Sentient in San Francisco – 26 January 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 26 January 1861 – Louis Anquetin, a French painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Reading Woman”; “Woman at the Champs-Élysées by Night”; “L’Avenue de Clichy, cinq heures du soir”; “Moulin Rouge”; “Woman with Umbrella”; “Inside Bruant’s Mirliton.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 26 January 2010 – Louis Auchincloss, an award-winning American novelist, essayist, historian, and attorney.

Some quotes from the work of Louis Auchincloss:

“A man can spend his whole existence never learning the simple lesson that he has only one life and that if he fails to do what he wants with it, nobody else really cares.”
“The only thing that keeps a man going is energy. And what is energy but liking life?”
“If you can sense the corruption in me, it is … because there’s a dose of it in you.”
“Perfection irritates as well as it attracts, in fiction as in life.”
“Maybe when I’m dead, I’ll be forgiven, but I’m afraid I’ll also be forgotten.”
“Today is not forever.”


This Date in Art History: Born 26 January 1861 – Louis Anquetin, a French painter: Part II of II.

Below – “An Elegant Woman at the Élysée Montmartre”; “In the Street”; “Portrait of a Woman”; “Two Ladies in the Wood”; “Nymph from the Back”; “Bathing Women and Gypsies.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 26 January 2014 – Jose Emilio Pacheco, a Mexican poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist.

“The Water Drop”
by Jose Emilio Pacheco
(translated by Peter Boyle)

The water drop is a model of conciseness,
the entire universe
locked in a pin-point of water.

The drop represents flood and thirst,
the vast Amazon and the great ocean.

The drop was there at the beginning of the world.
It’s the mirror, the abyss,
life’s house and death’s fluidity.

To put it briefly, the water drop is populated with beings
that fight each other, exterminate each other, couple with each other.
They can’t escape it,
their screams are useless.

Like everyone they ask:
what’s it about,
how long are we here,
what did we do wrong
to wind up prisoners of our water drop?

And no one listens.
Darkness and silence spin around the drop,
a speck of light in the night of the cosmos
where there is no answer.

Contemporary British Art – David Aston

Below (photographs) – “Muse No. 12”; “Muse No. 4”; “Muse No. 3”; “Fishing at dusk, Agonda, South India, 2011”; “Muse No. 6”; “Muse No.10 (homage to Leighton).”

This Date in Intellectual History: Died 26 January 1990 – Lewis Mumford, an influential American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic.

Some quotes from the work of Lewis Mumford:

“Adding highway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity.”
“A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.”
“A society that gives to one class all the opportunities for leisure, and to another all the burdens of work, dooms both classes to spiritual sterility.”
“Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.”
“Modern Man is the victim of the very instruments he values most.” “Every gain in power, every mastery of natural forces, every scientific addition to knowledge, has proved potentially dangerous, because it has not been accompanied by equal gains in self-understanding and self-discipline.”
“The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city.”
“A man of courage never needs weapons, but he may need bail.”
“Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities.”
“A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.”
“Life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training.”
“Without fullness of experience, length of days is nothing. When fullness of life has been achieved, shortness of days is nothing. That is perhaps why the young have usually so little fear of death; they live by intensities that the elderly have forgotten.”
“I would die happy if I knew that on my tombstone could be written these words, ‘This man was an absolute fool. None of the disastrous things that he reluctantly predicted ever came to pass!’”


Contemporary American Art – Karen Clark

In the words of one writer, “Karen Clark uses oil, acrylic, collage and new media to create pictorially hybrid compositions.”

Below – “Translucent #1”; “Ray of Light”; “Blue Dragon #3”; “Cowboy Suminagashi”; “She’s Not There”; “The Hangover.”

A Poem for Today

“Speckled Trout”
by Ron Rash

Water-flesh gleamed like mica:
orange fins, red flankspots, a char
shy as ginseng, found only
in spring-flow gaps, the thin clear
of faraway creeks no map
could name. My cousin showed me
those hidden places. I loved
how we found them, the way we
followed no trail, just stream-sound
tangled in rhododendron,
to where slow water opened
a hole to slip a line in,
and lift as from a well bright
shadows of another world,
held in my hand, their color
already starting to fade.

Below – Rob Peters: “Speckled Trout”

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