Archive for May, 2019

May 31, 2019

Wouldn’t she do something like this in 2800 AD? (wlk)…

the present qua unseemly and palatial

May 31, 2019

I think the literal interpretation of Matthew 19:24 is in general probably the best: that having a lot of money is not liable to lead to good things in an eternal or spiritual sense… But is Schopenhauer asking us to consider in this passage [World as Will and Representation, sect. 68.] that all of us who experience the present are “rich”? That the present is a sort of unseemly palace of luxuries we escape from only very reluctantly, if ever at all?

“At times, in the hard experience of our own sufferings or in the vividly recognized sufferings of others, knowledge of the vanity and bitterness of life comes close to us who are still enveloped in the veil of Maya. We would like to deprive desires of their sting, close the entry to all suffering, purify and sanctify ourselves by complete and final resignation. But the illusion of the phenomenon soon ensnares us again, and its motives set the will in motion once more; we cannot tear ourselves free. The allurements of hope, the flattery of the present, the sweetness of pleasures, the well-being that falls to the lot of our person amid the lamentations of a suffering world governed by chance and error, all these draw us back to it, and rivet the bonds anew. Therefore Jesus says: ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.'”

May 30, 2019

“… mais la beauté des vers ne consiste pas dans l’exactitude à obéir aux règles dont l’inobservation saute aux yeux des plus ignorants : elle réside dans mille harmonies et convenances cachées, qui font la force poétique et qui vont à l’imagination… ” 19 septembre 1847

Red Beard

May 30, 2019

Red Beard, Kurosawa (1965). If poverty and cruelty could be eradicated there would be much less need for medicine. As it is, doctors only treat symptoms of a larger social malfunction and are up against long odds when it comes to easing human suffering.

Initially put off by some of the film’s narrative passages, which struck me as a bit halting in their development, as well as by the slightly hagiographic portrait of the Red Beard character, I was nevertheless moved by the sweetness of the film’s second half and by the compelling portrait it gives of what disease is and what a doctor must do to cure it. All in all, a heroic portrayal of the medicinal art (as Ikuru was of the beaurocratic art).

What prompted me to put this in my queue was that I had read that this was the last film Kurosawa had done with Toshiro Mifune (who plays Red Beard). Apparently, the movie was difficult to make and had strained relations between them. On which, wikipedia:

Red Beard is the last of numerous films in which Kurosawa worked with Mifune. In the DVD commentary, film scholar Stephen Prince mentions that Mifune’s natural beard had to be maintained through the lengthy production, so he was unable to act in other films. The resulting financial stress on Mifune was one of the causes of the breakup between the actor and director.

Teruyo Nogami, Kurosawa’s longtime script supervisor, says in her autobiography Waiting on the Weather that the author of the book Red Beard was based upon approached Kurosawa after seeing the film and mentioned that he believed the film was good, but Mifune got the character of Red Beard wrong in his portrayal. This, Nogami says, caused Kurosawa for the first time to question Mifune’s abilities, never again asking him to work on a film with him. Nogami also says that Mifune wished later in life to collaborate once again with Kurosawa.

Wikipedia goes on to say this was K.’s last black and white film and the only one to feature nudity.

May 29, 2019

r.nhu pro
The See’r
The See’r
The See’r
r.nhu pro

May 28, 2019

environmentalism of the built environment

Idea (maybe not related to that article) – that the aim of the environmental movement is not to preserve nature, but, in some sense, to preserve naturalness?– (in this sense, an environmental and literary movement could be conceived as being aligned — they are aimed at a manner, rather than an end, that is natural — the natural perhaps better stood as a way of being, a manner we might have, rather than a “natural setting.”)

And this question: what if environmentalism were, above all, to involve individuals acting naturally? Such that environmentalism, rather than involving natural environments, became a sort of social question: people behaving naturally were also people behaving in an environmentally responsible way? Or even, a question of manners. (Perhaps: for people who make a study of the environment it does become a social question — but it is that study that is required.)

(We would probably argue the reverse: a person tossing his soda can into the trash receptacle instead of the recycling bin if the trash can was nearer would probably be the one acting more naturally. On the other hand, maybe it’s not the behavior that’s wrong: it is the soda can and trash receptacle that’s wrong. On the other hand again, how did he come to have the soda can? And still again: perhaps it is not having the can or putting it in the receptacle but the unnatural manner with which he took up this can and threw it away.)

drawing drawing continued

May 27, 2019

‘Feeding the hand’ I like that idea. It’s like we’re not even using sight, which is for obvious reasons generally so important to the visual arts, but we’re empowering our hand with a way of being. Or we’re empowering ourselves by means of a concentration upon the being of the hand.

