Sentient in San Francisco – 21 February 2020

Contemporary Russian Art – Alexander Ilichev: Part I of II.

Below – “Face”; “My Secret Love”; “City Girl”; “Valencia”; “Wagner”; “Anuta.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 21 February 1984 – Mikhail Sholokhov, a Russian novelist, author of “And Quiet Flows the Don,” and recipient of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Mikhail Sholokhov:

“And over the village slipped the days, passing into the nights; the weeks flowed by, the months crept on, the wind howled, and, glassified with an autumnal, translucent, greenish-azure, the Don flowed tranquilly down to the sea.”
“When swept out of its normal channel, life scatters into innumerable streams. It is difficult to foresee which it will take in its treacherous and winding course. Where to-day it flows in shallows, like a rivulet over sandbanks, so shallow that the shoals are visible, to-morrow it will flow richly and fully.”
“In this winter night, long and ample for bitter memories, many a widow who lost her husband in the war and is now left alone will press her palms to her ageing face; and in the nocturnal darkness the burning tears, as bitter as wormwood, will scorch her fingers.”
“The grass grows over the graves, time overgrows the pain. The wind blew away the traces of those who had departed; time blows away the bloody pain and the memory of those who did not live to see their dear ones again—and will not live, for brief is human life, and not for long is any of us granted to tread the grass.”
“Vast sections of the world’s population are inspired by the same desires and live for common interests that bind them together far more than they separate them.”


Contemporary Russian Art – Alexander Ilichev: Part II of II.

Below – “Mashka”; “Portrait”; “Half of the Face”; “Twilight”; “Plant”; “Portrait.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 21 February 1962 – Chuck Palahniuk, an American award-winning novelist, journalist, and author of “Fight Club.”

Some quotes from the work of Chuck Palahniuk:

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
“What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.”
“If you love something set it free, but don’t be surprised if it comes back with herpes.”
“You’re always haunted by the idea you’re wasting your life.”
“No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention.Well, get used to that feeling. That’s how your whole life will feel some day.
This is all practice.”
“Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed. He’s making sure your imagination withers. Until it’s as useful as your appendix. He’s making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it’s worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what’s in your mind. With everyone’s imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world.”
“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”
“This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.”


Contemporary Brazilian Art – Felipe Hueh

Below – “Colored Nude”; “Colored Nude 2”; “Nudity and Geometry”; “The Panamanian.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 21 February 1962 – David Foster Wallace, an American award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist, and author of “Infinite Jest.”

Some quotes from the work of David Foster Wallace:

“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”
“If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.”
“Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.”
“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”
“True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care—with no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.”
“If you spend enough time reading or writing, you find a voice, but you also find certain tastes. You find certain writers who when they write, it makes your own brain voice like a tuning fork, and you just resonate with them. And when that happens, reading those writers … becomes a source of unbelievable joy. It’s like eating candy for the soul. And I sometimes have a hard time understanding how people who don’t have that in their lives make it through the day.”
“Hear this or not, as you will. Learn it now, or later — the world has time. Routine, repetition, tedium, monotony, ephemeracy, inconsequence, abstraction, disorder, boredom, angst, ennui — these are the true hero’s enemies, and make no mistake, they are fearsome indeed. For they are real.”
“We are not dead but asleep, dreaming of ourselves.”


Contemporary Kazakhstan Art – Nurilya Shogelbayeva

Below – “Daughter of Nomad”; “Gemini”; “Venus”; “La Ragazza”; “Floral Peonies”; Vessels.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 21 February 1907 – W. H. Auden, an English-American poet and playwright.

“The More Loving One”
by W. H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

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