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Nusch Eluard, René Char & Cafe Society -2018

June 21st, 2018
  • Nusch Eluard
    The combustive Nusch Eluard Born: June 21, 1906

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    René Char - Lucidity is the Wound Closest to the Sun

    René Char with Picasso 1a_Char-Caws_Ess#DEF0A
    Protesting with Picasso on the heights of the Mont Ventoux against the nuclear installations.

    Resistance in Every way

    obéissez à vos cochons qui existent;
    j’obéis à mes dieux qui n’existent point.

    obey your pigs who exist;
    I obey my gods who do not.

  • Coffee & Cigarettes, Cafe Society

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    Simone de Beauvoir - Paris with Sartre, Chicago with Nelson Algren.

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    (Picasso, Beauvoir, Sartre, Camus and Picasso’s dog)

  • The Horror of Tulips, Zizek has the Answer + Peter Brook, The Remarkable Man is 93

    March 21st, 2018
  • Happy birthday S. Zizek March 21 1949

    See young Zizek here. 1aalacaZizek
    Lacanian Sympton

    Scroll down – Sophie Fiennes (sister of Ralph Fiennes directed Zizek.)

  • The Duty of Philosophy? Zizek has the answer.

  • Peter Brook is 93 –

    Peter Brook’s Filmography

    1953, The Beggar’s Opera
    1960, Moderato Cantabile (UK title Seven Days… Seven Nights)
    1963, Lord of the Flies
    1967, Ride of the Valkyrie
    1967, Marat/Sade
    1968, Tell Me Lies
    1971, King Lear
    1979, Meetings with Remarkable Men
    1979, Mesure pour mesure
    1982, La Cerisaie
    1983, La Tragédie de Carmen
    1989, The Mahabharata
    2002, The Tragedy of Hamlet (TV)

    L’avventura
    Moderate CantabileL'avventura and Moderate Cantabile
    Both film nominated at Cannes 60.

    Jeanne Moreau and Jean Paul Belmondo in Moderate Cantabile directed by Peter Brook, an adaptation of a story by Marguerite Duras.

    See “on the bench” from Moderate Cantabile (youtube)

    Alain Locke, The Harvard Professor/Philosopher & The Harlem Renaissance

    February 27th, 2018
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  • The Harlem Renaissance produced three of America’s most beloved writers—the poets Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen, and the Baha’i philosopher, Alain Locke. These three men, close friends throughout their lives, completely changed America’s–and the world’s–perceptions about what black people could accomplish as artists and intellectuals.

    Alain Locke( and Langston Hughes- via)

  • Art and Activism (Harvard) by Adam Kirsch

    Rediscovering Alain Locke and the project of black self-realization

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    Photo by Gordon Parks

    Alain Locke is widely acknowledged as the intellectual architect of the Harlem Renaissance (also known as the New Negro movement). Locke eloquently elaborated on the concept of the New Negro, an urbane individual who is knowledgeable and proud of his or her history and aware of his or her potential and power as a citizen in a democratic society. Locke graduated from Harvard College in 1907 and was the first black Rhodes Scholar. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard in 1918 and went on to be a professor of philosophy at Howard University.(via)

  • Alain Locke & Eleanor Alain-Locke-and-Eleanor-Roosevelt
    (photo via Black Plato on World Citizenship )

  • The New Negro – An Interpretation edited by Alain Locke

  • RIP William Gass (1924-2017), Rilke & Paul Valéry were His Guiding Lights

    December 17th, 2017
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    William Gaddis and William Gass photo by Mary Gass
    New Yorker – the Radical Criticism of William Gass

    William Gass, who died this week, argued that the charge of a writer was not to relate a world but to create one—a world of sound, of the melody made when syllables collid

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    William Gass being painted by Philip Guston before a reading in 1969. Photograph: Digital Gateway Image Collections
    Guardian on Gass

  • Four interviews of William Gass
    William Gass’ interview from Believer Magazine.
    “But I do have a very conscious desire not to be academic. I’m antiacademic. I hate jargon. I hate that sort of pretension. I am a person who [commits] breaches of decorum—not in private life, but in my work. They are part of my mode of operation. That kind of playfulness is part of my nature in general. The paradox that, in a way, to take something very seriously, you can’t always be serious about it..” (via 3quarksdaily).
    On Teaching and writing, interviewed by Jan Garden Castro.
    “Gass: I’m interested in making a self-contained system of concepts, ideas that will then define a kind of consciousness. It’s a way of inventing a consciousness by supplying someone with the structure and content of an experience. So I make that up and create that consciousness. It’s not a consciousness of the world; it’s a consciousness of the work.”
    On Wittgenstein,
    “The intellectual integrity he displayed was awesome, absolutely. I was watching not just a really great mind in operation but also an absolutely honest and pure intellect. I don’t think he was an honest and pure person, but he had that intellect, and you saw it. It was like seeing a great artist in operation—absolute scruple. No second-rate stuff would be permitted. That was really impressive. Again, it was an exemplification. Socrates embodies that way; I’m sure Spinoza must have. And Wittgenstein was the complete embodiment of that quest in himself.”

