Beleaguered in Bothell – 3 December 2017

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Death: Died 3 December 2000 – Gwendolyn Brooks, an American poet, author, teacher, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

“Of Robert Frost”
By Gwendolyn Brooks

There is a little lightning in his eyes.
Iron at the mouth.
His brows ride neither too far up nor down.

He is splendid. With a place to stand.

Some glowing in the common blood.
Some specialness within.


Art for Autumn – Part I of III: Dorit Levi (Israeli, contemporary)

Below – Untitled; “Accordionist”; “Cocktail”

Worth a Thousand Words: The Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

Art for Autumn – Part II of III: Charles Levier (French, 1920-2003)

Below – “Two Women”; Untitled (Portrait of a Girl in Black Hat); “Girl Holding Flowers”


Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 3 December 1857 – Joseph Conrad, a Polish-born British author and one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language.

Some quotes from the work of Joseph Conrad:

“My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel–it is, before all, to make you see.”
“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”
“It seems to me I am trying to tell you a dream–making a vain attempt, because no relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation, that commingling of absurdity, surprise, and bewilderment in a tremor of struggling revolt, that notion of being captured by the incredible which is of the very essence of dreams…No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence–that which makes its truth, its meaning–its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream-alone.”
“Droll thing life is — that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself — that comes too late — a crop of inextinguishable regrets.”
“We live in the flicker — may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.”
“Of all the inanimate objects, of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us for they contain our very thoughts, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions, our fidelity to the truth, and our persistent leanings to error. But most of all they resemble us in their precious hold on life.”
“Few men realize that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings.”
“It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.”
“I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmostphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary.”
“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”

Art for Autumn – Part IIII of III: Jiang Li (Chinese, contemporary)

Below – “Solo Flight”


Musings in Autumn: Guy Davenport

“Imagination is like the drunk man who lost his watch and must get drunk again to find it.”

Below – Georg Pauli: “Wandering Man in a Landscape”


This Date in Art History: Died 3 December 1789 – Claude Joseph Vernet, a French painter.

Below – “The Shipwreck”; “Mediterranean Night”; “Italian Landscape”; “Seaport by Moonlight”; “The Night”; “View of Dieppe.”


Musings in Autumn: Camille Paglia

“My advice, as in everything, is to read widely and think for yourself We need more dissent and less dogma.”

Below – Alexander Deineka: “Woman Reading”


This Date in Art History: Died 3 December 1941 – Pavel Filonov, a Russian painter.

Below – “Animals”; “Heads”; “Feast of Kings”; “Fishing Schooner”; “Oxen: Scene from the Life of Savages”; “Portrait of E. N. Glebova” (the artist’s sister).


Musings in Autumn: Kenneth Grahame

“Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes!’ ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company.”


This Date in Art History: Born 3 December 1755 – Gilbert Stuart, on of America’s foremost portraitists.

Below – “George Washington” (unfinished; also known as “The Athenaeum”; “The Skater”; “Thomas Jefferson”; “John Adams”; “Horatio Gates”; “Self-Portrait.”

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