merimee, it should be noted was an archeologist, among other things, when he discovered the tapestries moldering in a castle in central France. Three years later, after George Sand saw them she began to publicize their existence.
A month before, the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood had asked What Art Under Trump?in The Nation, reopening an old debate. Artists, she pointed out, have often been lectured on their moral duty. Atwood didn't invoke The Metamorphosis Of The Gods bythe late Andre Malraux but she could have. Malraux traced the path taken by the divine aura from the ancient world to art museums as our relationship to the divine has been transformed into a a veneration of objects. The sacralization of contemporary art is about money. Paintings, books, theater, and films, are not inherently sacred, no matter what price they command in the marketplace, although they have in the past served religious functions, in ancient Greek theater and medieval cathedrals, to name two instances.
Why the Albright-Knox Gallery, located some 450 miles from New York City, the place where Marisol lived for decades? It was the first museum to acquire Marisol's work for its collection when Seymour Knox purchased The Generals in 1962. The artist and the museum director became friends with Marisol making frequent appearances at openings and events there. "She was incredibly grateful to Mr. Knox for his purchase of The Generals and Baby Girl. said Carlos Brillembourg, Marisol's longtime friend and co-executor of her estate with Mimi Trujillo. Baby Girl also became an instant hit when the museum purchased it in 1964. The little girl (who is very big) dwarfs her tiny doll-like mother. And Marisol had another link with the Queen City: throughout her career, Marisol was represented by the gallery of Sidney Janis, a Buffalo native.
I had to crane my neck to get a good look at Simon Bolivar and George Washington whenever I visited The Generals; it stands seven feet three inches tall. The brightly painted wooden sculpture evokes a smile and memories of toy soldiers, but there is serious business going on here. Washington and Bolivar were both leaders of independence movements in the Americas, but their imagined appearance together suggests a satirical viewpoint; these mounted leaders with their feet hanging in air may be out of touch with reality. A Marisol sculpture, I soon recognized, is always about more than one thing at a time.
Because the art world caught up with Marisol in the 1960s, her work has often been pigeon-holed with pop Art - and left there when styles changed - but her work has not dated. Marisol But her astute mimicry of human behavior was much deeper than a silk screen of a soup can. Dubbed a "Latin Garbo" for her beauty, the feminist nature of her social critique has become clearer with time.
In 2014, the Museo del Barrio was the first New York museum to present a solo exhibition of Marisol’s work.
1. unidentified photographer - Marisol touches up The Generals at the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, 1963, courtesy Albright-Knox Gallery.
2. unidentified photographer - Marisol and a guest with The Generals, November 18, 1963, courtesy Albright-Knox Gallery.
3. unidentified photographer, Marisol - The Generals, c.1961-62, courtesy Albright-Knox Gallery.
4. unidentified photographer - Marisol - Baby Girl, 1963, courtesy Albright-Knox Gallery.
From Spiritual Eternal, I worked my way backward to her first recording as a leader, A Monastic Trio (1968) and the transcendental Journey In Satchidananda (1970), discovering along the way her other instruments, the harp played with feather-weight glissandi (remember those arpeggios), so different from the strong melodic line of Dorothy Ashby, and the piano. Coltrane, I learned, had replaced the titanic McCoy Tyner in John Coltrane's quartet the year before his death, something that certain Coltrane fans equated with the snake in the garden. For this, and for her experiments with the note-bending capabilities of modular synthesizers, she remained outside the jazz mainstream for the rest of her life. That Alice Coltrane needed to become a leader in order to have a group to play with after her husband's death in 1967, seemed unworthy of comment at the time. It makes me think of an exchange between contemporary trio leader Michele Rosewoman and a an unnamed male musician: who he asked her "What's with this all-woman thing?" as her group was setting up for a performance. Rosewoman turned and gestured toward his band with the reply "What's with this all-man thing?".
When Alice met John Coltrane, the two joined were joined togetherin seeking transcendence innon-Western religious books such as the Quran,the Bhagavad Gita, and writings on Zen Buddhism. Alice would ultimately find a home in Hinduism and founded a Vedantic Ccnter in California, where she lived until her death in 2007. Musicians Herbie Hancock and Sun Rapursued a similarquestfor a system of belief that could free black people from the oppressionthey were subjected to in America. This is what Su Ra meant when he declared, "Space is the place."