Interesting also to think of drawing as being a kind of link between the hand and eye, like — these are linked biologically in a person obviously– but maybe they are also linked through art — like the hand-pen-paper-eye is a solid connection in the way that the nervous system, or other tissues and networks of the body, are a solid (or maybe not so solid)connection.

Is what you’re saying though that drawing/ art is ‘Tai Chi with a pen’ or other implement? Is it that? So if a renowned master of the martial arts were to put crayons and pencils to his finger tips, and if he were to consider his antagonist the paper, or something along those lines, is something like this what you’re calling the artistic process. If we were to meditate and have somehow our minute motions be recorded could that be called your artistic process?

I would restrict this to drawing but I do think something like that, yes — though when you put it that way I begin to consider there may be some unresolved problems with my view. For example, I can’t consider that the martial arts master would be concerned much if he made a bad drawing –he would be concerned with the movement that made the drawing– whereas I would think that the artist is very much concerned with the effect — with whether or not his movement resulted in a good drawing.

Is there an artist or sort of artist that would accept a good movement even if it resulted in a poor painting? Hold it. What do we mean by movement. Because I trust that ‘movement’ is not the same as ‘technique’.

May 26, 2019

documenting documenting itself

So what is drawing if there’s nothing to be drawn, if there is no subject you are drawing? One person might draw from a model, and another from an image in his head, but you say you are not drawing from anything, so then, what are you drawing, what is it you say you are drawing?

I’m drawing the experience that occurs as one draws something: I’m drawing drawing itself.

That is… so you have the pen and you have the paper and you’re drawing, but you’re not drawing anything, what are you doing, what is the thing you’re drawing?

It doesn’t necessarily even have to do with drawing. It is the documenting of the attempt to experience that one is moving. In this case, one is moving to do something, one is moving to draw something, but it is really all moving. It simply happens to be the case that this moving is a documenting also … documenting itself. Documenting documenting itself.

(Explain more.)

You’re drawing what it feels like to be drawing….? You’re drawing what the hand tells you it’s doing and you feed that back to that hand as it does it? You’re ‘being there’: that’s all it is. That’s all it is — In the moment. You’ll next say, well, wasn’t Degas, wasn’t Vermeer, “in the moment”? I would say that I suppose that they were when they made what they made, but being in the moment wasn’t what they were drawing/ painting: it was what made them paint and draw as they did: with that degree of quality. For them, what they painted was important; for me how they were when they accomplished what they did is most important and is my subject.

May 23, 2019

What was missing from the scene of the young man walking in his bright red coat? Bright Red Winter Coat

May 20, 2019

A Yoknapatapaw County of my room: what for a county is decades and centuries is for my room minutes, hours and days. The great interweaving of stories (how there had been a desk there but it was taken to the living room; how that bare stretch of carpet has always looked approximately like that and never had anything beside it or covering it) and romantic characters (the desk, the chair, the shirt that needs hanging up.)


May 20, 2019

I found myself compelled to look up the name for this rhetorical device, having come across it a lot both in (recently read) Ms. Dalloway and (currently reading) The Wings of The Dove. Definition:

The repetition of the last word (or phrase) from the previous line, clause, or sentence at the beginning of the next.

In James, I find anadiplosis often occurring in the midst of two long sentences, a sort of hinge to them:

She had come alone, putting her friend off with a fraud: giving a pretext of shops, of a whim, of she didn’t know what –the amusement of being for once in the streets by herself. The streets by herself were knew to her — she had always had in them a companion, or a maid; and he was never to believe, moreover, that she couldn’t take full in the face anything he might have to say.

Looking back in Woolf, I’m actually finding more anaphora than anadiplosis, but here are a couple examples:

–“They hunt in packs. Their packs scour the desert and vanish screaming into the wilderness.”
–“But women, he thought, shutting his picket-knife, don’t know what passion is. They don’t know the meaning of it to men.”
–“Gloves and shoes; she had a passion for gloves; but her own daughter, her Elizabeth, cared not a straw for either of them. (paragraph) Not a straw, she thought, going on up Bond street to a shop where they kept flower for her when she gave a party.”

There’s a specific use of anadiplosis I was thinking of these books sharing, but which I would have to investigate further to confirm; which involves starting a sentence with the word concluding the last for the specific purpose of launching into a new thought. The last Dalloway example given would seem an instance of that: Woolf wants to go from talking about hats and shoes and Dalloway’s daughter to Dalloway’s immediate surroundings, and she uses this rhetorical device as a sort of technique for achieving that.