Sentient in San Francisco – 28 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 28 July 1879 – Stefan Filipkiewicz, a Polish painter.

Below – “Meadow”; “On the Dunajec River”; “Wood Creek”; “Tetra Mountains Seen from Olcza”; “Early Summer in the Mountains”; “Zimowa Panorama Tatr.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 July 1965 – Taro Hirai, better known by his pen name Edogawa Ranpo, a Japanese author and critic who played a major role in the development of Japanese mystery fiction. Edogawa Ranpo admired many western mystery writers, especially Edgar Allan Poe (his pen name is a rendering of Poe’s name) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Some quotes from the work of Edogawa Ranpo:

This Date in Art History: Born 28 July 1879 – Stefan Filipkiewicz, a Polish painter.

Below – “Meadow”; “On the Dunajec River”; “Wood Creek”; “Tetra Mountains Seen from Olcza”; “Early Summer in the Mountains”; “Zimowa Panorama Tatr.”
This Date in Literary History: Died 28 July 1965 – Taro Hirai, better known by his pen name Edogawa Ranpo, a Japanese author and critic who played a major role in the development of Japanese mystery fiction. Edogawa Ranpo admired many western mystery writers, especially Edgar Allan Poe (his pen name is a rendering of Poe’s name) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Some quotes from the work of Edogawa Ranpo:

“This is what I am talking about: the bewitching power of moonlight. Moonlight incites dark passions like a cold flame, making hearts burning with the intensity of phosphorus.”
“From dawn to dusk I spent my time in the real world. Only in my dreams at night could I indulge my fantasies.”
“Only two or three months ago, one of the Tokyo newspapers (I can’t remember which) admirably reported that a two hundred inch astronomical telescope in America was halfway toward completion. I should like to praise the editor of that newspaper. Articles about war, foreign affairs, and the stock market are not the only things that should be considered newsworthy. A two hundred inch lens can magnify our view of the cosmos considerably. The scope of human vision will expand tremendously. It will become possible to see what was once impossible to behold. It will be a momentous occasion, as though the whole human race, once blind, is granted the gift of sight. Its importance is unrivaled by any war.”
“The living world is a dream. The nocturnal dream is reality.”
“After seeing the various fantastic sights, a visitor to Panorama Island would have had to gasp in amazement at this unsurpassable view. He would have had the impression that the entire island was a rose floating on the vast ocean and that the giant scarlet flower of an opium dream was conversing on an equal footing with the sun in the sky, just the two of them. What kind of strange beauty had that incomparable simplicity and grandeur created? Some travelers might have recalled the world of myth that their distant ancestors had seen. . . .
How can the author describe the madness and debauchery, the pleasures of revelry and drunkenness, the numberless games of life and death that were played day and night on that magnificent stage? You readers might find something that resembled it, in part, in your most fantastic, bloodiest, and most beautiful nightmares.”


This Date in Art History: Born 28 July 1902 – Albert Namatjira, an Aboriginal Australian painter.

Below – “White Gum in Landscape”; “Central Australian Landscape”; “Central Australian Landscape”; “Ghost Gums, MacDonnell Range”; “Mount Sonder”; “The Bend of the Todd, Heavitree Gap.”


A Poem for Today

“Yam”
by Bruce Guernsey

The potato that ate all its carrots,
can see in the dark like a mole,

its eyes the scars
from centuries of shovels, tines.

May spelled backwards
because it hates the light,

pawing its way, padding along,
there in the catacombs.


Contemporary British Art – Michelle Eva May

Below – “Silent”; “The Waiting”; “Swift”; “K2”; “Unbroken”; “Storm”;“Tone”; “Trust.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 28 July 1866 – Beatrix Potter, an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist, and author of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”
The 2006 biographical film “Miss Potter,” directed by Chris Noonan and starring Renee Zellweger (in the title role), Ewan McGregor, Norman Warne, Lloyd Owen, and Emily Watson, is as charming as it is beautiful.

Some quotes from the work of Beatrix Potter:

“I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense?”
“All outward forms of religion are almost useless, and are the causes of endless strife. Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest.”
“We cannot stay home all our lives, we must present ourselves to the world and we must look upon it as an adventure.”
“I have just made stories to please myself, because I never grew up.”
“For quiet, solitary and observant children create their own world and live in it, nourishing their imaginations on the material at hand.”
“The place is changed now, and many familiar faces are gone, but the greatest change is myself. I was a child then, I had no idea what the world would be like. I wished to trust myself on the waters and the sea. Everything was romantic in my imagination. The woods were peopled by the mysterious good folk. The Lords and Ladies of the last century walked with me along the overgrown paths, and picked the old fashioned flowers among the box and rose hedges of the garden.”
“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were–Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.”
“Here comes Peter Cottontail right down the bunny trail.”


Contemporary American Art – Colin Kelly

Below – “Blue Bucket of Gold”; “Heat Wave no. 1”; “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”; “Heat Wave no. 2”; “Skyline To.”


A Poem for Today

“Bach in the DC Subway”
by David Lee Garrison

As an experiment,
‘The Washington Post’
asked a concert violinist—
wearing jeans, tennis shoes,
and a baseball cap—
to stand near a trash can
at rush hour in the subway
and play Bach
on a Stradivarius.
‘Partita No. 2 in D Minor’
called out to commuters
like an ocean to waves,
sang to the station
about why we should bother
to live.

A thousand people
streamed by.  Seven of them
paused for a minute or so
and thirty-two dollars floated
into the open violin case.
A café hostess who drifted
over to the open door
each time she was free
said later that Bach
gave her peace,
and all the children,
all of them,
waded into the music
as if it were water,
listening until they had to be
rescued by parents
who had somewhere else to go.

Below – Violinist Joshua Bell playing Bach in a Washington, D.C. subway station.

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