Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

. . . 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 […]

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

. . . 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 […]

Essay

May 11, 2018

Using personal essay, literary reference, and journalistic voice, the article plants itself on our existential doorstep while illuminating Barnes' novel one more time. Very strong. Thanks.

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Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

. . . 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 […]

Essay

May 10, 2018

"When these new memories suddenly came upon me … time had been placed in reverse. As if, for that moment, the river ran upstream." Stolen from Barnes's book for my poem "From the Vale for a Soul Making". Great book to write about.

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