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The Passing of Our Wise Seer, Joan Didion

December 23rd, 2021
  • EPSON scanner image
    Joan Didion Documentary shows the warmer side of a cool Icon

  • (See a full film on youtube)

    (Directed by Frank Perry, starring Tuesday Weld and Anthny Perkins, Play as it lays, written by Joan Didion)

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    New Yorker –

  • The Center will not hold

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    Photo by Annie Leibovitz

  • Joan Didion wrote the White Album (previous post)

    “We tell ourselves stories in order to live” is the first sentence of this collection of essays written by Joan Didion.
    “The White Album” includes her essays on Doris Lessing and Georgia O’Keefe.
    “I WILL BE HER WITNESS.
    That would translate sere su testigo, and will not appear in your travelers’ phrasebook because it is not a useful phrase for the prudent traveler.’ Another beginning sentences from her novel “A Book of Common Prayer”.

  • Joan is the wise seer with a fragile exterior and migraine headaches and Harrison Ford built this deck at Joan Didion’s home’

    Remembering Joan Didion: ‘Her ability to operate outside of herself was unparalleled’

  • Paris Review interview

  • A Memoir, The History of Bones – by John Lurie

    December 14th, 2021

  • (Happy birthday John Lurie – December 14)

    John Lurie’s father used to take him to fishing. John Lurie is a hard working, self taught artist in music, acting and in painting. Basquiat painted and slept at his place. Basquiat was a close friend that Lurie wrote a lot about in this memoir.
    John Lurie is a world traveller.
    He wrote about Africa, one of many places Lurie visited. He wrote.
    “I had been depressed for a long, long time. I could not get out of it. Africa saved me. You can feel life started there.

  • More paintings at his Gallery with great soundtrack from John Lurie’s Strange and Beautiful homepage

  • Strange and Beautiful John Lurie (previous post)

  • Listen to his playing here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_864xjMQY8)

  • John Lurie: ‘I wanted to break into Martha Stewart’s house and change the curtains. My lawyer said no’
    (He’s hung out with Warhol and gone ice fishing with Willem Dafoe, but the Fishing With John man’s new series stars just him and his canvas)


  • (A man, a bull and of course, the Soldier Bunnies. – John Lurie)

  • Robert Bly – (December 23, 1926 – November 21, 2021)

    November 22nd, 2021
  • Things to Think

    Think in ways you’ve never thought before.
    If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
    Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
    Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

    Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
    Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
    Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers
    A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

    When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about
    To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
    Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s
    Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.
    Robert Bly


  • A Billy Moyers – Gathering Men, Robert Bly

  • Mark Rylance How Robert Bly Changed My Life

  • Robert Bly – Poetry Foundation

  • Robert Bly wiki

  • Jakucho Setouchi – (15 May 1922 – 9 November 2021)

    November 12th, 2021


  • (Hagiwara Kenichi or known as Sho-Ken and Jakucho Setouchi – from the Magazine Jakucho 2009) Hagiwara Kenichi and Jakucho Setouchi were very close, she was his surrogate mother. In this magazine their trips to Yokahama and Kyoto and their daily conversation were recorded. Hagiwara Kenichi passed away a few years ago.


  • Mario Ambrosieus posted the sad news of the passing of Jakucho Setouchi at 99 years old.

    Distant Rain Jakucho Setouchi and Tess Gallahar
    (I would like to read this.)

    Distant Rain records a conversation between the eloquent American poet Tess Gallagher and the renowned Japanese novelist and Buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi that took place in 1990 at Jakuan, Setouchi’s home temple, in Sagano, Japan.

    Gallagher had recently experienced the death of her husband, Raymond Carver, an internationally renowned short story writer. In a frank and at times humorous exchange, the two women trade observations about love and loss, and about the role of writing in coping with grief.

    Their words, reproduced in both English and Japanese, unfold accordion-style across the rich colors and striking imagery of artist Keiko Hara’s wood-block and stencil prints. Complemented by the exquisite lettering of typographer Maki Yamashita and under the guidance of master bookbinder Atsuo Ikuta, Distant Rain is not only a moving tribute to the sustaining power of love but also a stunning example of the art of book design


    (For Hagiwara Kenichi, the last time he visited Ten Ryu Mon in Kyoto was 25 years ago)

    Albert Camus The Plague, Leonard Cohen & Joni Mitchell – Nov 7 2021

    November 7th, 2021
  • William Hurt and Sandrine Bonniare in Plague (youtube)

    Albert Camus

    Camus albertmaria and Maria Casarès

    Camus and his women

    Camus had met Maria Casares, later star of Cocteau’s Orpheus but already an established actress, in 1944. Daughter of a rich Spanish Republican, a refugee from Franco, she was a passionate, wilful, intelligent woman. She was probably the only one of his lovers who had a relationship of equality with him. In addition, Todd says, ‘If he was a Don Juan, she was a Don Juana’.

  • (Albert Camus and Viggo Mortensen)
    Far from Men Viggo Mortensen

  • Leonard Cohen archive (Cohen died on Nov 7,2016.)

