Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Molly Renda, Water Glass, 2018

By William Eaton   I have proposed previously a first law of American literature, complete with a rider. The law: You are always going to come across one more, intriguing Emily Dickinson poem, ready to reward your attention. The rider: The poem may have something to do with sex. Vivian Pollak, a professor of literature […]

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 2 Comments
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

A book by an American scholar of Japanese literature briefly discusses one of the anecdotes of The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko, a classic which dates back to the fourteenth century. The scholar, Linda Chance, offers the following translation: A priest of the Ninnaji, regretting that he had not paid his respects at Iwashimizu [a Shinto shrine […]

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Wilfred Owen's mother, pictured center with her family

By William Eaton This appreciation of one of Bob Dylan’s love songs, “Ramona,” leverages its lyrics to make three basic observations about poetry and to call attention, to include in the endnotes, to several poems by other writers. While not all of these comments are positive, in general this short essay is watered with a […]

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E.E. Cummings, Self-Portrait, 1958, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian

The present short text is also a calling card or an example of the kind of piece that I believe Zeteo would best be publishing now. For more in this regard, see the Addendum.   now air is air, and thing is thing:no bliss of heavenly earth beguiles our spirits Or so, E.E. Cummings wrote […]

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William Patrick Roberts, 1895-1980; A Reading of Poetry (Woman Reading)

 . . . la lecture, . . . ce miracle fécond d’une communication au sein de la solitude, . . . (reading, this fertile miracle of communication in the midst of solitude) — Marcel Proust, Pastiches et mélanges   This year Gallimard published, in French, an amalgam of some of Proust’s writing on reading. Herewith […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 3 Comments

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 […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

A point of information... This book was translated as "A Fortnight in the Wilderness" and included as Appendix 2 in "Democracy In America: Historical-Critical Edition", edited by Eduardo Nolla. There this amazing text can be read in full. It is worth comparing the translation by James Schleifer to your own. In particular, the rendering of "désert" to "wilderness" is most intriguing.

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 3 Comments

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 […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

Thanks so much for this translation and excellent analysis.

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 3 Comments
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

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 […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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