Sentient in San Francisco – 25 August 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 25 August 1904 – Henri Fantin-Latour, a French painter and lithographer.

Below – “Edouard Manet”; “Roses”; “Dawn”; “The Lecture”; “Still life with Mustard Pot”; “Venus and Cupid.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 August 1836 – Bret Harte, an American short story writer, poet, and author of “The Luck of Roaring Camp” and “The Outcasts of Poker Flat.”

Some quotes from the work of Bret Harte:

“Each lost day has its patron saint!”
“If, of all words of tongue and pen, The saddest are, ‘It might have been,’ More sad are these we daily see: ‘It is, but hadn’t ought to be!’”
“A bird in the hand is a certainty, but a bird in the bush may sing.”
“The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.”
“Besides writing, I have been teaching myself to ‘develop’ my own photographic plates, and I haven’t a stick of clothing or an exposed finger that isn’t stained. I sit for hours in a dark-room feeling as if I were a very elderly Faust at some dreadful incantation, and come out of it, blinding at the light, like a Bastille prisoner. And yet I am not successful!”
“Love differs from all the other contagious diseases: the last time a man is exposed to it, he takes it most readily, and has it the worst!”
“It may be broadly stated that…..of all animals kept for the recreation of mankind the horse is alone capable of exciting a passion that shall be absolutely hopeless.”
“But still when the mists of doubt prevail,
And we lie becalmed by the shores of age,
We hear from the misty troubled shore
The voice of children gone before.
Drawing the soul to its anchorage.”

This Date in Art History: Born 25 August 1910 – Dorothea Tanning, an American painter, printmaker, and sculptor.
Artist Statement: “My dreams are bristling with objects that relate to nothing in the dictionary. Dreams one reads in books are composed of known symbols but it is their strangeness that distinguishes them.”

Below – “Beyond the Esplanade”; “The Grotto”; “Bayou”; “Tilda”; “Interior with Sudden Joy”; “Birthday, 1942.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 August 1946 -Charles Ghigna, an American poet and author of more than 100 books for children and adults: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Charles Ghigna:

“Close your eyes and look inside,
A mirror shines within;
To find where you are going,
First see where you have been.”
“Don’t search for inspiration when you have a task to do; Just start your work and you will see that it will soon find you.”
“A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.”
“They say that love is always blind and that explains so much, young lovers always seem so prone to use their sense of touch.”
“Do not let fear confine your life Inside a shell of doubt; A turtle never moves until His head is sticking out.”
“The path to inspiration starts upon the trails we’ve known; each stumbling block is not a rock, but just a stepping stone.”

Contemporary German Art – Rudolf Kosow: Part I of II.

Below – “Uncertain”; “Unforgotten”; “Inseparable Friends”; “Abandoned”; “The Bad”; “Together.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 August 1946 -Charles Ghigna, an American poet and author of more than 100 books for children and adults: Part II of II.

“Autumn’s Way”
by Charles Ghigna

In their yellow-most goings,
leaves of maple
ride breezes to the ground.
You can hear their sound
each autumn afternoon
as the crisp air cuts
through the trees
and hurries us along
the golden sidewalks


Contemporary German Art – Rudolf Kosow: Part II of II.

Below – “Homo Sapiens Sapiens”; “Abutilon Auicennae”; “Malua Rosea Multiplex”; “Arrived”; “Stramonia”; “Yellow Blouse.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 25 August 1984 – Truman Capote, an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, playwright, and author of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood.”

Some quotes from the work of Truman Capote:

“All human life has its seasons and cycles, and no one’s personal chaos can be permanent. Winter, after all, gives way to spring and summer, though sometimes when branches stay dark and the earth cracks with ice, one thinks they will never come, that spring, and that summer, but they do, and always.”
“Have you never heard what the wise men say: all of the future exists in the past.”
“Are the dead as lonesome as the living?”
“The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not? Any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person’s nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy, who, in their agitated concern, mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell.”
“Home is where you feel at home. I’m still looking.”
“I don’t care what anybody says about me as long as it isn’t true.”
“How do I look so young? Quite simple: a complete vegetable diet, 12 hours sleep a night, and lots and lots of make-up.”
“A man who doesn’t dream is like a man who doesn’t sweat. He stores up a lot of poison.”
“If you weren’t here, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be, doing anything you wanted to do, where would you be and what would you be doing?”
“Past certain ages or certain wisdoms it is very difficult to look with wonder; it is best done when one is a child; after that, and if you are lucky, you will find a bridge of childhood and walk across it.”
“Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.”

Contemporary American Art – George Brinner: Part I of II.

Below – “The Boulders”; “Pond I”; “Canyon de Chelly Cottonwoods 3”; “Grand Canyon – May”; “Clouds I”; “Grand Canyon River View.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 August 1949 – Martin Amis, a British novelist and author of “Money” and “London Fields.”

Some quotes from the work of Martin Amis:

“Tremendous interest in the superficial is very characteristic of cultures in decline.”
“My life looked good on paper – where, in fact, almost all of it was being lived.”
“People? People are chaotic quiddities living in one cave each. They pass the hours in amorous grudge and playback and thought experiment. At the campfire they put the usual fraction on exhibit, and listen to their own silent gibber about how they’re feeling and how they’re going down. We’ve been there. Death helps. Death gives us something to do. Because it’s a full-time job looking the other way.”
“Probably human cruelty is fixed and eternal. Only styles change.”
“When the past is forgotten, the present is unforgettable.”
“Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing. It’s nothing. Just sad dreams. Or something like that…Swing low in your weep ship, with your tear scans and sob probes, and you would mark them. Women–and they can be wives, lovers, gaunt muses, fat nurses, obsessions, devourers, exes, nemeses–will wake and turn to these men and ask, with female need-to-know, ‘What is it?’ And the men will say, ‘Nothing. No it isn’t anything really. Just sad dreams.’”
“It seems to me that you need a lot of courage, or a lot of something, to enter into others, into other people. We all think that everyone else lives in fortresses, in fastnesses: behind moats, behind sheer walls studded with spikes and broken glass. But in fact we inhabit much punier structures. We are, as it turns out, all jerry-built. Or not even. You can just stick your head under the flap of the tent and crawl right in. If you get the okay.”
“Every 10 years you’re a different person, and the really great books evolve with you as you get older. They’re full of new rewards.”
“Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.”
“To idealize: all writing is a campaign against cliché. Not just clichés of the pen but clichés of the mind and clichés of the heart.”
“Perhaps there are other bits of my life that would take on content, take on shadow, if only I read more and thought less about money.”
“Addictions do come in handy sometimes: at least you have to get out of bed for them.”
“When you’ve lost all your play, guess what love becomes. Work. Work that gets harder every hour.”
“When success happens to an English writer, he acquires a new typewriter. When success happens to an American writer, he acquires a new life.”
“People are always talking on their phones, or looking at their phones, because they don’t want to be alone with their thoughts.”

Contemporary American Art – George Brinner: Part II of II.

Below – “Watson Lake I”; “Maui Banana Tree Grove”; “Life Tree”; “Canyon Stream”; “Napili Beach”; “Blue Hawaii.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 August 1935 – Charles Wright, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard”
by Charles Wright

East of me, west of me, full summer.
How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.
Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.

Day after day, I become of less use to myself.
Like this mockingbird,
I flit from one thing to the next.
What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?
Tomorrow is dark.
Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.

The sky dogs are whimpering.
Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
up from the damp grass.
Into the world’s tumult, into the chaos of every day,
Go quietly, quietly.

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