Sentient in San Francisco – 23 November 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 23 November 1868 – Mary Brewster Hazelton, an American painter.

Below – “Two Sisters at a Piano”; “The Letter”; “Woman in White”; “Summer Sunlight”; “Landscape with Birches”; “Behind the Lavender Door”; “Mother and Child.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 23 November 1976 – Andre Malraux, an award-winning French novelist and author of “Man’s Fate.”

Some quotes from the work of Andre Malraux:

“Culture is the sum of all the forms of art, of love, and of thought, which, in the coarse or centuries, have enabled man to be less enslaved.”
“He who has dreamed for long resembles his dream.”
“A political leader is necessarily an imposter since he believes in solving life’s problems without asking its question.”
“I don’t argue with my enemies; I explain to their children.”
“The world of art is not a world of immortality but of metamorphosis.”
“To love a painting is to feel that this presence is … not an object but a voice.”
“In the realm of human destiny, the depth of man’s questionings is more important than his answers.”
“The twenty-first century will be spiritual or it will not be.”
“If you can’t make art, make your life a work of art.”

Contemporary German Art – Isaac Feldman

Below – “Clouds”; “Dance of seven covers”; “Calm”; “Start In New Worlds”; “Windy Day”; “City lake.”

This Date in Intellectual and Literary History: Born 23 November 1927 – Guy Davenport, an award-winning American writer, translator, and author of “The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays.”

Some quotes from the work of Guy Davenport:

“Art is always the replacement of indifference by attention.”
“Originality houses many rooms, and the views from the windows are all different.”
“We will always return to the private and inviolable act of reading as our culture’s way of developing an individual.”
“In curved Einsteinian space we are at all times, technically, looking at the back of our own head.”
“The birds suffer their suffering each in a lifetime, forgetting it as they go.”
“When Heraclitus said that everything passes steadily along, he was not inciting us to make the best of the moment, an idea unseemly to his placid mind, but to pay attention to the pace of things. Each has its own rhythm: the nap of a dog, the procession of the equinoxes, the dances of Lydia, the majestically slow beat of the drums at Dodona, the swift runners at Olympia.”
“The poet is at the edge of our consciousness of the world, finding beyond the suspected nothingness which we imagine limits our perception another acre or so of being worth our venturing upon.”

Contemporary Dutch Art – Danielle Van Broekhoven

Below – “Forest and Sky”; “lake”; “Covered III”; “wonderland II”; “Collect the rain”; “Stop Hiding.”

This Date in Intellectual and Literary History: Born 23 November 1965 – Jennifer Michael Hecht, an award-winning American historian, poet, philosopher, and author of “Doubt: A History” and “Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It”: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Jennifer Michael Hecht:

“If you look at a testimony of love from 2,000 years ago it can still exactly speak to you, whereas medical advice from only 100 years ago is ridiculous.”
“How was life before Pop-Tarts, Prozac and padded playgrounds? They ate strudel, took opium and played on the grass.”
“None of us can truly know what we mean to other people, and none of us can know what our future self will experience. History and philosophy ask us to remember these mysteries, to look around at friends, family, humanity, at the surprises life brings — the endless possibilities that living offers — and to persevere. There is love and insight to live for, bright moments to cherish, and even the possibility of happiness, and the chance of helping someone else through his or her own troubles. Know that people, through history and today, understand how much courage it takes to stay. Bear witness to the night side of being human and the bravery it entails, and wait for the sun. If we meditate on the record of human wisdom we may find there reason enough to persist and find our way back to happiness. The first step is to consider the arguments and evidence and choose to stay. After that, anything may happen. First, choose to stay.”
“The sacrificial part of the Greek religion had to do with submitting to the wild chaotic world beyond one’s own will; getting used to the idea that your rational plans will be knocked around by larger forces. The ecstatic-ritual part of ancient Greek religion was a kind of throwing oneself into the chaos, not pitting your rationality against the tempestuous world, but rather leaving your rationality on the shore, letting the waves toss you about, and coming to identify with the waves, with the storm, with the weather.”
“Though you work like mad to keep parts of you undiscovered, it is horrible to imagine that you will be completely successful. As the psychologist D.W. Winnicott wrote, ‘It is a joy to be hidden, but a disaster not to be found.’”
“I draw from the absurd three consequences. Which are my revolt, my freedom, and my passion.”
“The history of doubt is not only a history of the denial of God; it is also a history of those who have grappled with the religious questions and found the possibility of other answers.”
“We did not make this world…and our childhood inclinations about how to succeed in it turn out to be wrong: often our courage is needed not to dramatically change reality but to accept it and persist in it.”
“Plato offers the amazing idea that contemplation of the way things really are is, in itself, a purifying process that can bring human beings into the only divinity there is.”

Contemporary British Art – Max Gimson

Below – “Badric Nettles”; “Outside”; “Snake In Stickyweed”; “Village Stocks”; “The Roundhouse”; “Field Gate.”

This Date in Intellectual and Literary History: Born 23 November 1965 – Jennifer Michael Hecht, an award-winning American historian, poet, philosopher, and author of “Doubt: A History” and “Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It”: Part II of II.

“Blind Love”
by Jennifer Michael Hecht

Lady says, ‘Doc, I think I need glasses.’
Teller says, ‘You sure do, Lady, this is a bank.’

Lady wanders out, it’s winter, wonders whether
other things have got mistaken, too.

At home she ambles through the house
with the sudden feeling that it all has been

rewritten. Notices a shadow as ivy peels from brick,
clatter of silverware drawer, a quarter

on her bathroom floor. As on a vase the piper
plays not to the ear but to the more endeared

inner listener, so, quiet in an April afternoon,
late sun erupts a riot into her room.

Coin and cutlery grow red; wood glows golden in the hall.
Outside, ivy tendrils find new purchase on the wall.

Below – Susan Ryder: “Morning Room Sunlight”

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