Sentient in San Francisco – 11 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 11 July 1946 – Martin Wong, an American painter.

Below – “My Secret World”; “The Babysitter”; “Stanton near Forsyth Street”; “The Flood”; “Starry Night”; “Self-Portrait.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 11 July 1899 – E. B. White, an American writer, author of “Charlotte’s Web,” “Stuart Little,” “The Trumpet of the Swan,” co-author of “The Elements of Style,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of E. B. White:

“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”
“It’s hard to know when to respond to the seductiveness of the world and when to respond to its challenge. If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
“Life is like writing with a pen. You can cross out your past but you can’t erase it.”
“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”
“Being the owner of Dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can’t be trained and shouldn’t be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something he wants to do.”
“Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces finally a sort of ecstasy.”
“I have one share in corporate Earth, and I am nervous about the management.”
“Nauseous. Nauseated. The first means ‘sickening to contemplate’; the second means ‘sick at the stomach.’ Do not, therefore, say “I feel nauseous,’ unless you are sure you have that effect on others.”
“A despot doesn’t fear eloquent writers preaching freedom- he fears a drunken poet who may crack a joke that will take hold.”
“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”

Contemporary American Art – Duffy Sheridan: Part I of II.

Below – “The Confidant”; “Rite of Summer”; “On a Clear Day”; “Sisters”; “Promise of Renewal”; “Flora,:

This Date in Literary History: Died 11 July 1966 – Delmore Schwartz, an American poet and short story writer.

“I Am A Book I Neither Wrote Nor Read”
by Delmore Schwartz

I am a book I neither wrote nor read,
A comic, tragic play in which new masquerades
Astonishing as guns crackle like raids
Newly each time, whatever one is prepared
To come upon, suddenly dismayed and afraid,
As in the dreams which make the fear of sleep
The terror of love, the depth one cannot leap.

How the false truths of the years of youth have passed!
Have passed at full speed like trains which never stopped
There where I stood and waited, hardly aware,
How little I knew, or which of them was the one
To mount and ride to hope or where true hope arrives.

I no more wrote than read that book which is
The self I am, half-hidden as it is
From one and all who see within a kiss
The lounging formless blackness of an abyss.

How could I think the brief years were enough
To prove the reality of endless love?

Contemporary American Art – Duffy Sheridan: Part II of II.

Below – “Girl with Cherry Red Hair”; “Alexis”; “Marieke with White Scarf”; “Enigma in Red and Black”; “Afternoon Reflection”; “D + J.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 11 July 1967 – Jhumpa Lahiri, an Indian-American novelist, short story writer, author of “The Namesake,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Jhumpa Lahiri:

“That’s what books are for… to travel without moving an inch.”
“It is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time. To conjure a place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do.”
“He owned an expensive camera that required thought before you pressed the shutter, and I quickly became his favorite subject, round-faced, missing teeth, my thick bangs in need of a trim. They are still the pictures of myself I like best, for they convey that confidence of youth I no longer possess, especially in front of a camera.”
“Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”
“Isolation offered its own form of companionship: the reliable silence of her rooms, the steadfast tranquility of the evenings. The promise that she would find things where she put them, that there would be no interruption, no surprise. It greeted her at the end of each day and lay still with her at night.”
“Pet names are a persistent remnant of childhood, a reminder that life is not always so serious, so formal, so complicated. They are a reminder, too, that one is not all things to all people.”
“Somehow, bad news, however ridden with static, however filled with echoes, always manages to be conveyed.”
“They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend. Things that should never have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end.”

Contemporary Bulgarian Art – Veneta Karamfilova

Below (photographs) – “The whisper of autumn”; “Dreaming in silence”; “A dialogue of silence”; “Summer is long gone”;
“100 sounds of solitude”; “Ash and diamonds V”; “Mistress of death.”

A Poem for Today

“Green Pear Tree in September”
By Freya Manfred

On a hill overlooking the Rock River
my father’s pear tree shimmers,
in perfect peace,
covered with hundreds of ripe pears
with pert tops, plump bottoms,
and long curved leaves.
Until the green-haloed tree
rose up and sang hello,
I had forgotten. . .
He planted it twelve years ago,
when he was seventy-three,
so that in September
he could stroll down
with the sound of the crickets
rising and falling around him,
and stand, naked to the waist,
slightly bent, sucking juice
from a ripe pear.

Below – Andre Price: “Pear Tree”

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