Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Pierre Bonnard, Le Boxeur (portrait de l'artiste), 1931, Musée d'Orsay

In the aftermath of Trump’s election, artists and writers have had the feeling that all is changed, and their work, too, has to change somehow; they—we—have to come up with an effective response. One way I have approached this is, in my museum wanderings, to see which works from the past seem most right to […]

ZiLL
Wendy Artin, Tamara on her Side with Foot in Hand, 2003, watercolor on Fabiano Ingres paper, 12 x 9, © 2003-2014

At sea in these thunder-clouded days we write out of habit and wishing that we might find some magical, Archimedean fulcrum that would right the ship or allow us to gather the pieces and start building anew. At present we cannot be sure how, or if, these pieces fit together.   In any critic’s work, we […]

ZiLL
Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 1 Comment
A Syrian man holds lifeless body of his son, killed by Syrian Army, Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2013, photo by Manu Brabo - AP

To designate a hell is not, of course, to tell us anything about how to extract people from that hell, how to moderate hell’s flames. Still, it seems good in itself to acknowledge, to have enlarged, one’s sense of how much suffering caused by human wickedness there is the world we share with others. Someone […]

ZiR
Categories: ZiLL | Add a Comment
Philip Guston, Untitled, 1971, Ink on paper, 26.7 x 35.2 cm = 10 1/2 x 13 7/8 in, Private Collection. © The Estate of Philip Guston, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth [GUSTO77446]

In a number of Philip Guston’s more than 100 cartoon-style drawings of Richard Nixon, which are currently on view at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in New York City, the former President’s nose and jowls are transformed into a cock and balls (or scrotum).[1] We recognize the long-standing association of the nose and the penis, and […]

ZiLL
eiffel tower flashing at night, blue with white lights

Le monde s’étire s’allonge et se retire comme un accordéon qu’une main sadique tourmente The earth stretches elongated and snaps back like an accordion tortured by a sadic hand Dans les déchirures du ciel, les locomotives en furie In the rips in the sky insane locomotives S’enfuient Take flight Et dans les trous, In the […]

ZiR
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
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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

ZiR
Categories: William Eaton, ZiLL | 2 Comments
Berlinde De Bruyckere, No Life Lost II, Installation view, Hauser & Wirth, 2016, photo by Mirjam Devriendt

Or, Dying, “What does it feel like?”   First approach Torvald Helmer: Oh, you think and talk like a heedless child. Nora, his wife: Maybe. But you neither think nor talk like the man I could bind myself to. As soon as your fear was over—and it was not fear for what threatened me, but […]

ZiLL
Whig primary, 1848 - An Available Candidate, The One Qualification for a Whig President

Many people in Europe believe without saying, or say without believing, that one of the great advantages of universal suffrage is that it calls men worthy of the people’s confidence to take charge of public affairs. The people do not know how to govern themselves, but, it is said, they always want the State to […]

ZiR

Recent Comments

A Syrian man holds lifeless body of his son, killed by Syrian Army, Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2013, photo by Manu Brabo - AP

Many people in Europe believe without saying, or say without believing, that one of the great advantages of universal suffrage is that it calls men worthy of the people’s confidence to take charge of public affairs. The people do not know how to govern themselves, but, it is said, they always want the State to […]

ZiR

February 8, 2017

How does the slogan “man is a wolf to man” fit in with your later, somewhat hopeful image of camaraderie in the class struggle? I mean, if your starting assessment of human nature is correct, then doesn’t the class struggle actually come down to one group of savage beasts fighting another, the exploited class merely comprising those wolves with less opportunity to express their lupine ferocity? And don’t the exploiters no less than the exploited regularly turn against one another, so that besides the strife of classes, there is also the strife of each wolf against every other wolf? Wha...

read more... join the conversation >
Categories: Article | Add a Comment
Beyoncé

Many people in Europe believe without saying, or say without believing, that one of the great advantages of universal suffrage is that it calls men worthy of the people’s confidence to take charge of public affairs. The people do not know how to govern themselves, but, it is said, they always want the State to […]

Article

December 13, 2016

Any doubts I may have had have been thoroughly quashed.

read more... join the conversation >
Categories: Review | Add a Comment
Bakewell on Sartre: “Of course, he was monstrous. He was self-indulgent, demanding, bad-tempered. … I disagree with quite a lot in Sartre. But then there is the question of ‘character’—and Sartre is full of character. He bursts out on side sides with energy, peculiarity, generosity, and communicativeness.”

Many people in Europe believe without saying, or say without believing, that one of the great advantages of universal suffrage is that it calls men worthy of the people’s confidence to take charge of public affairs. The people do not know how to govern themselves, but, it is said, they always want the State to […]

Review

November 29, 2016

What a nice review ! I've read Bakewell and admire her courage and skill in mixing biography and philosophy in such an attractive way -- and I admire your skill in presenting the figures and themes of existentialism in an equally attractive way ! Mazel tov !

read more... join the conversation >
Next Page »