Archive for August, 2007

Love, Russia and the Next Glenn Gould

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Glenn in Love?

The enigma
“I think there were a lot of misconceptions about Glenn and it was partly because he was so very private. But I assure you, he was an extremely heterosexual man. Our relationship was, among other things, quite sexual.”
Cornelia Foss – (read more here)

Two paintings by Cornelia Foss and more here.

His secret love affair has not been translated into another film project as of this date. Now Youtube has a great film on his journey to Russia, divided into six parts.

Gould’s 1957 trip to the Soviet Union, when he became, at age 24, the first North American to perform behind the Iron Curtain

part one

Part Two
Bach was banned in Russia, his music considered to be a church music. Glenn seemed to have come from Mars, Moscow’s public were electrified.
Part Three
Glenn introduced Viennese school to Russian musicians, Schoneberg Berg and Webern.
Glenn’s post card includes his observation about the dogs (or lack of them) in Moscow.
Part four
Conquering Leningrad
Part five
Plays Dimitri Shostokovich and Prokofiev.
Part six
He will remain the greatest communicator of Bach in our time.

The “Next Glenn Gould” is a young mother living in Brooklyn.
Her name is Simone Dinnerstein.
(Read The Goldberg Variations Made New from Slate.)

Visit her space here.

Gould as Umeboshi

Bach, Beethoven and Glenn Gould

R.I.P Edward G. Seidensticker

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Makioka Sisters Makioka Sisters

Edward G. Seidensticker, the renowned translator of Japanese literature , including Tales of Genji, Snow Country, Makioka Sisters and many more, has passed away on Sunday.

Donald Richie, who called “The Tale of Genji” Seidensticker’s best work, said the translation owes its beauty to Seidensticker’s phenomenal command of English.

Seidensticker’s experiences in Japan span over fifty years. He was a newly graduated English major from the University of Colorado at Boulder when World War II broke out. In June 1942, the Navy Japanese Language School moved to Boulder. Seidensticker enrolled immediately, graduating fourteen months later with a burgeoning command of Japanese that – unbeknownst to him – would become the basis of his academic career as a translator of Japanese literature, including Tanizaki, Kawabata, Mishima, Kafu and the arduous “The Tale of Genji.” (via)

Seidensticker’s translation of Kawabata Yasunari’s haunting novel of wasted love has been described as managing to capture the true voice of the author in the novel which was sighted as “outstanding” when Kawabata won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Related link
Previous post on Snow Country and Kawabata Yasunari

Here is a photo of Sidensticker receiving Honorary degree from the University of Hawaii.

The Stairway to Heaven

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Stare or Dare Stare or Dare digital image by Fung Lin Hall

Spiral, Stasis and Curve

Stairway to Heaven by Fung Lin Hall
Carrie Costello sent this image of the Fool via email.

Well, by all rights it should be The Fool. The card of intuition and innocence; the card of the child; the card with the figure ABOUT TO WALK OFF A CLIFF.

Mexican Tarot by José Raúl Pérez

<> <> <> Housewife Tarot

Barbara Walker Torot

Previous post on Carrie here.

Father and Son

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Oe and his sonOe Kenzaburo and his son Hikari

The birth of Hikari was a turning point in Oe’s life and in his literary career. Much of Oe’s later fiction examined relationship between disabled and non disabled people. Hikari turned out to be exceptionally gifted in music, and he is acknowledged as one of the most famous composers in Japan. (Via)

Hikari Oe Wikipedia here

Art and Healing: Conversation with Oe

Rostropovich and Argerich play Oe Hikari “A Talk”.

Arthur Arthur Miller, Marilyn and Abe Marilyn and Abe

A family tragedy exposed and a famous writer disgraced.
The abandoned child (Daniel Miller) with down syndrome managed to survive the hardship and has grown into an advocate of the disabled, surrounded with love and respect from people who know him.