    From Gadfly an interview on William Gass in 1998 – “The Tunnel may well be the greatest prose performance since Nabokov’s Pale Fire, but only the most stalwart readers will be able to last the full trip through Kohler’s anti‑Semitic, sexually-depraved and bathroom‑humor obsessed world. ”

    “For instance, I can show in what way a sentence by Henry James “is” a spiral staircase. It has the same thought. And my mind works that way. (From Center for book culture – W.G interviewed by Arthur M. Saltzman)

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    William H. Gass, Allan Ginsberg, and Arthur Miller outside the apartment house of Fyodor Dostoevsky in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1985

    William H Gass (The Soul inside the sentence)

    Item (“The Surface of the City” Slide Photographs)

    Gass as Photographer

    Navy

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    Rilke and Paul Valéry

    Paul Valery’s influence on William Gass

    In William H. Gass’s “Art of Fiction” interview, in 1976, he declared two writers to be his guiding lights—the “two horses” he was now “try[ing] to manage”: Ranier Maria Rilke and Paul Valéry. He added, “Intellectually, Valéry is still the person I admire most among artists I admire most; but when it comes to the fashioning of my own work now, I am aiming at a Rilkean kind of celebrational object, thing, Dinge”

    Nise” The Matter of Heart”, Brazilian film on Nise da Silveira a Jungian Therapist

    October 24th, 2017
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    via

    Wiki

    Nise da Silveira was a Brazilian psychiatrist, student of Carl Jung.
    She devoted her life to psychiatry and never was in agreement with the aggressive forms of treatment of her time such as commitment to psychiatric hospitals, electroshock, insulin therapy and lobotomy.

    In 1952 she founded the Museum of Images of the Unconscious, in Rio de Janeiro, a study and research center that collected the works produced in painting and modeling studios. Through her work, Nise da Silveira introduced Jungian psychology in Brazil.

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    Nise “The Matter of Heart” trailer here.

    UCLA In’tl

    Gloria Pires was actually Berliner’s second choice for the lead, even though her performance turned out to be exactly what he wanted. Pires is one of the most famous actresses in Brazil and is the only big name in the film, because, said Berliner, the filmmaking team went to great lengths to cast actors who were mostly unknown.

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    NYtimes review

    The movie, full of characters behaving erratically, could easily have taken on the aura of a freak show, but the director, Roberto Berliner, somehow stays respectful of the subject matter even while depicting extreme psychiatric conditions. It’s a study of courageous innovation against an entrenched medical orthodoxy.

    “Our job is to cure patients, not comfort them,” one colleague chastises.

    “My instrument is a brush,” Dr. Silveira replies curtly. “Yours is an ice pick.”
    Nise: The Heart of Madness

    Gloria Pires played a Brazilian architect and a lover of Elizabeth Bishop in Reaching for the Moon. (Previous post – see the trailer)

    The Passing of Kate Millet – Artist, Author, a Pioneer Feminist at 82 -(Sept 14, 1934 – Sept 6, 2017)

    September 7th, 2017
  • Kate Millet by Alice Neel – 1970

    Kate Millet an influential feminist writer is dead at 82 (NYtimes)

    .

    Katherine Murray Millett was born on Sept 14, 1934, in St. Paul.
    She attended Oxford University and was the first American woman to be awarded a postgraduate degree with first-class honors after studying at St Hilda’s College, Oxford.
    The feminist, human rights, peace, civil rights, and anti-psychiatry movements were some of Millett’s principal causes. Her books were motivated by her activism, such as woman’s rights and mental health reform, and several were autobiographical memoirs that explored her sexuality, mental health, and relationships. Mother Millett and The Loony Bin Trip, for instance, dealt with family issues and the times when she was involuntarily committed to a nursing home. (via her wiki

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    Dinner for One – 1967 – Kate Millet

    See more art by Kate Millet here

  • “The Basement” was disturbing but I had to read it.
    Here is a review of the Basement by Duncan Mitchell

    Happy Kate katemillett by Hyder in 1994.

