Keith Jarrett - “Entrance” (from...
Why I Hate the Huffington Post (Part 3)
Previously: Why I Hate the Huffington Post (Part 1) Why I Hate the Huffington Post (Part 2)
“All advertising ages into sinister indictments of our culture.” -Guy Davenport (“Civilization and its Opposite in the 1940s,” from The Hunter Gracchus: And Other Papers on Literature and Art)
Penelope loves philsophy. Our favorite is Plotinus.
Weather Report - “Tears” (from...
The Kiss of Death
Chekhov told me once, “You know, I recently visited Tolstoy in Gaspra. He was bedridden due to illness. Among other things, he spoke about me and my works. Finally, when I was about to say goodbye he took my hand and said, ‘Kiss me goodbye.’ While I bent over him and he was kissing me, he whispered in my ear in a still energetic, old man’s voice, ‘You know, I hate your plays. Shakespeare...
An Ancient Arrowhead
Lacquer flakes, bone-dust and water made this vermilion color; And fearful, ancient stains bloomed on this bronze arrowhead. Its white feathers and gold rings have now gone with the rain, Leaving only this angular wolf's tooth. Riding the plain with a pair of horses, I found it, east of the courier station, among the weeds. The long wind shortened the day, while a few stars shivered, And...
George Steiner: Beauty & Consolation
Previously: Ligeti (A Portrait)
The Surface of Past Time
(M.C. Escher: "Three Worlds," 1955) As one who hangs down-bending from the side Of a slow-moving boat, upon the breast Of a still water, solacing himself With such discoveries as his eye can make Beneath him in the bottom of the deep, 260 Sees many beauteous sights--weeds, fishes, flowers, Grots, pebbles, roots of trees, and fancies more, Yet often is...
The Body Is the Cause of Love
The body is the cause of love; after that, the fortress that protects it; after that, love’s prison. But when the body dies, love is set free in wild abundance, like a slot machine that breaks down and with a furious ringing pours out all at once all the coins of all the generations of luck. -Yehuda Amichai (trans. Chana Bloch)
"If Something Can Be Done Better, Do it Better."
I usually hate seeing dead people I love reanimated to sell something, but I sort of like this Spanish BMW commercial, which uses some 1967 footage of the 85-year-old Igor Stravinsky rehearsing the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Pulicnella, his 1920 reanimation of the dead Italian rococo. Here’s an extended clip from the same film.
Patrick Bait (The Site, Not the Little Boy!)
Ornette and Punks
“I’m fucking tired of so called punk lore. Ornette Coleman was more punk while he was rinsing his mouth with comped Scope at the Hilton Berlin wearing his worst polka dot 80’s suit than any honky with a beat up Roadmaster will ever be.” Wise words from the hilarious, brilliant Dave King, master-drummer for The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Halloween Alaska and many other...
Thames and Hudson published a beautiful book of polaroids taken by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky a few years back. This Russian blog has digitized the collection. It’s incredible how he was able to translate his endlessly haunting visual style into the medium with the use of a cheap, mass-produced camera designed for taking a quick shot of your brother eating Funyuns at the family...
"I Have Finally Heard the Voice of Walt Whitman"
And so an awestruck Harold Bloom hears the voice of Walt Whitman, a poet whom the 81-year-old critic has written about and worshiped for well over half a century, for the first time. (Unfortunately, Bloom hates the poem.) A touching moment from a fascinating, and at times painfully uncomfortable “discussion” with the greatest living literary critic. Bloom seems frail and...
Don Blackman - “Holding You, Loving...
Why I Hate the Huffington Post (Part 2)
Previously: Why I Hate the Huffington Post (Part 1)
Beckett's Spectacular Gams
I can’t blast my glutes. I’ll blast my glutes.
Emitt Rhodes - “Somebody Made For...
TV Theme Song Plagiarism
Joni Mitchell’s “A Strange Boy” from her 1976 masterpiece Hejira (Jaco Pastorius on bass): And here’s Mike Post’s famous theme song for Law & Order (1990): Verdict: Mike Post owes Joni some money.
Time and the Brain
In Eagleman’s essay “Brain Time,” published in the 2009 collection “What’s Next? Dispatches on the Future of Science,” he borrows a conceit from Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities.” The brain, he writes, is like Kublai Khan, the great Mongol emperor of the thirteenth century. It sits enthroned in its skull, “encased in darkness and silence,” at a lofty remove from brute reality. Messengers...
Gabriel Fauré - Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 108...
l'atmosphère du temps
Étienne-Jules Marey - Le Vol du Pelican (1882 - Gelatin Silver Print) “Time itself presents us with the prime model of this permanent acquisition. If time is the dimension in accordance with which events drive each other successively from the scene, it is also that in accordance with which each one of them wins its unchallengeable place. To say that an event takes place is to say that it...
Stravinsky's Los Angeles (in TECHNICOLOR®)
Courtesy of Dangerous Minds, here is some very cool stock footage of the Sunset Strip on a sunny day in 1964. While it’s certainly incredible to have such pristine historical footage of a landmark, the nerd in me was most interested in the fact that the camera comes tantalizingly close to Stravinsky’s house. Stravinsky’s old house on North Wetherly Drive (in which he lived...
Aspects of Adès I
It’s hard to write about Thomas Adès without resorting to clichés and superlatives. You can find both in the first thing I ever wrote about him, almost 6 years ago. I was 19 years old. I’m now 25, and thus better, wiser, deader. The clichés are annoying but difficult to avoid. Almost every article is sure to mention his A) past status as controversial wunderkind, B) remarkable skills...
Robert de Montesquiou
“In every room were elaborate gewgaws… Dresden china, Venetian glass, mounted butterflies, perfumed fans to wave as one sipped Russian tea and bouquets of peacock feathers… “the influence of my dear friend Whistler,” he would say. What Whistler said about him is to be conjectured. Montesquiou’s very absurdity may have appealed to that acid genius. Among the treasures he had after he...
Jesus said, “Many times have you desired to hear these words which I am saying to you, and you have no one else to hear them from. There will be days when you look for Me but you will not find Me.” -Gospel of Thomas, 38
I rarely pass on an opportunity for a Glick-fix.
“With this mill I will generate a breeze at any time during the summer, and I will make water spring up fresh and bubbling…The mill will serve to create conduits of water through the house, and fountains in various places, and there will be a certain pathway where water will leap up from below whenever someone walks there, and so this will be a good spot for anyone who wants to spray...
Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and...– Edward Sapir (Language)
Me - “Strawberry Tree“ This...
No, Milena, I beg you once again to invent another possibility for my writing to you. You mustn’t go to the post office in vain, even your little postman—who is he?—mustn’t do it, nor should even the postmistress be asked unnecessarily. If you can find no other possibility, then one must put up with it, but at least make a little effort to find one. ...