Arthur Miller now joins the club of the great man, awful father category populated with men like Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi’s son was not as lucky as Daniel Miller.
Gandhi and a boy
(Note; a little boy in this picture is not Gandhi’s son)

Chapter 4 in Koestler’s (1960) The Lotus and the Robot gives a reasonable analysis of the all-too-human psychological reasons behind Gandhi’s emphasis on celibacy. Included in those is the Mahatma’s abandoning of his father on the latter’s deathbed to be with his young wife sexually, thus being absent from the old man’s death, for which he never forgave himself.

Koestler also covers Gandhi’s disappointing treatment of his children, in the same book. That handling included the Mahatma’s denying of a professional education to his oldest sons, in the attempt to mold them in his image. The eldest was later disowned by the “Great Soul” for having gotten married against his father’s prohibitions; and died an alcoholic wreck, after having been publicly attacked by Gandhi for his involvement in a business scandal. (Via)

Ma Jun’s Television

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Mao’s Feet Ma Jun Mao's feet Porcelain

Tradition has become an obstacle of modern development. Consumers need not to care about tradition anymore. Modernization changed China greatly. Consumerism takes the place of the traditional art when the life style changes. Ma Jun described the change in his works “Porcelain Equipments” vividly. In his works, we could find both the artist’s memory of classic and his acceptance of consumerism, which are definitely the two aspects of modern urban life. (Via)

Ma Jun Television Porcelain

Here is a synopsis of imaginary tale of Chinese Porcelain “A Cup of Light” by Nicole Mones. (Scroll down)

More Ma Jun’s Television, cars, coca-cola and Chanel bottles here

Do you buy bottled water? Read this and think about the waste.
(Bicycle Mark drinks water from tap.)

Max Roach – The Best Kind of Intellectual

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Max Roach was an intellectual — the best kind of intellectual. He was constantly pushing against the boundaries of what was expected of him as a drummer, as a jazz musician, as an African-American artist. (Darcy Argue on Max Roach -3quarksdaily)

Max Roach Max Roach

Max Roach, a founder of modern jazz, dies at 83.

Max -Drum Waltz (youtube)

Max plays Hi Hat (youtube)

Max wrote music and performed for How to Draw a Bunny – Ray Johnson

We insist Freedom Suit

R.I.P Elizabeth Murray

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Elizabeth MurrayElizabeth Murray

Elizabeth Murray, 1940-2007

Elizabeth Murray

Obit from Libby and Newsgrist here.

More paintings by Elizabeth Murray here.

A Trubute to Elizabeth Murray (Brooklyn Rail)
(Robert Gober was her assistant!)

Elizabeth and I both taught a lot in those days, and over the years we talked a lot about how to teach. Without question, the best place that Elizabeth and I taught in the later ’70s was CalArts, mostly because of John Baldessari—an early feminist himself!
I want to say what a terrific teacher Elizabeth always was and why I think she was so good. First of all, Elizabeth had such a strong inner core of certainty, a moral compass, and a very large view of art. She had a William James-ian American pragmatist acceptance and belief in the realities of her own experience. (Ellen Phelan)

“It also didn’t hurt when she told me that I shouldn’t be afraid to make very beautiful paintings, that I shouldn’t hold back. I very much liked her.” (A comment from Doug, via Rob Mattew blog.)

Face to Face II

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Face to Face


1) Warhol vs Banksy (Less depressing than Hillary vs Obama? – A youtube allegory)

2) A- Jonathan Rosenbaum vs Roger Ebert

Or B- Tavernier vs Rosenbaum

Or Bb Harry Tuttle vs Rosenbaum

Or C- Bergman vs Antonioni

Or D- Auteurs On YouTube vs. Liam Lacey

Or E – “Landmarks in the History of Taste” (Elusive Lucidity)

3) Jean Seberg and Peter Sellers (How strange not to remember her in this film The Mouse that Roared)

Finally a beautiful duet by Gould and Menuhin.
Gould & Menuhin play Schoenberg Fantasie Op.47

Gould as Umeboshi

Bach, Beethoven and Glenn Gould

On this Day

Monday, August 6th, 2007

On this Day Digital Photo by Fung Lin Hall

Aug 6, 1945 or see Images from Mark Young

John, Richard, Robert, Andy and Howard, all were born on Aug 6.
Click on the links below to find out about them. Who is your favorite?
John married Katherine Mansfield, a great editor and a pacifist.
(Her love letter to John is here.)

