Sentient in San Francisco – 31 March 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 31 March 1885 – Jules Pascin, a Bulgarian painter.

Below – “Portrait of Mimi Laurent”; “Young Woman at a Cafe”; “Mija”; “Portriat of Lucy Krohg”; “Genevieve with a Garland of Flowers”;
“Model in Front of Mirror.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 31 March 2016 – Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian author and recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Imre Kertesz:

“As we pass one step, and as we recognize it as being behind us, the next one already rises up before us. By the time we learn everything, we slowly come to understand it. And while you come to understand everything gradually, you don’t remain idle at any moment: you are already attending to your new business; you live, you act, you move, you fulfill the new requirements of every new step of development. If, on the other hand, there were no schedule, no gradual enlightenment, if all the knowledge descended on you at once right there in one spot, then it’s possible neither your brains nor your heart could bear it.”
“The West in general should stand up more for its own values. It is not always worthwhile to compromise.”
“Man, when reduced to nothing, or in other words a survivor, is not tragic but comic, because he has no fate.”
“I refuse to adapt or integrate myself.”
“I look on my life as raw material for my novels: that’s just the way I am, and it frees me from any inhibitions.”
“I would like to live a little bit longer in this beautiful concentration camp.”
“One is not born for anything in particular, but if one manages to stay alive long enough, then one cannot avoid eventually becoming something.”

This Date in Art History: Died 31 March 2012 – Alberto Bughi, an Italian painter.

Below – “At the end of the day”; “Guests’ entry”; “Figures standing”; “The clerks”; “Man with dog”; “City by night.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 31 March 1855 – Charlotte Bronte, an English novelist, poet, and author of “Jane Eyre.”

Some quotes from the work of Charlotte Bronte:

“What you want to ignite in others must first burn inside yourself.”
“Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive.”
“Better to try all things and find all empty, than to try nothing and leave your life a blank.”
“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.”
“A great deal; you are good to those who are good to you. It is all I ever desire to be. If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way; they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should – so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.”
“There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”

Below – A portrait of Charlotte Bronte by George Richmond.

This Date in Art History: Died 31 March 2014 – Roger Somville, a Belgian painter.

Below – “Young woman and fruit tray”; “Two women in an interior”; “Bust of a woman”; “Simone with a bouquet of flowers”; “Head of a woman”; “Woman.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 31 March 1914 – Octavio Paz, a Mexican poet and recipient of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Octavio Paz:

“What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By suppressing differences and peculiarities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death.” “The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a possibility of life.”
“The universe unfolds in the body, which is its mirror and its creature.”
“Deserve your dream.”
“The purpose of poetry is to restore to mankind the possibility to wonder.”
“Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows.”
“Beyond happiness or unhappiness, though it is both things, love is intensity; it does not give us eternity but life, that second in which the doors of time and space open just a crack: here is there and now is always.”
“The American: a titan enamored of progress, a fanatical giant who worships “getting things done” but never asks himself what he is doing nor why he is doing it.”
“Distraction is our habitual state. Not the distraction of the person who withdraws from the world in order to shut himself up in the secret and ever-changing land of his fantasy, but the distraction of the person who is always outside himself, lost in the trivial, senseless, turmoil of everyday life.”
“Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone.
“Love is not a desire for beauty; it is a yearning for completion.”
“The supreme value is not the future but the present. The future is a deceitful time that always says to us, ‘Not Yet,’ and thus denies us… Whoever builds a house for future happiness builds a prison for the present.”
“To love is to undress our names.”
“Light is time thinking about itself.”
“To love is to battle, to open doors, to cease to be a ghost with a number forever in chains, forever condemned by a faceless master; the world changes if two look at each other and see.”
“Beyond myself, somewhere, I wait for my arrival.”

This Date in Art History: Died 31 March 2017 – James Rosenquist, an American painter who worked in the pop art genre.

Below – “House of Fire”; “Cold Light”; “Spinning Faces in Space”;
Untitled; “Mirage Morning”; “Silver Skies.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 31 March 1914 – Octavio Paz, a Mexican poet and recipient of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature: Part II of II.

“No More Cliches”
by Octavio Paz

Beautiful face
That like a daisy opens its petals to the sun
So do you
Open your face to me as I turn the page.

Enchanting smile
Any man would be under your spell,
Oh, beauty of a magazine.

How many poems have been written to you?
How many Dantes have written to you, Beatrice?
To your obsessive illusion
To you manufacture fantasy.

But today I won’t make one more Cliché
And write this poem to you.
No, no more clichés.

This poem is dedicated to those women
Whose beauty is in their charm,
In their intelligence,
In their character,
Not on their fabricated looks.

This poem is to you women,
That like a Shahrazade wake up
Everyday with a new story to tell,
A story that sings for change
That hopes for battles:
Battles for the love of the united flesh
Battles for passions aroused by a new day
Battle for the neglected rights
Or just battles to survive one more night.

Yes, to you women in a world of pain
To you, bright star in this ever-spending universe
To you, fighter of a thousand-and-one fights
To you, friend of my heart.

From now on, my head won’t look down to a magazine
Rather, it will contemplate the night
And its bright stars,
And so, no more clichés.

Below – Renee Spierdijk: “Daniella”

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