Wandering in Woodacre – 13 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 13 January 1956 – Lyonel Feininger, a German-American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Yellow Street II”; “Mystic River”; “Carnival in Arcueil”; “On the Bridge”; “Hopfgarten”; “Still Life with Can.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 13 January 1957 – A. E. Coppard, an English short story writer, poet, and author of “Dusky Ruth and Other Stories.”

Some quotes from the work of A. E. Coppard:

“There are men who love to gaze with the mind at things that can never be seen, feel at least the throb of a beauty that will never be known and hear over immense, bleak reaches the echo of that which is no celestial music but only their heart’s vain cries. ”
A high upland common was this moor, two miles from end to end, and full of furze and bracken. There were no trees and not a house, nothing but a line of telegraph poles following the road, sweeping with rigidity from north to south; nailed upon one of them a small scarlet notice to stonethrowers was prominent as a wound. On so high and wide a region as Shag Moor the wind always blew, or if it did not quite blow there was a cool activity in the air. The furze was always green and growing, and, taking no account of seasons, often golden. Here in summer solitude lounged and snoozed; at other times, as now, it shivered and looked sinister.”
“Blood is thicker than water, I know, but it’s unnatural stuff to drink so much of.”
“‘To analyze or assess a person’s failings or deficiencies,’ he declared to himself, ‘is useless, not because such blemishes are immovable, but because they affect the mass of beholders in diverse ways. Different minds perceive utterly variant figures in the same being.’”

Contemporary American Art – Stefanie Schneider

Below (photographs) – “Haley and the Birds (29 Palms, CA)”;
“Boccia V (Beachshoot)”; “Kelly (Beachshoot)”; “Leaving III (Sidewinder)”; “Rendering Memories (The Girl behind the White Picket Fence)”; “Lipstick (Sidewinder).”

This Date in Literary History: Died 13 January 1941 – James Joyce, an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, and author of “Dubliners,” “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” “Ulysses,” and “Finnegan’s Wake.”

Some quotes from the work of James Joyce:

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
“Your mind will give back to you exactly what you put into it.”
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present.”
“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.
“But we are living in a sceptical and, if I may use the phrase, a thought-tormented age: and sometimes I fear that this new generation, educated or hyper-educated as it is, will lack those qualities of humanity, of hospitality, of kindly humour which belonged to an older day.”
“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
“His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.”
“I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”
“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use — silence, exile, and cunning.”

Contemporary Nigerian Art – Segun Aiyesan

Below – “The Green Room”; “Submergence”; “Where are the Beautiful Ones 2”; “Body Tales”; “Waterside Neighbors 1”; “Untold Story.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 13 January 1957 – Lorrie Moore, an award-winning American short story writer and author of “The Collected Stories.”

Some quotes from the work of Lorrie Moore:

“For love to last, you had to have illusions or have no illusions at all. But you had to stick to one or the other. It was the switching back and forth that endangered things.”
“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.”
“She was not good on the phone. She needed the face, the pattern of eyes, nose, trembling mouth… People talking were meant to look at a face, the disastrous cupcake of it, the hide-and-seek of the heart dashing across. With a phone, you said words, but you never watched them go in. You saw them off at the airport but never knew whether there was anyone there to greet them when they got off the plane.”
“This is what happened in love. One of you cried a lot and then both of you grew sarcastic.”
“Basically, I realized I was living in that awful stage of life between twenty-six to and thirty-seven known as stupidity. It’s when you don’t know anything, not even as much as you did when you were younger, and you don’t even have a philosophy about all the things you don’t know, the way you did when you were twenty or would again when you were thirty-eight.”
“Your numbness is something perhaps you cannot help. It is what the world has done to you. But your coldness. That is what you do to the world.”
“The problem with a beautiful woman is that she makes everyone around her feel hopelessly masculine, which if you’re already male to begin with poses no particular problem. But if you’re anyone else, your whole sexual identity gets dragged into the principal’s office: ‘So what’s this I hear about you prancing around, masquerading as a woman?’ You are answerless. You are sitting on your hands. You are praying for your breasts to grow, your hair to perk up.”
“What little reality television I’ve seen seems to be about economic desperation. Like the marathon dancing of the Great Depression, which should give us pause. People willing to eat flies and worms for a sum that is less than the weekly paycheck of the show’s producer. I haven’t seen “reality television” that is other than this kind of painful, sadistic exploitation of fit young people looking for agents.”
“Her life her life had taken on the shape of a terrible mistake. She hadn’t been given the proper tools to make a real life with, she decided, that was it. She’d been given a can of gravy and a hair-brush and told, ‘There you go.’ She’d stood there for years, blinking and befuddled, brushing the can with the brush.”
“I tried not to think about my life. I did not have any good solid plans for it long-term – no bad plans either, no plans at all – and the lostness of that, compared with the clear ambitions of my friends (marriage, children, law school), sometimes shamed me. Other times in my mind I defended such a condition as morally and intellectually superior – my life was open and ready and free – but that did not make it less lonely.”
“Pleasantness was the machismo of the Midwest. There was something athletic about it. You flexed your face into a smile and let it hover there like the dare of a cat.”
“Usually she ordered a cup of coffee and a cup of tea, as well as a brownie, propping up her sadness with chocolate and caffeine so that it became an anxiety.”
“Personally I’ve never put much store by honesty- I mean how can you trust a word whose first letter you don’t even pronounce.”

Contemporary Greek Art – George Psaroudakis

Below – “my old bicycle”; “Deepest Impact”; “dancing under the water”; “tales of Greece”; “amusement park”; “Joy of colors”; “The Nude Series – III.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 13 January 1957 – Claudia Emerson, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

by Claudia Emerson

I think by now it is time for the second cutting.
I imagine the field, the one above the last

house we rented, has lain in convalescence
long enough. The hawk has taken back the air

above new grass, and the doe again can hide
her young. I can tell you now I crossed

that field, weeks before the first pass of the blade,
through grass and briars, fog — the night itself

to my thighs, my skirt pulled up that high.
I came to what had been our house and stood outside.

I saw her in it. She reminded me of me —
with her hair black and long as mine had been —

as she moved in and then away from the sharp
frame the window made of the darkness.

I confess that last house was the coldest
I kept. In it, I became formless as fog, crossing

the walls, formless as your breath as it rose
from your mouth to disappear in the air above you.

You see, aftermath is easier, opening
again the wound along its numb scar; it is the sentence

spoken the second time — truer, perhaps,
with the blunt edge of a practiced tongue.

Below – Marcel Garbi: “Only in silence and in darkness can it be heard and seen”

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