Wandering in Woodacre – 30 January 2021

Contemporary Polish Art – Agata Wierzbicka

Below – “Summer Moved On 3”; “Summertime 4”; “Woman with the Cleaves”; “Summer Moved On 2”; “Fashion Illustration – Winter”; “Summer Moved On 1.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 30 January 1935 – Richard Brautigan, an American novelist, poet, short story writer, and author of “Trout Fishing in American” and “In Watermelon Sugar.”

Some quotes from the work of Richard Brautigan:

“Karma Repair Kit Items 1-4. 1.Get enough food to eat, and eat it. 2.Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there. 3.Reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself, and listen to it. 4.”
“Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.”
“All girls should have a poem
written for them even if
we have to turn this goddamn world
upside down to do it.”
“It’s strange how the simple things in life go on while we become more difficult.”
“Finding is losing something else. I think about, perhaps even mourn, what I lost to find this.”
“I had a good-talking candle last night in my bedroom. I was very tired but I wanted somebody to be with me, so I lit a candle and listened to its comfortable voice of light until I was asleep.
“All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds.”
“Like some kind of strange vacuum cleaner I tried to console him. I recited the same old litanies that you say to people when you try to help their broken hearts, but words can’t help at all. It’s just the sound of another human voice that makes the only difference. There’s nothing you’re ever going to say that’s going to make anybody happy when they’re feeling shitty about losing somebody that they love.”
“I’m haunted a little this evening by feelings that have no vocabulary and events that should be explained in dimensions of lint rather than words. Ive been examining half-scraps of my childhood. They are pieces of distant life that have no form or meaning. They are things that just happened like lint.”
“There are spiders living comfortably in my house while the wind howls outside. They aren’t bothering anybody. If I were a fly, I’d have second thoughts, but I’m not, so I don’t.”
“I didn’t know the full dimensions of forever, but I knew it was longer than waiting for Christmas to come.”
“For fear you will be alone you do so many things that aren’t you at all.”

Contemporary Turkish Art – Fikriye Kesti Unker

Below – “Girl in Striped Dress”; “After the Rain”; “I Love Green”; “On the Sofa”; “Housefly Which Hits the Window”; “Little Girl with Shadow.”


This Date in Intellectual History: Born 30 January 1912 – Barbara Tuchman, an American historian, author of “The Guns of August”, “Stilwell and the American Experience in China,” and “A Distant Mirror,” recipient of the National Book Award, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Barbara Tuchman:

“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.”
“Strong prejudices in an ill-formed mind are hazardous to government, and when combined with a position of power even more so.”
“Disaster is rarely as pervasive as it seems from recorded accounts. The fact of being on the record makes it appear continuous and ubiquitous whereas it is more likely to have been sporadic both in time and place. Besides, persistence of the normal is usually greater than the effect of the disturbance, as we know from our own times. After absorbing the news of today, one expects to face a world consisting entirely of strikes, crimes, power failures, broken water mains, stalled trains, school shutdowns, muggers, drug addicts, neo-Nazis, and rapists. The fact is that one can come home in the evening—on a lucky day—without having encountered more than one or two of these phenomena. This has led me to formulate Tuchman’s Law, as follows: ‘The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold’ (or any figure the reader would care to supply).”
“Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.”
“In America, where the electoral process is drowning in commercial techniques of fund-raising and image-making, we may have completed a circle back to a selection process as unconcerned with qualifications as that which made Darius King of Persia. … he whose horse was the first to neigh at sunrise should be King.”
“No economic activity was more irrepressible [in the 14th century] than the investment and lending at interest of money; it was the basis for the rise of the Western capitalist economy and the building of private fortunes-and it was based on the sin of usury.”
Business, like a jackal, trotted on the heels of war.”
“In the United States we have a society pervaded from top to bottom by contempt for the law.”
“Policy is formed by preconceptions, by long implanted biases. When information is relayed to policy-makers, they respond in terms of what is already inside their heads and consequently make policy less to fit the facts than to fit the notions and intentions formed out of the mental baggage that has accumulated in their minds since childhood.”
“A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests.”

Contemporary American Art – Felipe Echevarria

Below – “Brunette in Blue”; Untitled; “Shione in Stripes”; “Goth Kimono”; “Mina in Burgundy Robe”; “Zoya the Model”; “Violet Robe.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 30 January 1775 – Walter Savage Landor, an English poet and writer.

“Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher”
by Walter Savage Landor

I strove with none, for none was worth my strife:
Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art:
I warm’d both hands before the fire of Life;
It sinks; and I am ready to depart.

Below – Robert Pointer: “The Philosopher Speaks”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Robert Pointer: Part I of II

Below – “Osprey Landing”; “The Three Graces”; “I Remember The Feeling. My Hands In Your Hair”; “The Little Dipper”; “Artist and Model”; “The Lady of the Lake.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 January 1931 – Shirley Hazzard, an Australian-American novelist, short story writer, essayist, author of “The Transit of Venus” and “The Great Fire,” and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Shirley Hazzard:

“The tragedy is not that love doesn’t last. The tragedy is the love that lasts.”
“Americans’ great and secret fear is that America may turn out to be a phenomenon rather than a civilization.”
“There is balance in life, but not fairness.”
“When people say of their tragedies, ‘I don’t often think of it now,’ what they mean is it has entered permanently into their thoughts, and colors everything.”
“Poetry has been the longest pleasure of my life.”
“Marriage is like democracy – it doesn’t really work, but it’s all we’ve been able to come up with.”
“In the circle where I was raised, I knew of no one knowledgeable in the visual arts, no one who regularly attended musical performances, and only two adults other than my teachers who spoke without embarrassment of poetry and literature — both of these being women. As far as I can recall, I never heard a man refer to a good or a great book. I knew no one who had mastered, or even studied, another language from choice. And our articulate, conscious life proceeded without acknowledgement of the preceding civilisations which had produced it.”
“One doesn’t really profit from experience; one merely learns to predict the next mistake.”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Robert Pointer: Part II of II

Below – “Long Way Home”; “On the Dock”; “Euphrasia of Grey County”; “The Red Blanket 2”; “3 Crows”; “Lady of the Lake 2.”


A Poem for Today

“Green-Striped Melons”
by Jane Hirshfield

They lie
under stars in a field.
They lie under rain in a field.
Under sun.

Some people
are like this as well—
like a painting
hidden beneath another painting.

An unexpected weight
the sign of their ripeness.

Below – Sergey Levin: “Erotic Melons”

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