Sentient in San Francisco – 24 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 24 July 1910 – Arkhip Kuindzhi, a Russian painter.

Below – “Red Sunset on the Dnieper”; “Elbrus”; “Evening in Ukraine”; “Moonspots in the Forest, Winter”; “The Birch Grove.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 24 July 1802 – Alexandre Dumas, a French novelist, playwright, and author of “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Three Musketeers.”

Some quotes from the work of Alexandre Dumas:

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”
“Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have knowledge and those who have understanding. The first requires memory and the second philosophy.”
“There are two ways of seeing: with the body and with the soul. The body’s sight can sometimes forget, but the soul remembers forever.”
“One’s work may be finished someday, but one’s education never.”
“The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground…they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us.”
“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”

This Date in Art History – Born 24 July 1927 – Alex Katz, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Good Morning”; “Coca Cola Girl 7”; “White Petunia”; “10:30 AM (Spring Trees)”; “Laura 1”; “Homage to Monet.”

This Date in Aviation History: Born 24 July 1897 – Amelia Earhart, an American aviation pioneer, author, and the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Some quotes from the work of Amelia Earhart:

“Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off. But if you don’t have one, realize it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.”
“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
“The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.
Use your fear… it can take you to the place where you store your courage.”
“Everyone has ocean’s to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?”

This Date in Art History – Born 24 July 1927 – Alex Katz, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Blue Umbrella #2”; “West Window”; “Vivien”; “Ada in a Purple Dress”; “Black Hat #2”; “Blue Hat.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 24 July 1895 – Robert Graves, an English poet, novelist, critic, and the author of “Good-Bye to All That” and “The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth.”

Some quotes from the work of Robert Graves:

“There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.”
“The difference between prose logic and poetic thought is simple. The logician uses words as a builder uses bricks, for the unemotional deadness of his academic prose; and is always coining newer, deader words with a natural preference for Greek formations. The poet avoids the entire vocabulary of logic unless for satiric purposes, and treats words as living creatures with a preference for those with long emotional histories dating from mediaeval times. Poetry at its purest is, indeed, a defiance of logic.”
“If I were a girl, I’d despair. The supply of good women far exceeds that of the men who deserve them.”
“Abstract reason, formerly the servant of practical human reasons, has everywhere become its master, and denies poetry any excuse for existence. Though philosophers like to define poetry as irrational fancy, for us it is practical, humorous, reasonable way of being ourselves. Of never acquiescing in a fraud; of never accepting the secondary-rate in poetry, painting, music, love, friends. Of safeguarding our poetic institutions against the encroachments of mechanized, insensate, inhumane, abstract rationality.”

Contemporary Austrian Art – Daniel Wimmer: Part I of II.

Below – “boy with hat”; “itchy feet”; “Rose”; “ponytail”; “warming up”; “curves.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 24 July 1876 – Edward Plunkett, who published under the name Lord Dunsany, an Anglo-Irish writer, dramatist, and author of the influential 1924 fantasy novel “The King of Elfland’s Daughter.”
“The King of Elfland’s Daughter” was a boyhood favorite of mine, but when I reread it in graduate school, I was delighted to discover how well-written it is. I fully endorse this evaluation of the book by Charles de Lint: “It’s not simply the beauty of the language, the astute eye for character, the hint of humor, or even the spell of legendry and wonder, but Dunsany’s unique combination of all of the above. Even read today, with all the fantasy novels I’ve read, his work remains fresh and exuberant.”

Some quotes from the work of Lord Dunsany:

“A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.”
“And little he knew of the things that ink may do, how it can mark a dead man’s thought for the wonder of later years, and tell of happening that are gone clean away, and be a voice for us out of the dark of time, and save many a fragile thing from the pounding of heavy ages; or carry to us, over the rolling centuries, even a song from lips long dead on forgotten hills.”
“Of pure poetry there are two kinds, that which mirrors the beauty of the world in which our bodies are, and that which builds the more mysterious kingdoms where geography ends and fairyland begins, with gods and heroes at war, and the sirens singing still, and Alph going down to the darkness from Xanadu.”
“Yet in the blood of man there is a tide, an old sea-current, rather, that is somehow akin to the twilight, which brings him rumours of beauty from however far away, as drift-wood is found at sea from islands not yet discovered; and this spring-tide or current that visits the blood of man comes from the fabulous quarter of his lineage, from the legendary, of old; it takes him out to the woodlands, out to the hills; he listens to ancient song.”
“How beautiful are dreams! In dreams the dead may live, even the long dead and the very silent.”
“Everyone’s future is, in reality, uncertain and full of unknown treasures from which all may draw unguessed prizes.”
“Humanity, let us say, is like people packed in a automobile which is traveling downhill without lights at a terrific speed and driven by a four-year-old child. The signposts along the way are all marked ‘progress’.”
“Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities.”
“And you who sought for magic in your youth but desire it not in your age, know that there is a blindness of spirit which comes from age, more black than the blindness of eye, making a darkness about you across which nothing may be seen, or felt, or known, or in any way apprehended.”
“Then I perceived, what I had never thought, that all these staring houses were not alike, but different one from another, because they held different dreams.”
“And at that moment a wind came out of the northwest, and entered the woods and bared the golden branches, and danced over the downs, and led a company of scarlet and golden leaves, that had dreaded this day but danced now it had come; and away with a riot of dancing and glory of colour, high in the light of the sun that had set from the sight of the fields, went wind and leaves together.”

Contemporary Austrian Art – Daniel Wimmer: Part II of II.

Below – “limbs”; “Malibu”; “memory”; “Really”; “down is the new up 2”; “theatre.”

A Poem for Today

“Night Flight”
by George Bilgere

I am doing laps at night, alone
In the indoor pool. Outside
It is snowing, but I am warm
And weightless, suspended and out
Of time like a fly in amber.

She is thousands of miles
From here, and miles above me,
Ghosting the stratosphere,
Heading from New York to London.
Though it is late, even
At that height, I know her light
Is on, her window a square
Of gold as she reads mysteries
Above the Atlantic. I watch

The line of black tile on the pool’s
Floor, leading me down the lane.
If she looks down by moonlight,
Under a clear sky, she will see
Black water. She will see me
Swimming distantly, moving far
From shore, suspended with her
In flight through the wide gulf
As we swim toward land together.

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