    Her homepage is here. – AN INVITATION TO THE WOMEN’S ART COLONY/FARM

    Of course she went to Iran.

    In 1981 Millett published Going to Iran, which was a new journalistic account of a trip she made to Iran in March 1979 to address Iranian feminists on International Women’s Day. The Shah of Iran had just abdicated, and the Ayatollah Khomeini had not yet fully consolidated his power. Nevertheless, Millett was soon expelled by the fundamentalist government for her feminist views. The chronicle is recorded in the rigorously honest style of her earlier works. (via)

  • Kate Millet

    The Return of the Troublemaker (June 2001)

    Society has lost its patience. So why isn’t she more downhearted? She smiles and says it’s because she is having too much fun. “I love making trouble. It’s a wonderful job. You don’t get paid but you have a lot of adventures.”

  • Flying with Kate Millet (previous post)
    Sexual Politics was circulated before the publication of her thesis.

  • Immersive Exhibit “Arcades” Brings Walter Benjamin Back to Life -2017

    May 11th, 2017
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    Benjamin’s passport photograph from 1928 – courtesy of the Walter Benjamin Archiv, Berlin.
    Photo via

  • New Yorker(Walter Benjamin’s Unfinished Magnum Opus Revisited)

    Take a Stroll Through Philosopher Walter Benjamin’s Brain at New NY Exhibit

    ‘It’s like the Talmud, there is commentary and sub-commentary’
    Take a stroll through philosopher Walter Benjamin’s brain at new NY exhibit
    His tragic death in the Holocaust cut short the Jewish thinker’s 1,000 page opus.
    Through August 6, the Jewish Museum in New York’s immersive exhibit ‘Arcades’ brings it to life

  • Berlin Benjamin1 Childhood
    Name these children (arcade on FB)

  • Walter Benjamin (W.B for dummies on youtube)

  • Port Bou benjaminportpu
    Border crossing resting place

    On Truth
    Nothing is poorer than a truth expressed as it was thought. Committed to writing in such cases, it is not even a bad photograph. Truth wants to be startled abruptly, at one stroke, from her self-immersion, whether by uproar, music or cries for help. Walter Benjamin

  • The Story Teller by Walter Benjamin (Guardian Review)

  • R I P Robert Pirsig – Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenace + Lila

    April 24th, 2017
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    Robert M. Pirsig

    “His well known book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ was rejected by 121 publishers.”

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    Early photos

    Lila (wiki)

    NYtimes obit

    One of Mr. Pirsig’s central ideas is that so-called ordinary experience and so-called transcendent experience are actually one and the same — and that Westerners only imagine them as separate realms because Plato, Aristotle and other early philosophers came to believe that they were.

    But Plato and Aristotle were wrong, Mr. Pirsig said. Worse, the mind-body dualism, soldered into Western consciousness by the Greeks, fomented a kind of civil war of the mind — stripping rationality of its spiritual underpinnings and spirituality of its reason, and casting each into false conflict with the other.

    In his part gnomic, part mechanic’s style, Mr. Pirsig’s narrator declares that the real world is a seamless continuum of the material and metaphysical.

    “The Buddha, the Godhead,” he writes, “resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.”

    Gramsci & Cultural Hegemony, Portraits by Francis Picabia, Portrait of Strindberg by Munch

    January 21st, 2017
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    Portrait of Gramsci by Leopold Mendez

    Antonio Gramsci (Italian Ales (Sardinia), 22 January 1891 – Rome, 27 April 1937) was an Italian writer, politician, political theorist, philosopher, sociologist, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime.
    Gramsci was one of the most important Marxist thinkers in the 20th century. He is a notable figure within modern European thought and his writings analyze culture and political leadership. He is known for his theory of cultural hegemony, which describes how states use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. (wiki)

    Cultural Hegemony

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    Francis Picabia – 22 January 1879 – November 30

    See more Picabia Perpetual Movement (previous post)

  • Gertrude gertrude-stein Stein by Francis Picabia

  • <> <> <> Picabia_Self-portrait_with_hands__1932

  • August Strindberg / Gem. v. Munch
    Portrait of August Strindberg by Edward Munch

  • Ingmar Bergman on August Strindberg (see a video)

    Ingmar and Lena Olin Fršken Julie av Agust Strindberg
    Miss Julie – Ingmar directing Lena Olin

    August Strindberg was born on Jan 22 1849.

  • August Strindberg by Schonberg

    John Berger dies at 90 & Tilda’s film on John Berger

    January 2nd, 2017
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    John Berger dies aged 90.