Richard was the liberal at Columbia (1916)

This Silent Star with 2000 pimples was born on 1928.

Heaven Knows he is Dead Man, Robert played Philip Marlow when he was alive.

This master of colors and brushstrokes was born on 1932

And brother of Simone Weil and a great mathematician Andre Weil died on Aug 6, 1998.

Most mathematicians lead rather staid lives; Weil’s was anything but. He spent a couple of years in India in the 1930’s, and was imprisoned in Finland on suspicion of being a Russian spy during World War II.

He was a child prodigy who might have intimidated Simone Weil. Was he the reason why she became anorexic and was so hard on herself? She was extraordinary, a great thinker and a saint.
A blurry photo of Andre and Simone Weil

People used to say of Simone: “She’s Andre Weil’s sister.” But as time went by, towards the end of her life, people began saying of Andre: “He’s Simone Weil’s brother.” The impact of her posthumously published texts however soon surprised even her family.(Via)

a.. “God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the Devil exists since we cannot prove it.”
b.. “Weil’s Law of Faculties: First rate people hire other first rate
people. Second rate people hire third rate people. Third rate people hire fifth rate people.”
Andre Weil

Miller at Cannes 60

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Moderate CantabileL'avventura and Moderate Cantabile

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)

A selected list from films competing for the Cannes Festival 1960

L’avventura, The Virgin Spring, Kagi,
La Dolce Vita, Moderate Cantabile,
Never on Sunday, Sons and Lovers, Le Trou.
Henry Miller was a jurist (Henry Miller blog post here).
(What a line up! The previous year, Hiroshima Mon Amour and The 400 Blows blew everyone away.)

1960 was the year of fountain, spring, woods, boats and island. There was also suicide, rape, a disappearing woman, voyeurism, and don’t forget the gang of paparazzi making their cinematic debut.

And the winner of the Palme D’or is! (Click to find out.)

L’Avventura and Kagi received Special Jury Prizes, and The Virgin Spring received a special homage award. Jean Moreau and Melina Mercuri both received Best actress awards.

See the striking image from The Virgin Spring

The rape scene in the forest is of an almost unbearable brutality. I’ve never seen anything like it. But the film is more poetic than realistic, and very pure, almost chaste, in spite of the rape. From Henry Miller blog

The Virgin The Virgin Spring

Ingmar Bergman was heavily criticized for being stuck in morality fables, i.e. The Seventh Seal. After this medieval tale, The Virgin Spring, Bergman entered a new, more experimental phase of film making, with films like Persona and Scenes From a Marriage.

Ang Lee says that when he first saw The Virgin Spring as an 18-year-old in Taiwan, it “dumbfounded” and “electrified” him. He stayed in the screening room to view it a second time, and “life changed afterward”. (see him on youtube)

Henry Miller himself was partial to Kagi (An adaptation of a Tanizaki novel directed by Kon Ichikawa.) But he was a good team player and went along with the rest to vote for La Dolce Vita.

Sons and Lovers was Jack Cardiff’s best film. Dean Stockwell played against such heavyweights as Trevor Howard and Wendy Hiller.

Helen Mirren has said “The first movie that caught my imagination was L’Avventura, by Antonioni. Until then I had seen only Rock Hudson-Doris Day movies”(Via)
See Helen here on youtube.

More on Jean Moreau and Henry Miller, read here.