    Happy birthday Joni Mitchell
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  • Hannah Arendt – Lesson from Life

    October 18th, 2021
  • How the facts of Hannah Arendt’s life read like fiction

    Lesson from Life – Hannah Arendt

    As her friend Mary McCarthy once said, Arendt was “a magnificent stage diva”. Focusing on only one episode in Arendt’s eventful existence, Margarethe von Trotta’s dull 2012 biopic Hannah Arendt didn’t show the half of it. Time, surely, for the 12-part HBO drama series. Having read Ann Heberlein’s lyrical yet lucid On Love and Tyranny, I suggest Episode One end with the young Arendt declaring, “I can either study philosophy or I can drown myself”.

  • Raul Hilberg, the first historian to document the banality of Nazi evil, nursed a lifelong grudge against Arendt. who borrowed from and popularized his work without crediting him.

    Hanna Arendt never did the research, she popularized the idea that Nazis were primarily bureaucrats. Here is a book about the man whose research Hanna used without attribution.

    Hilberg was not happy either. After toiling for thirteen years on his book, he was being eclipsed by someone who had worked for little more than two years on hers. “Who was I, after all?” Hilberg asked bitterly in his autobiography. “She, the thinker, and I, the laborer who wrote only a simple report, albeit one which was indispensable once she had exploited it.”

  • Hannah and Her Admirers by David Rieff (Susan Sontag’s son)

    Margarethe von Trotta’s biopic of Hannah Arendt is a film about ideas that remains intellectually detached from them.
    Arendt had relied, by her own admission, on Raul Hilberg’s magisterial history of the Shoah, The Destruction of the European Jews, published in 1961. Most valuable of all to her was Hilberg’s account of the role of the Judenräte during the Shoah, and to what degree the leaders of these councils had in effect collaborated in the Jews’ extermination. Her conclusion was that had the Jews been leaderless and unorganized, there would have been chaos and misery, but nowhere near as many as 6 million would have been murdered. It was this position, far more than her thinking about the banality of evil, that had set so much of the official Jewish world against her. And while Hilberg did not agree with her, as he makes clear in a few icy paragraphs of his memoir, The Politics of Memory, he nonetheless defended Arendt publicly during the controversy.

    It is a film about ideas that remains intellectually detached from them. Despite her immense talent as a director of actors, perhaps with Hannah Arendt von Trotta is not so far from those late Rossellini films after all, and is nowhere near being as diligent or trustworthy.

    Michael Andre – John Cage Shoes Story

    August 29th, 2021
  • Interview – Michael Andre Talks about his Poetry Photo via

    Michael Andre: Years Skip By Like a Stone Across a Pond

    Michael Andre is a Canadian, poet, critic and editor living in New York City. Andre hosted radio shows in Chicago and New York. He interviewed, published, and occasionally socialized with W. H. Auden and Eugene McCarthy, Beats like Gregory Corso, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, John Cage and Andy Warhol.

    Andre is the editor of Unmuzzled OX, an occasional magazine of poetry, art and politics which began in 1971 as a quarterly and has produced 16 volumes. Andre edited and published two books by Gregory Corso, Earth Egg and Writings from OX.

  • Ray Johnson

    Shoe
    John Cage took me to a party for Buckminster Fuller. I was surprised to meet my friend Ellen Burstyn, and introduced her to John. We gabbed until Merce Cunningham arrived. John excused himself. “Who was that?” hissed the Oscar-winning actress. A month later I read in The Times that Burstyn and Cage had hosted a lavish party for Fuller. They forgot to invite me.

    John Cage Shoes blog“>Merce danced in John Cage shoes.

    Happy birthday-Michael Andre

    Michael Andre told me about Benedetta Barzini’s father.

    This is an amazing book
    On page 37
    Beyond Realism
    You Know the details of the kangaroo. – Leonard Cohen.

  • Birthday celebration of A Philosopher and an Art Historian – Julia Kristeva & Peter Weller

    June 24th, 2021
  • of Julia Kristeva Black Sun appears here on Post Mutant Eggplant – Tristana/Toledo

    Happy birthday Julia Kristeva (See more photos and links)

  • Peter Weller – actor, and an art historian of Italian Renaissance

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    (With Diane Keaton in Shoot the Moon)


  • Petern Weller is an art historian today.

    The Passing of Janet Malcolm – The Author of the Journalist

    June 19th, 2021
  • Janet Clara Malcolm was an American writer, journalist on staff at The New Yorker magazine, and collagist. She was the author of Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession, In the Freud Archives, and The Journalist and the Murderer, among other books.
    (Wikipedia)

    Janet Malcolm the author of the journalist and the murderer died (Guardian)

    “New Yorker writer, whose scepticism about her trade brought her both praise and blame, was also famed for studies of psychoanalysis and Sylvia Plath”

  • Her most consistent modus operandi was to obscure and complicate

    Janet Malcolm literary magician (Atlantic-obit-David Graham)

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    (Photo – Fung Lin Hall)
    In the Freud Archives (Granta)
    Janet Malcolm introduced this reader to Jeffrey Masson and Anna Freud.

