Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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Olive Pierce, Girl in Window, 1964

By您好, yangyang Geng   Memory heals the scars of time. Photography documents the wounds. — Michael Ignatieff[1] It requires constant vigilance to see people as they are. — Olive Pierce    The Portraits of the Jefferson Park Housing Project in Cambridge and No Easy Roses Olive Pierce was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 and […]

Article
Categories: William Eaton, ZiLL | 3 Comments
view of Alberto Burri’s Cretto di Gibellina, Sicily

Beauty is a form of genius—is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray   I Robert Smithson’s Mirrors and Shelly Sand (images above) is a long, low, floor-lying crest of sand (approximately 30 feet by 5 feet), which is divided in equal parts by 50 […]

ZiLL
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Kamel Daoud, Algerian novelist and journalist

Well just look at all the other Musas in this dive, one by one, and imagine—as I do—how they could have survived a shot fired in bright sunlight or how they managed never to cross paths with that writer of yours or, in a word, how they’ve managed to not be dead yet. — The […]

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Immigration cartoon - Oregon

Stanching the Flow   By Martin Green   The emergence of immigration as a major issue worldwide and especially in the presidential campaign—thanks to Donald Trump’s vociferous attack on alleged rapists, drug dealers, and other criminals sneaking across the southern border, to say nothing of the threat posed by terrorists hiding among Moslem refugees—is not, […]

Article
Categories: William Eaton | 1 Comment
Philip Guston, "Aggressor," 1978, private collection

Why do we think Guston made paintings like these? This becomes a question, too, about how we are compelled, how we respond.   By William Eaton   I think every good painter here in New York really paints a self-portrait. I think a painter has two choices: he paints the world or himself. And I […]

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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Sacrificio di Isacco (The Sacrifice of Isaac), 1603. In the collection of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Twenty-Three Ways (and Counting) of Looking at the Bible By Martin Green Review of Reading Genesis: Beginnings, edited by Beth Kissileff (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2016)   Beth Kissileff’s recent anthology Reading Genesis: Beginnings presents twenty-three ways of looking at the first book of the Hebrew Bible. Well, perhaps not twenty-three distinct ways of reading Scripture, but […]

Review
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Exhibition image for Jewface, Yiddish Dialect Songs of Tin Pan Alley, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research - detail from larger image

Mock Yiddish and Ethnic Parody in the Vaudeville Melting-Pot     While weary critiques of Blackface, Yellowface and Redface have become almost a Halloween tradition in their own right, “Jewface” in popular music has largely been forgotten.[1]). However, this past spring, the Center for Jewish History in New York City hosted an exhibit by the […]

ZiLL
The Ballerina and the Bull, Adbusters poster - Occupy Wall Street

Allowing the full Influx of the World Artistry mitigates disaster and keeps us alive. I mean both the artistry of the world and our individual artistry in responding to it. It’s a balancing act, a ballet on the back of a dancing bull. Artistry, incoming and outgoing, from the world and from us, gives us […]

ZiR
Photo of third suicide bomber behind Stade de France blasts - photo released by French police, 22 Nov 2015 - AFP; Getty Images

. . . though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us. — U.S. Grant, writing, years later, about the Confederate […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment
images-6

          These are preliminary notes on a tension between philosophy and friendship. They are prompted by two texts I encountered nearly in conjunction, within the passage of just a few days. The first is a remarkable passage from  Moby Dick where Ishmael, the narrator whose name echoes the Biblical figure cast […]

ZiR
“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” illustration

  A comparison with a shaggy dog tale—with “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”—may help us appreciate and begin to think about an “elusive passage” in Plato’s Symposium. In Twain’s text, the narrator goes seeking news of the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley and ends up hearing stories about an inveterate gambler named Jim Smiley. […]

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Recent Comments

view of Alberto Burri’s Cretto di Gibellina, Sicily

  A comparison with a shaggy dog tale—with “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”—may help us appreciate and begin to think about an “elusive passage” in Plato’s Symposium. In Twain’s text, the narrator goes seeking news of the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley and ends up hearing stories about an inveterate gambler named Jim Smiley. […]

ZiLL

September 24, 2016

I’m wondering, Ed, if it’s quite appropriate to cite Kierkegaard as an apostle of immediacy? Myself, I have always thought of him as one of the most reflective and dialectically tensed thinkers in the history of Western thought. To be sure, his thought is existentially tuned and all its emphasize is on engendering passionate engagement, but I don’t know if passion, in Kierkegaard’s sense, can be quite described as immediacy, or if he himself would describe it that way. Ah, but he is a tricky fellow, isn’t he? In one place he can evoke “ineffable forest joy” and the present-tense ...

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view of Alberto Burri’s Cretto di Gibellina, Sicily

  A comparison with a shaggy dog tale—with “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”—may help us appreciate and begin to think about an “elusive passage” in Plato’s Symposium. In Twain’s text, the narrator goes seeking news of the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley and ends up hearing stories about an inveterate gambler named Jim Smiley. […]

ZiLL

September 21, 2016

Beauty, when it verges on the sublime, especially, can elicit terror, and we want to escape that. I think the recoil can be involuntary, like catching an old man naked. We turn away, and then try to re-contextualize to defang the experience: "After all,he was just exiting the shower and doesn't look THAT saggy for his age, and I shouldn't have been looking." As a matter of habit, we often abandon experience to chat about categories or motivations - to analyze. I think Kierkegaard is warning us not to flee the wonder and terror of immediate experience by shifting into the safe detachment of cog...

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view of Alberto Burri’s Cretto di Gibellina, Sicily

  A comparison with a shaggy dog tale—with “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”—may help us appreciate and begin to think about an “elusive passage” in Plato’s Symposium. In Twain’s text, the narrator goes seeking news of the Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley and ends up hearing stories about an inveterate gambler named Jim Smiley. […]

ZiLL

September 10, 2016

Here’s a striking phrase, one of many, from this essay: “…we use pursuits of understanding to distance and disengage ourselves from direct experience, from our feelings, even of beauty….” I’m wondering what might motivate such an intellectual recoil from feeling and beauty? Are there really people who WANT to tone down immediacy and thus grab hold of abstractions as the means to do so? I can understand how intellectual pursuits might have the unintended EFFECT of such distancing and disengagement, but to deliberately USE the intellect to accomplish this…? An intriguing idea!

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