Sentient in San Francisco – 27 May 2020

Contemporary German Art – Simple – T

Below (photographs) – “Monument Valley”; “Girl with Ring”; “Play together”; “Waiting for the Winter”; “Piniata”; “J&T.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 May 1930 – John Barth, an American novelist, short story writer, author of “Chimera” and “Lost in the Funhouse,” and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of John Barth:

“Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.”
“Self knowledge is always bad news.”
“Choosing is existence. To the extent that you don’t choose, you don’t exist.”
“Though life’s tuition is always ruinous, inexorably we learn.”
“Like an ox-cart driver in monsoon season or the skipper of a grounded ship, one must sometimes go forward by going back.”
“The reader! You, dogged, uninsultable, print-oriented bastard, it’s you I’m addressing, who else, from inside this monstrous fiction. You’ve read me this far, then? Even this far? For what discreditable motive? How is it you don’t go to a movie, watch TV, stare at a wall, play tennis with a friend, make amorous advances to the person who comes to your mind when I speak of amorous advances? Can nothing surfeit, saturate you, turn you off? Where’s your shame?”
“He wishes he had never entered the funhouse. But he has. Then he wishes he were dead. But he’s not. Therefore he will construct funhouses for others and be their secret operator — though he would rather be among the lovers for whom funhouses are designed.”

Contemporary American Art – Suzanne Vaughn

Below – “Feels like Summer”; “Flower Field – Blue Sky Landscape”; “Shore Reflections”; “Incoming Tide – Blue Sky Landscape”; “Lush Grass – Blue Sky Landscape”; “Beach Glow – Blue Sky Landscape.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 May 1907 – Nicolas Calas, a Greek-American poet and critic.

“To Voyage beyond the Past*

by Nicolas Calas
translated by William Carlos Williams

To regain day again
Give it the image and the surprised dream
Love unfolds itself
Let us return forward toward the burst of new faces
And the words which carry efficacious gestures far beyond all commandment

Let us fix with a new precision the dramatic movement
Of boats without prow or sail
Vanquished or victor to bind it fast within flaming love

I have need of thy tears and to be unjust!

Day is no more than an accident wherein thine eyes appear
Monstrous hour without acts great with overthrown remembrances
Like this me of myself that another has seen
They have given it to me
Stranger to my shadow it remains chained to my steps
Like the pearly moon to the sea
And the veil to mourning
When the waiting shall be past
The light will raise itself to your eyes
Such as I am thou shalt see me no more not even in words
When fate lays down its most ill-omened cards

The rest is cruel!

Conquered or victor by love put to death
Ripped apart
By water, blood the thousand bursts of broken voices
That painful violence which has seized upon our hands
Shall sprinkle the hair of serpents
And of all ink of words cast toward the rear.

Below- Moussin Irjan: “Escape from the Past”

Contemporary Indian Art – Ananta Mandal

Below – “Horse in Motion II”; “Golden Desert II”; “Horse in Motion VI”; “Kolkata Monsoon”; “Equine Nude 36t”; “Bandra World Sea Link Evening.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 May 1912 – John Cheever, American novelist, short story writer, and two-time recipient of the National Book Award and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of John Cheever:

“Homesickness is . . . absolutely nothing. Fifty percent of the people in the world are homesick all the time. . . . You don’t really long for another country. You long for something in yourself that you don’t have, or haven’t been able to find.”
“A lonely man is a lonesome thing, a stone, a bone, a stick, a receptacle for Gilbey’s gin, a stooped figure sitting at the edge of a hotel bed, heaving copious sighs like the autumn wind.”
“It was a splendid summer morning and it seemed as if nothing could go wrong.”
“Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos… to celebrate a world that lies spread out around us like a bewildering and stupendous dream.”
“The deep joy we take in the company of people with whom we have just recently fallen in love is undisguisable.”
“Our country is the best country in the world. We are swimming in prosperity and our President is the best president in the world. We have larger apples and better cotton and faster and more beautiful machines. This makes us the greatest country in the world. Unemployment is a myth. Dissatisfaction is a fable. In preparatory school America is beautiful. It is the gem of the ocean and it is too bad. It is bad because people believe it all. Because they become indifferent. Because they marry and reproduce and vote and they know nothing.”
“To disguise nothing, to conceal nothing, to write about those things that are closest to our pain, our happiness; to write about our sexual clumsiness, the agonies of Tantalus, the depth of our discouragement-what we glimpse in our dreams-our despair. To write about the foolish agonies of anxiety, the refreshment of our strength when these are ended; to write about our painful search for self, jeopardized by a stranger in the post office, a half-seen face in a train window, to write about the continents and populations of our dreams, about love and death, good and evil, the end of the world.”
“I do not understand the capricious lewdness of the sleeping mind.”
“The constants that I look for are a love of light and a determination to trace some moral chain of being.”
“I have always been the lover – never the beloved – and I have spent much of my life waiting for trains, planes, boats, footsteps, doorbells, letters, telephones, snow, rain, thunder.”

Contemporary Austrian Art – Jolanda Richter

Below – “Surrender to life”; “And all darkness faded 2”; “Quietness”; “And all darkness faded 1”; “Into light and air may my love and grief melt away!”; “I could fancy all things around me, were nothing but I as yet 2.”

A Poem for Today

“At the Lake House”
by Jon Loomis

Wind and the sound of wind—
across the bay a chainsaw revs
and stalls. I’ve come here to write,

but instead I’ve been thinking
about my father, who, in his last year,
after his surgery, told my mother

he wasn’t sorry—that he’d cried
when the other woman left him,
that his time with her

had made him happier than anything
he’d ever done. And my mother,
who’d cooked and cleaned for him

all those years, cared for him
after his heart attack, could not
understand why he liked the other

woman more than her,
but he did. And she told me
that after he died she never went

to visit his grave—not once.
You think you know them,
these creatures robed

in your parents’ skins. Well,
you don’t. Any more than you know
what the pines want from the wind,

if the lake’s content with this pale
smear of sunset, if the loon calls
for its mate, or for another.

Below – Ivan Mykhaylyk: “lake house”

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