Tag Archives: art

Embrace Chance?

In a collection of art essays by Roger Kimball titled Art’s Prospect (Ivan R. Dee 2003) is an essay on a Matisse exhibit in which Kimball writes the following (151): [Matisse] arrived [in Morocco in 1912] in the rainy season, … Continue reading

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Kerouac’s Inspiration

“There’ll be no editing. This book was dictated by the Holy Ghost.” –Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) to his publisher after completing the first draft of On the Road (1951). Kerouac’s mugshot for the United States Naval Reserve in 1943 (eight years … Continue reading

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Stalin and Mao, BFF

Stalin and Mao on currency, 1950: __________ I post the above currency image because I’ve been thinking about how images function to make the individual viewer feel like Dorothy before the Wizard of Oz (small and weak before The Great … Continue reading

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A Documentary on the Life of Artist Damien Hirst Worth Seeing

__________ This web page at the Tate on Hirst is also good.

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What Is This Life?

According to a recent science article at the Huffington Post, Sara Walker, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University, along with some of her colleagues, has arrived at a fresh definition of life as seen through the prism of information processing: Walker’s team … Continue reading

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This Looks Worth Seeing

The Tree of Life director has a new film. Here’s the trailer.

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Dance With Me (In The Interpretation Of Lines From Yeats)

When reading something, guessing about an author’s exact state of mind is sometimes tricky, but it’s still fun to play. Take for instance William Butler Yeats’s poem, “Among School Children.” The Yale literary critic Paul de Man once noted that … Continue reading

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Amour is “a Masterpiece”

The hard-to-please movie reviewer at The New Republic, David Thomson, calls Amour the best movie of the year. Here’s Thomson: Readers may say, “Well, you don’t like many films,” and they’d be right. I thought Prometheus was a catastrophe, Argo overrated, Anna Karenina risible, The Deep Blue Sea regrettable. … Continue reading

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Look

Really. Look. __________ No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert. What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking … Continue reading

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Abjure the Flesh?

In this extraordinary oil on canvas by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) of a cardinal and nun praying together rather intimately, the nun returning our gaze makes abjuring the flesh an open question. Shall the p go in the v? This is … Continue reading

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Time and Space, or Poetry and Art

In Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s (1729-1781) Laocoon, or On the Limits of Painting and Poetry (1766), there is a key insight: with regard to time and space, poetry and art function differently. A poem must necessarily be read in time and … Continue reading

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Entropy, the Novel, and Nietzsche

At The New Yorker, Joan Acocella asks why novels, even great ones, so frequently have endings that sag. One of her examples is David Copperfield: The first half of “David Copperfield” leaves you gasping. You laugh, you cry, you think you’re … Continue reading

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Would Edmund Burke Have Approved of Artists Blending the Sublime and the Beautiful?

For Edmund Burke (1729-1797), in his A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757), our strongest emotions are associated with danger, pain, and fear (most particularly the fear of death, the “king of … Continue reading

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The Reelection Of Barack Obama (A Poem)

Sunrise, seven November, the seventh day. Rest. Gumby, pushing sixty, Enters his yoga studio by the glass door, gliding slowly. Pokey, waiting in Corpse Pose, says, I voted Romney. Big Gum: I did too. At the back window A bat leaves its cave, circles tightly, … Continue reading

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Beauty That Is Also Repellent

Israeli artist Ori Gersht (b. 1967) says that one of the things he tends to aim for in his art is the foregrounding of beauty against a background of violence. In the video piece below, he sets up a traditional still … Continue reading

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Camille Paglia on the New Atheism and Contemporary Humanism

In an interview posted at Salon today, Camille Paglia lets loose on godless chic, arguing that it has poisoned contemporary film and art: People in the humanities have sunk into this shallow, snobby, liberal style of stereotyping religious believers as … Continue reading

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What’s the Central Question in Nietzsche?

In interview with David Wolf, Nietzsche scholar Brian Leiter offers his view: [I]f there’s a central question in Nietzsche it’s the one he takes over from Schopenhauer – namely, how is it possible to justify life in the face of … Continue reading

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Cloud Atlas: a Paradox, a Deepity, or an Oxymoron?

The buzz around Cloud Atlas is pretty intense (it received a ten minute standing ovation at a recent film festival screening), and here are the film’s three directors–three!–doing a promo: __________ I’m certainly curious to see the film, but I … Continue reading

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One of Ayn Rand’s Questions: What’s the Relationship of Art to Concepts?

Two novels-of-ideas by Ayn Rand (1905-1982)–The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957)–and the individualist and pro-capitalist positions that she laid out over the course of her lifetime under a philosophical system she created and designated “objectivism,” have had an outsized … Continue reading

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Ask an Interesting Question, Get an Interesting Answer. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Question: Who Wins and Who Loses Under Globalization?

Some globalism questions for the object or subject of your contemplation. Of nature: How is this natural object or ecosystem affected by globalization? Of art, literature, architecture, goods-for-sale, photography, advertising, or media: How is this object of human fashioning changed … Continue reading

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