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    A meditation, in words and images, on the practice of drawing, by the author of Ways of Seeing
    The seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza—also known as Benedict or Bento de Spinoza—spent the most intense years of his short life writing. He also carried with him a sketchbook. After his sudden death, his friends rescued letters, manuscripts, notes—but no drawings.

    For years, without knowing what its pages might hold, John Berger has imagined finding Bento’s sketchbook, wanting to see the drawings alongside his surviving words. When one day a friend gave him a beautiful virgin sketchbook, Berger said, “This is Bento’s!” and he began to draw, taking his inspiration from the philosopher’s vision.

    In this illustrated color book John Berger uses the imaginative space he creates to explore the process of drawing, politics, storytelling and Spinoza’s life and times.

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    Tilda Swinton on making ‘The Seasons in Quincy’, four short films about maverick artist and thinker John Berger.

    For Swinton, making the film was a chance to spend time with someone who had become a firm friend. “I wanted a glimpse of his gimlet eye and a blast of his company,” is how she puts it. “I went to find him in Quincy for a check-in, for a catch-up, for a chinwag.”

  • Previous post – Way of Seeubg – John Bergmer.

    “Never again will a single story be told as though it were the only one.” John Berger.. (Michael Ondaatjie quoted J.B. in his forward of his novel In the Skin of a Lion)

  • John Berger collaborated with Swiss filmmaker Alain Tanner who made inspiring films in the 70’s – (Tanner’s Messidor was remade as Thelma and Louise in Hollywood).

    Revisionsing Europe the films of John Berger and Alain Tanner

    is among the few existing English-language discussions of the films made by British novelist John Berger and Swiss film director Alain Tanner. It brings to light a political cinema that was unsentimental about the possibilities of revolutionary struggle and unsparing in its critique of the European left, and at the same time optimistic about the ability of radicalism and radical art to transform the world

    “Un Homme de Fragment”, The Last Laugh of the Melancholy Philosopher Emil Cioran

    December 1st, 2016
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    The Philosopher of Failure: Emil Cioran’s Heights of Despair
    -By Costica Bradatan

    On Two types of societies –

    All societies are bad; but there are degrees, I admit, and if I have chosen this one, it is because I can distinguish among the nuances of trumpery” .

    Emil Cioran (1911–1995) was a Romanian-born French philosopher and author of some two dozen books of savage, unsettling beauty. He is an essayist in the best French tradition, and even though French was not his native tongue, many think him among the finest writers in that language. His writing style is whimsical, unsystematic, fragmentary; he is celebrated as one of the great masters of aphorism. But the “fragment” was for Cioran more than a writing style: it was a vocation and a way of life; he called himself “un homme de fragment.”

  • Cioran

    Emil Cioran (wiki) The Melancholy thinker..

    Regarding God, Cioran has noted that “without Bach, God would be a complete second rate figure” and that “Bach’s music is the only argument proving the creation of the Universe cannot be regarded a complete failure”.

    William H. Gass called Cioran’s work “a philosophical romance on the modern themes of alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease”. (via wki)

    (repost, see other philosophers)

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    10 Delightfully Surly Books for the Relentless Pessimist

    (via)

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    A further glimpse into Cioran’s peculiar manner of political thinking, in a letter he sent to Mircea Eliade in 1935: “My formula for all things political,” he writes, “is the following: fight wholeheartedly for things in which you do not believe.” Not that such a confession brings much clarity to Cioran’s involvement, but it places his “ravings” within a certain psychological perspective. This split personality characterized the later Cioran, and it makes sense, for a philosopher who sees the world as a failure of grand proportions, to mock the cosmic order (and himself in the process) by pretending that there is some meaning where there is none. You know that everything is pointless, but by behaving as if it wasn’t, you manage to articulate your dissent and undermine the designs of the “evil demiurge.” And you do that with boundless irony and humor, which is rigorously meant to counter the divine farce. He who laughs last laughs hardest.

    Coffee and Cigarettes – Cafe Society + Sartre & John Huston

    June 20th, 2016
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    Coffee and Cigarettes – Cate Blanchet in two roles.

    Jim Jarmusch dedicated Broken Flower to Jean Eustache

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    The Mother and The Whore directed by Jean Eustache.

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    (Picasso, Beauvoir, Sartre, Camus and Picasso’s dog)

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    Simone de Beauvoir - Paris with Sartre, Chicago with Nelson Algren.

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    Monty Clift as Freud

  • Sartre and John Huston

    Open Culture – Jean Paul Sartre writes a script for John Huston’s film on Freud