Sentient in San Francisco – 31 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 31 July 1901 – Jean Dubuffet, a French painter.

Below – “Two Female Heads in Profile”; :Lecciones Botanics”; Apartment Houses,Paris”: “The Cow With The Subtle Nose”; “Obline”; Charteres Cathedral.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 31 July 1965 – J. K. Rowling, a
British novelist, screenwriter, philanthropist, and author of the Harry Potter fantasy series.

Some Quotes from the work of J. K. Rowling:

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
“The stories we love best do live in us forever.”
“Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the fates.”
“The world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them.”
“Failure is not fun. It can be awful. But living so cautiously that you never fail is worse.”
“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”
“I believe in hard work and luck, and that the first often leads to the second.”
“We have to choose between what is right, and what is easy.”
“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.”
“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.”
“Imagination is … the foundation of all invention and innovation.
“It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”


Contemporary Lithuanian Art – Igras Maldus

Below (photographs) – “Magic N0.30”; “USA: Untitled Spaces of America No.9”; “The House No.12 “;”The House No 13”; “The House No. 16.”

This Date in Literary History; Did 31 July 2012 – Gore Vidal, an American novelist, screenwriter, critic, and public intellectual.

Some quotes from the work of Gore Vidal

‘Persuading the people to vote against their own best interests has been the awesome genius of the American political elite from the beginning.”
‘We are the United States of Amnesia, we learn nothing because we remember nothing.”
‘It doesn’t actually make any difference whether the President is Republican or Democrat. The genius of the American ruling class is that it has been able to make the people think that they have had something to do with the electing of presidents for 200 years when they’ve had absolutely nothing to say about the candidates or the policies or the way the country is run.”
‘The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity – much less dissent.”
‘I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam – good people, yes, but any religion based on a single, well, frenzied and virulent god, is not as useful to the human race as, say, Confucianism, which is not a religion but an ethical and educational system.”
‘They are longing for a war with Iran. Iran is no more a harm to us than was Iraq or Afghanistan. They invented an enemy, they tell lies, lies, lies. The New York Times goes along with their lies, lies, lies. And they don’t stop. When the public that’s lied to 30 times a day it’s apt to believe the lies, is not it?”
‘Reality is something the human race doesn’t handle very well.”
‘There are a great many people who have a vested interest in maintaining the stupidity of the American public.You know, I’ve been around the ruling class all my life, and I’ve been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country.”
‘At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation, and prejudice.Terrorism is a direct response to the crimes our government has committed against foreigners (besides which, the actual terrorists are within our own government).”
“[The] Country is run by… financial powers & corporate interests [who] send their lawyers to Congress to make laws so that they don’t have to pay taxes.”
“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action.”
“I’m not a conspiracy theorist – I’m a conspiracy analyst.”
“The Puritans left England for America not because they couldn’t be Puritans in their mother country, but because they were not allowed to force others to become Puritans; in the New World, of course, they could and did.”
“Of course, it is possible for any citizen with time to spare, and a canny eye, to work out what is actually going on, but for the many there is not time, and the network news is the only news even though it may not be news at all but only a series of flashing fictions.”
“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.”
“The word ‘radical’ derives from the Latin word for root. Therefore, if you want to get to the root of anything you must be radical. It is no accident that the word has now been totally demonized.”


Contemporary American Art -Alicia Savage

Below (photography) – “Clouds of Passion”: “7”; “Light Breeze”; “Wander 2”; “Waiting Sails”; “Blue Facade”; “Reflection.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 31 July 2000 – William Keepers Maxwell Jr., an American editor, novelist, short story writer, essayist, author of “So Long, See You Tomorrow”, and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes fro the work of William Keepers Maxwell, Jr.:

“The view after 70 is breathtaking. What is lacking is someone, anyone, of the older generation to whom you can turn when you want to satisfy your curiosity about some detail of the landscape of the past. There is no longer any older generation. You have become it, while your mind was mostly on other matters.”
“People often ask themselves the right questions. Where they fail is in answering the questions they ask themselves, and even there they do not fail by much…But it takes time, it takes humility and a serious reason for searching.”
“Satin and lace and brown velvet and the faint odor of violets. That was all which was left to him of his love.”
“Sometimes she goes out to work as a practical nurse, and comes home and sits by the kitchen table soaking her feet in a pan of hot water and Epsom salts. When she gets into bed and the springs creak under her weight, she groans with the pleasure of lying stretched out on an object that understands her so well.”
“What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory–meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion–is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling. Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.
I had inadvertently walked through a door that I shouldn’t have gone through and couldn’t get back to the place I hadn’t meant to leave.”
“Who knows what oversensitive is, considering all there is to be sensitive to.”
“Love, even of the most ardent and soul-destroying kind, is never caught by the lens of the camera.”
“Because I actively enjoy sleeping, dreams, the unexplainable dialogues that take place in my head as I am drifting off, all that, I tell myself that lying down to an afternoon nap that goes on and on through eternity is not something to be concerned about. What spoils this pleasant fancy is the recollection that when people are dead they don’t read books. This I find unbearable.”
“If I had had to write only about imaginary people, I would have had to close up my typewriter. I wrote about my life in less and less disguise as I grew older, and finally with no disguise – except the disguise we create for ourselves, which is self-deceptionHappiness is the light on the water. The water is cold and dark and deep.”
“I have liked remembering almost as much as I have liked living.”


Contemporary American Art – Rene Hein

Below – “Oh, the places we’ll go with white dog”; “Plus Ons (with boxer)”;“Oh, the places we’ll go (with morning glories)”;”Recognition”;”Red Crossbill”; “Flamingo Heart #5.”

A Poem for Today

“Baby Wrens’ Voices”
by Thomas R. Smith

I am a student of wrens.
When the mother bird returns
to her brood, beak squirming
with winged breakfast, a shrill
clamor rises like jingling
from tiny, high-pitched bells.
Who’d have guessed such a small
house contained so many voices?
The sound they make is the pure sound
of life’s hunger. Who hangs our house
in the world’s branches, and listens
when we sing from our hunger?
Because I love best those songs
that shake the house of the singer,
I am a student of wrens.

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