Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 6 November 2000 – L. Sprague de Camp, a prolific American writer of science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, and biography. I particularly respect de Camp for his rigorous support of scientific skepticism in the face of factually baseless paranormal claims.
A timely quote from the work of L. Sprague de Camp:
“You don’t like the Goths?”
“No! Not with the persecution we have to put up with!”
“Religious persecution. We won’t stand for it forever.”
“I thought the Goths let everybody worship as they pleased.”
“That’s just it! We Orthodox are forced to stand around and watch Arians and Monophysites and Nestorians and Jews going about their business unmolested, as if they owned the country. If that isn’t persecution, I’d like to know what is!”
Below – “On Derwentwater”
Art for Autumn – Part II of IV: Carl Brenders (Belgian, contemporary)
Below – “Mother of Pearl”
Remembering an American Writer on the date of His Birth: Born 6 November 1921 – James Jones, novelist and recipient of the 1952 National Book Award (for “From Here to Eternity”).
Some quotes from the work of James Jones:
“That was one of the virtues of being a pessimist: nothing was ever as bad as you thought it would be.”
“The main trouble with being an honest man was that it lost you all your illusions.”
“War don’t ennoble men, it turns ’em into dogs. It poisons the soul.”
“When compared to the fact that he might very well be dead by this time tomorrow, whether he was courageous or not today was pointless, empty. When compared to the fact that he might be dead tomorrow, everything was pointless. It just didn’t make any difference. It was pointless to the tree, it was pointless to every man in his outfit, pointless to everybody in the whole world. Who cared? It was not pointless only to him; and when he was dead, when he ceased to exist, it would be pointless to him too. More important: Not only would it be pointless, it would have been pointless all along.
This was an obscure and rather difficult point to grasp. Understanding of it kept slipping in and out on the edges of his mind. It flickered, changing its time sense and tenses. At those moments when he understood it, it left him with a very hollow feeling.”
“All Welsh knew was that he was scared shitless, and at the same time was afflicted with a choking gorge of anger that any social coercion existed in the world which could force him to be here.”
“I write to reach eternity.”
Art for Autumn – Part III of IV: Patrice Breteau (French, contemporary)
Below – “White Birds”
Worth a Thousand Words: A Snow Leopard.
Below – “Horizontal Way of Visiting the 21st Century”
Remembering an American Hero on the Date of His Death: Died 6 November 2000 – David Brower; in the words of one writer, David Brower “was a prominent environmentalist and the founder of many environmental organizations, including the John Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, Friends of the Earth (1969), the League of Conservation Voters, Earth Island Institute (1982), North Cascades Conservation Council, and Fate of the Earth Conferences. From 1952 to 1969, he served as the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club, and served on its board three times: from 1941–1953; 1983–1988; and 1995–2000.”
Some quotes from the work of David Brower:
“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
“We need the sea. We need a place to stand and touch and listen – to feel the pusle of the world as the surf rolls in.”
“If you want to get people off drugs, improve reality.”
“To me, a wilderness is where the flow of wildness is essentially uninterrupted by technology; without wilderness the world is a cage.”
“The more we pour the big machines, the fuel, the pesticides, the herbicides, the fertilizer and chemicals into farming, the more we knock out the mechanism that made it all work in the first place.”
“All technology should be assumed guilty until proven innocent.”
“It seems that every time mankind is given a lot of energy, we go out and wreck something with it.”
“Truth and beauty can still win battles. We need more art, more passion, more wit in defense of the Earth.”
“True wilderness is where you keep it, and real wilderness experience cannot be a sedentary one; you have to seek it out not seated, but afoot.”
“There are many ways to salvation, and one of them is to follow a river.”
“The wild places are where we began. When they end, so do we.”
“Let the mountains talk, let the river run. Once more, and forever.”
Contemporary French Art – Pierre Marie Brisson
In the words of one writer, “Pierre Marie Brisson is one of Europe’s most talented young contemporary artists. With simplified figures and extensive texturing, Brisson’s works have been compared to cave drawings. Their timeless appearances represent a kind of archeological dig for the artist: he cuts, scratches and pierces the multi-layered surfaces of his canvases to reveal Brisson’s images from within the strata of these materials. Brisson’s original and graphic artworks have been the subject of numerous gallery and museum exhibitions throughout Western Europe, North America, and Japan.”
Below – “La Claire Obscure”; “Fragment I”; “Sans Titre”; “L’Ame du Vent”; “Tourterelle”; “Fragment II.”
A Poem for Today
“A Happy Birthday”
By Ted Kooser
This evening, I sat by an open window
and read till the light was gone and the book
was no more than a part of the darkness.
I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride this day down into night,
to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of my hand.
This Date in Art History: Died 6 November 1937 – Colin Campbell Cooper, an American impressionist painter.
Below – “Hudson River Waterfront, N.Y.”; “Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco”; “Terrace at Samarkand Hotel”; “Summer”; “Taj Mahal, Afternoon”; “Portrait of Emma Lampert Cooper” (the artist’s wife).