    Who will inherit the secrets of Sigmund Freud? Who will protect his reputation? Who may destroy it? Janet Malcolm’s investigation into the personalities who clash over Freud’s legacy has become a celebrated story of seduction and betrayal, love and hatred, fantasy and reality. It is both a comedy and a tragedy. Malcolm’s cast of characters includes K. R. Eissler, a venerable psychoanalyst and keeper of the Freud flame; Jeffrey Mason, a flamboyant Sanskrit scholar and virulent anti-Freudian; and Peter Swales, a former assistant to the Rolling Stones and indefatigable researcher. Each of them thinks they know the truth about Freud, and each needs the help of the other. Malcolm endeavours to untangle the causes of their rivalry and soured friendships, while the flaws and mysteries of Freud’s early work tower in the background.

    Re: Masson vs Malcolm

    When it was published, Masson, the former project director of the archives, filed a $10m libel lawsuit, claiming that Malcolm had fabricated several quotes attributed to him. Though Malcolm was unable to provide proof of the quotes, after a decade of proceedings, a jury finally decided in Malcolm’s favour in 1994. Though Malcolm later claimed she had found a misplaced notebook containing some of the quotes, the case shadowed her for years, with journalists voicing scepticism at her methods.

    Goodbye Moose, Kevin Jackson, & his book “Withnail and I”

    May 10th, 2021

    Sad news of Kevin’s passing came from Scott Bradley on FB on May 10. 2021.

    Moose – as his friends called him – was an extraordinary talent and lovely human being. I can’t even process this right now.

    Kevin Jackson was an English writer, broadcaster, filmmaker and pataphysician.

    About this portrait, Kevin Jackson wrote on FB.

    Moose as Hamlet. Portrait by Marzena Pogorzaly, whose talents are so exceptional that she managed to disguise the fact that I am morbidly obese. Her rates are very reasonable, all things considered. Yes, this is a PLUG.

    Bruce Robinson – Actor, Director of Withnail and I

    Kevin Jackson‘s book Whitnail and I

    Bruce Robinson’s first and most famous outing as a writer/director, Withnail & I has gone down in history as the student film…this book is lively with enthusiasm and full to bursting point with anecdotes and analysis…He doesn’t try to come across as anything more than what he certainly is: a die-hard Withnail fan with a keen eye for detail and a delightful nose for a story.

    Withnail and I Bruce Robinson Original Unpublished Novel

  • Kevin Jackson on Toru Takemitsu (Kevin Jackson talked about his encounter with the Nobel prized author Oe Kenzaburo on FB but I did not know
    about his encounter with the family of Toru Takemitsu.).

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    On April 30 Kevin Jackson shared the photo of Maya Deren and her husband Hammid from my FB album. Kevin you’ll be missed by all of us who came to love your wit, generosity and your sharp mind.

  • Meet Maxine Hong Kingston!

    April 4th, 2021

  • (Photo by Judy Dater – via)

    Maxine Hong Kingston wiki

    In an interview published in American Literary History, Kingston disclosed her admiration for Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, and William Carlos Williams, who were inspirational influences for her work, shaping her analysis of gender studies. Kingston said of Walt Whitman’s work,
    I like the rhythm of his language and the freedom and the wildness of it. It’s so American. And also his vision of a new kind of human being that was going to be formed in this country—although he never specifically said Chinese—ethnic Chinese also—I’d like to think he meant all kinds of people. And also I love that throughout Leaves of Grass he always says ‘men and women,’ ‘male and female.’ He’s so different from other writers of his time, and even of this time. Even a hundred years ago he included women and he always used [those phrases], ‘men and women,’ ‘male and female.’

    Kingston named the main character of Tripmaster Monkey (1989) Wittman Ah Sing, after Walt Whitman

    Similarly, Kingston’s praise of William Carlos Williams expresses her appreciation of his seemingly genderless work:

    I love In the American Grain because it does the same thing. Abraham Lincoln is a ‘mother’ of our country. He talks about this wonderful woman walking through the battlefields with her beard and shawl. I find that so freeing, that we don’t have to be constrained to being just one ethnic group or one gender– both [Woolf and Williams] make me feel that I can now write as a man, I can write as a black person, as a white person; I don’t have to be restricted by time and physicality.

  • Blog of Awesome Women – Maxine Hong Kingston – literary Warrior

  • April First, The Joke – Yet Another Birthday for Milan Kundera

    April 1st, 2021

  • Happy birthday Milan Kundera!

    In 1975, Kundera moved to France where The Book of Laughter and Forgetting was published in 1979. An unusual mixture of novel, short story collection, and authorial musings which came to characterize his works in exile, the book dealt with how Czechs opposed the communist regime in various ways. (via wiki)

  • In his first novel, The Joke (1967), he satirizes the totalitarianism of the Communist era. His criticism of the Soviet invasion in 1968 led to his blacklisting in Czechoslovakia and the banning of his books. (via his wiki)

  • Milan Kundera joyfully accepts Czech Republic’s Franz Kafka Prize (Last year Sept,2020)

  • Last year Milan Kundera donated his library and archive to Moravia Library in Brno