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Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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

  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
Drink's, sign in Troncones, Mexico; photo credit: Jonah Warner, February 2016

Backfiring, shall we call this?   First bursts. Sue Ellen Christian, one of Zeteo’s long-time contributors, e-mailed us a draft response to one of the random, crazed shootings with which the United States is now plagued. As has been reported, several residents of her town, Kalamazoo, Michigan, were allegedly gunned down by an Uber driver. Random […]

ZiR
Lawrence Goldhuber in straitjacket, photo by Josh Gosfield

  A touching story, and likely more common, in one variation or another, than it may at first seem. Among other things, I have in mind lives that come to be defined by one event which casts its spell, be it evil, enlightening, forgiving—over all the other years. The story I am going to tell, […]

ZiR
Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 2 Comments

A.k.a., Littlering   There is a strain of environmental thinking that proposes (with more than a little sense) that we need to learn how to do more with less. Or perhaps we need (yet again?) to discover how less is more. Fewer human beings always seems like a good place to start. There is of […]

ZiR

Emily, in not so foreign tongues   The first law of American literature: Somewhere, somehow, in God only knows what language, you are always going to come across one more, intriguing—if not indeed great—Emily Dickinson poem. A poem that you have previously overlooked, or not even heard of. And yet, there it is, ready to […]

ZiR
from Amazon site for African Mask Wall Decor World Peace Wise Man Bamboo Root Mask Bali Mask

A follow-up to a previous discussion of how experts, and the media that aids and abets them, and the class interests that pay these experts’ salaries—they’re in the mask-making business.   A January 26 New York Times story reported that “according to an independent analysis” the proposed trade pact between North American countries, the United […]

ZiR
Categories: Essay | 1 Comment
17th century Schandmask (or shame masks) - a German form of punishment

By William Eaton   . . . the intellectuals of the time . . . went on playing with ideas que no tenían más función que la de mascaras—that served only as masks. Octavio Paz, El laberinto de la soledad (The Labyrinth of Solitude)[1]   At a few moments in his recent, fruitful discussion of class […]

Essay

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 1 Comment

By William Eaton   . . . the intellectuals of the time . . . went on playing with ideas que no tenían más función que la de mascaras—that served only as masks. Octavio Paz, El laberinto de la soledad (The Labyrinth of Solitude)[1]   At a few moments in his recent, fruitful discussion of class […]

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 | 1 Comment

By William Eaton   . . . the intellectuals of the time . . . went on playing with ideas que no tenían más función que la de mascaras—that served only as masks. Octavio Paz, El laberinto de la soledad (The Labyrinth of Solitude)[1]   At a few moments in his recent, fruitful discussion of class […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

Thanks so much for this translation and excellent analysis.

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 1 Comment
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

By William Eaton   . . . the intellectuals of the time . . . went on playing with ideas que no tenían más función que la de mascaras—that served only as masks. Octavio Paz, El laberinto de la soledad (The Labyrinth of Solitude)[1]   At a few moments in his recent, fruitful discussion of class […]

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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