Sentient in San Francisco – 29 January 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 29 January 1899 – Alfred Sisley, a French-English painter.

Below – “Rest along the Stream. Edge of the Wood”; “The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring”; “Early Snow at Louveciennes”; “Small Meadows in Spring”; “Under Hampton Court Bridge”; “Footbridge at Argenteuil.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 29 January 1923 – Paddy Chayefsky, an American playwright, novelist, screenwriter, and recipient of three Academy Awards.

Some quotes from the work of Paddy Chayefsky:

“Television is not the truth! Television is a goddamned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a travelling troupe of acrobats and story-tellers, singers and dancers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion-tamers and football players. We’re in the boredom-killing business!”
“We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business…There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.”
“Television is democracy at its ugliest.”
“I’m not sentimental about war. I see nothing noble in widows.”
“Television is the menace that everyone loves to hate but can’t seem to live without.”
“Americans don’t want drama, especially good drama, they just want their boredom killed.”

Contemporary Romanian Art – Liviu Mihal

Below – “Nude study”; “Couple”; “In a morning”; “That moment”; “The feast”; “Freud.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 29 January 1895 – Muna Lee, an American poet and author.

“Caribbean Marsh”
by Muna Lee

Acres of mangrove, crowding the sea-streaked marsh,
Acres of mangrove, wading toward the beaches,
And here and there a milky-white bloom tossed
On fragile boughs above the flooded reaches.
Mangrove thrusts deep in salty mud,
Balances uneasily upon its three-pronged roots,
Huddles from wind in its dissonance of leaves.
Tempest and drought it has withstood,
This straggling orchard that bears no fruits,
This field where none will garner sheaves.
Sucking life up from the acrid marsh,
Drawing life down from the burning sun,
All the year offers of crude and harsh
There between sea and shore it has known.
Wave and glare, sea-urge, sea-drift,
It has been their victim, proved their power,
Persisting bleakly for one end alone—
Through an unheeded hour
Briefly, awkwardly, to lift
This frail, inconsequent flower.

Below – Sarah Cunningham:”Mangrove 2”

Contemporary American Art – Barbara Herzfeld


This Date in Literary History: Died 29 January 2004- Janet Frame, an award-winning New Zealand novelist, short story writer, and poet.

Some quotes from the work of Janet Frame:

“People dread silence because it is transparent; like clear water, which reveals every obstacle—the used, the dead, the drowned, silence reveals the cast-off words and thoughts dropped in to obscure its clear stream. And when people stare too close to silence they sometimes face their own reflections, their magnified shadows in the depths, and that frightens them. I know; I know.”
“I am not really a writer. I am just someone who is haunted, and I will write the hauntings down.”
“There is no past or future. Using tenses to divide time is like making chalk marks on water.”
“All writers – all beings – are exiles as a matter of course. The certainty about living is that it is a succession of expulsions of whatever carries the life force…All writers are exiles wherever they live and their work is a lifelong journey towards the lost land.”
“I have always disliked the morning, it is too responsible a time, with the daylight demanding that it be ‘faced’ and (usually when I wake for I wake late) with the sun already up and in charge of the world, with little hope of anyone usurping or challenging its authority. A shot of light in the face of a poor waking human being and another slave limps wounded into the light-occupied territory.”

Contemporary American Art – Patricia Ariel

Below – “Equinox”; “Rite of Saturn”; “Dissolution”; “Amber”; “Study in Blue and Ochre”; “Le Voyage.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 29 January 1963 – Robert Frost, an American poet, playwright, and four-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. Robert Frost was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature thirty-one times.

“Acquainted with the Night”
by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Contemporary Argentinean Art – Guido Mauas: Part I of II.

Below – “Sonata No.7, silent portrait”; “Mara in the Sun”; “Ancestral Memory”; “Woman Bathing”; “Erika”; “Doors”; “Self portrait.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 29 January 1927 – Edward Abbey, an American writer, essayist, environmentalist, and author of “The Monkey Wrench Gang” and “Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness.”

Some quotes from the work of Edward Abbey:

“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.”
“To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question.”
“Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”
“Why is it that the destruction of something created by humans is called vandalism, yet the destruction of something created by God is called development?”
“The one thing … that is truly ugly is the climate of hate and intimidation, created by a noisy few, which makes the decent majority reluctant to air in public their views on anything controversial…
Where all pretend to be thinking alike, it’s likely that no one is thinking at all.”
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
“An empty man is full of himself.”
“There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated… To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.”
“Truth is always the enemy of power. And power the enemy of truth.”
“Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one.”
“The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws.”
“Heaven is home. Utopia is here. Nirvana is now.”
“Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic….So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.”
“I’m tired of doing what I don’t want to do to live the way I don’t want to live.”
“My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.”
“May your rivers flow without end… down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs… where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you-beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
“What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote.”
“I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.”
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”

Contemporary Argentinean Art – Guido Mauas: Part II of II.

Below – “Girl in a Green Dress”; “Sunday”; “Study with male model”;
“Violdeta in the Sun”; “A Dinner Party”; “Nocturnal Thoughts”; “Self portrait with books.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 29 January 1933 – Sara Teasdale, an American poet.

by Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

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