After 1978, and the move to Los Angeles, Alice Coltraneseldom recorded but, thanks to the encouragement of her son, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, she recorded one finalalbum, Transilinear Light.
World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda 2017, has just been released by Luaka Bop Records
1, unidentified photographer - Alice Coltrane, from Journey In Satchidananda, 1970, Impulse Records.
2. Jeff Dunas, photographer - Alice Coltrane, from Translinear Light, 2004, Impulse Records.
So even he was not so lazy as I.
Hsi Shu-yeh is the Taoist poet Hsi K'ang (223-262 C.E.). No doubt the transliteration of all these names has changed since Waley's day. "
It is the kind of tromp l'oeil picture that many an amateur has accidentally produced, but in this instance the result is so perfectly achieved that you want to know who is the photographer - and where exactly is he in relation to the other elements in the photo? Has he risen from some watery deep just beyond the frame? And when you learn that his name is Luigi Ghirri, you wonder why that name is not familiar.
Luigi Ghirri began his career with a sense that everything that could be done with photography had already been accomplished. He spoke often of how deeply affected he was by the view of Earth photographed from the Apollo 11 spacecraft. "It was not only the image of the entire world, but the image that contained all other images of the world." From this, Ghirri extrapolated the idea of the image-within-image, a framing technique he would use in his photographs. He brought the eye of an anthropologist to bear on the seemingly unremarkable sights that we see everyday but with an intensity that has been described as metaphysical, a word often applied to artists of Emilia-Romagna region, like Giorgio de Chirico and Giorgio Morandi. Ghirri called them his "sentimental geography" but that does not exhaust the interest of, say, those yellow traffic lights bobbing in the fog
Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992) grew up in the northern province of Emilia-Romagna. A temperate area of broad fertile plains, fed by the Po River, it was created millennia ago when the sea retreated, leaving marshlands as it retreated. The young Ghirri moved to Modena, a small city but no backwater, located near Bologna, the regional capitol and home of the oldest university in the world. His studies in surveying and graphic design coalesced in a new hobby - taking pictures - that quickly became his chosen work.
Conceiving his photographs mostly in series, Ghirri presented them in books more often than in exhibitions which may have limited their initial impact. His first book Kodachrome, published in 1978, featured the tightly cropped images that would familiar in his work.
Ghirri's last home was at Roncosesi, not far from where he was born. Although he traveled, he found all that he needed for his work there. Formal, cerebral, witty, Ghirri always intended his photographs to explore rather than merely represent what was before him.
“Everything has a blighted, faded quality about it now. Still, if you look at it for a long time, the old charm reemerges. And that is why I can see that I will lose absolutely nothing by staying where I am, even by contenting myself with watching things go by, like a spider in its web waiting for flies. You need to look at things for a long time…” – Vincent van Gogh
Ghirri copied this quotation from a letter written by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo in his own journal.
Although admired during his lifetime, Ghirri's work has only grown in importance since his untimely death from a heart attack at the age of forty-nine. "...(N)ow, in their faded and aging present state, Ghirri’s prints from the 1970s and ’80s signal themselves as relics of the first wave of the then-new colour photography, carrying with them both prescience and nostalgia.." Christy Lange wrote for Frieze in 2011.
1. Paris (self-portrait in reflection), 1976, reprinted from Kodachrome, 1978, reprinted London: 2012.
3. Fagnano Olona - elementary school designed by Aldo Rossi, 1985, Pompidou Center, Paris.
4. Reggio Emilia, 1973, Pompidou Center, Paris.
While I'm away from the keyboard,I hope you will explore the archives here and, if you find something that interests you, please comment and I promise to respond to each one as soon as I am able.
Original photograph by Peter Librizzi, restoration by Renee Ing Akana at 28moons
- "Fate And Necessity" by Alkman, from Lyra Graeca, Vol. I, # 142.
:Not Aphrodite, no. But like a child,
Wild, Love comes down,
Almost as though walking on flowers -
But should not touch them,
- "Not Aphrodite, No" by Alkman from Lyra Graeca, Vol. I, #6
excerpted from Pure Pagan: Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments, translated by Burton Raffel, New York, The Modern Library: 2005
I can still taste him, bitter in the throat; I still
feel the weight of his body as he fights sleep.
