Re-translation and notes regarding a chapter from Paul Valéry’s Degas Danse Dessin. Thus: reflections on landscape painting and many other things, including the idea that « L’homme complet se meurt. » The whole human being is dying. With images from Aelbert Cuyp, Claude le Lorrain, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, Jenny Holzer, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mark Bradford, Judith Bernstein, the Cranachs, and William Eaton (the re-translator).
Aspects of our social and sexual lives discussed in dialogue with poetry by a young woman who in adolescence became addicted to Internet porn. Among the questions: What if, as Freud proposed, civilization does indeed involve the repression of our emotional lives? And what if our selves have become what we have to sell? Also noted: a young heterosexual male would not be allowed to write about his addiction to Internet porn unless he were featuring himself as an example of “toxic masculinity.”
A discussion of Emily Dickinson’s poem “The Dying Tiger” which includes sensuality, mortality and even, perhaps, vulgarity, but no sex, no consummation and no communion either. The poem’s two bodies, and two selves, never even touch, and it is this distance that kills the male and condemns the female to waste away (though she lives on with her poetry and regrets).
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 not far from Kyoto] before growing old, took it into his head to do so and set out alone on foot. He prayed at Gokurakuji […]
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 love of poetry. 1 your magnetic movements still capture the minutes I’m in Many, many poems can be valued for the fact that—in the […]
The present short text is also a calling card or an example of one of the kinds of piece that Zeteo is looking to publish. 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 in the poem that begins with these words. From a Marxist, Communist Manifesto perspective, we might be said to be making progress (or to have been making […]
. . . 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 my gloss of a passage that speaks across the span of a century since Proust wrote it: An idleness or frivolity prevents some people from […]
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 who is perennially surprised that depravity exists, who continues to feel disillusioned (even incredulous) when confronted with evidence of what humans are capable of inflicting […]
. . . 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 surrender at Appomattox Ellos con duros estatutos fieros y con su extraña condición avara pusieron tan gran yugo a nuestros cuellos que forzados salimos […]