I do not fight it: on the contrary, I live there,
and what you see in me that you think is grief
is the refusal to wake, that is to say, is pleasure:
qui donne du Plaisir en a, and so it
when he couldn't sleep in that long still night
you sensed it and woke to show him how
to unfasten each and every button, then it us
promised you, even when he goes -
- excerpt from "The Right To Pleasure" by Jessica Fisher, from Frail-Craft, New Haven, Yale University Press: 2007
For further reading:
1. Philippe Brunet, La Naissance de la littérature dans la Grèce ancienne, Paris, Le Livre de Poche:
2. Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet, Champaign, Dalkey Archive Press: 1998.
Anonymous artist, Women In The Orchard (titled ascribed), no date, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA.
A tribute from an expected quarter. Blue and red, water and blood, bursting with life., a force that moves the spirit and the world.
Manessier painted this homage to the American Civil Rights leader in 1964 when King became the youngest person (at that time) ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
When I'm looking at you
I hear out of this world
The music that no mortal ever knew
The fairy tale I read when I was so high
No armored knight out of a book
Would find a more enchanted Lorelei than I
After reaching so long for a star
All at once from a long and lonely night time
And despite time, here you are
If you said we were through
So let me fly out of this world
And spend the next eternity or two with you
After reaching so long for a star
All at once from a long and lonely night time
And despite time, here you are
If you said we were through
So let me fly out of this world
And spend the next eternity or two with you"
- Out Of This World, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Harold Arlen.
Melisma is a technique familiar to us from its use in gospel music; its use originated in early Christian plainsong. Unlike syllabic singing where each syllable is accorded one note, when a singer moves from one note to another on a single syllable, that’s melisma. When Johnny Mercer came to write this lyric in 1944, he had been working in Hollywood for almost ten years and it shows in its style; this was no Tin Pan Alley show tune to be belted to the rafters for applause. Rather, it existed on an altogether more intimate emotional plane. Wilder was certainly right to describe Out Of This World as not being typical of Harold Arlen's songs, but then it is not typical of anyone else's that I can think of either.
Listen to Johanna Grussner sing Out Of This World.
Visit Johanna Grussner's website.
No More Blues, a recording by Johanna Grussner, Naxos Jazz: 2005.
Photograph of Johanna Grussner, 2010, courtesy of Allaboutjazz.com.
The basic Cape Codder recipe is as follows:
2 ounces vodka
3 ounces cranberry juice
1/4 lime perched on the rim of the glass, to be squeezed
club soda to taste
The children's version substitutes ginger ale for the vodka and club soda.
Czechoslovakia - Glass cocktail stirrers, c.1920-1930, blown glass, Geffrye Museum, London.
An obsession was born when Segalen arrived in Peking in 1909; he immediately adopted it as "my capital,' only returning to France at the outbreak of war in 1914. For Segalen, as for the ancient Chinese, the Middle Kingdom became the center of the world, "the country that epitomizes harmonious difference, the diversity of the world in a nutshell."
Rene Leys, Segalen's novel published in 1911, is a kind of spiritual adventure story, in which a young foreigner becomes obsessed with the mysterious Forbidden City and and the Imperial Palace at the heart of Peking. Day after day the novel's protagonist circles the perimeter, looking and listening for signs of intrigue, clues to the destabilizing politics that followed in the wake of the Boxer Rebellion of 1905. Another foreigner, Rene Leys, becomes his guide, weaving threads of historical events and magical tales together, leaving the reader to wonder what kind of book they have in their hands, a detective story or an allegory. The book, like the Forbidden City and the field in Lintong guard their secrets well.
The afterlife of Victor Segalen (1870-1919) has been longer than his time on earth. Segalen, born in Finistiere (end of the land), at the western-most point of the Atlantic coast, grew up to become a naval doctor, but no single profession could contain him. He wrote novels, poetry, and literary criticism, and on his travels around the globe he made topographical maps, took photographs, and made archeological excavations. For all these accomplishments, Segalen's name is inscribed on the wall of the Pantheon in Paris.
An extensive biography of Victor Segalen (in French)
About the novel Rene Leys (in English)
Image: Victor Segalen - Lintong, Shaanxi Province, China, 16 February 1914, Musee Guimet, Paris.