Thursday, September 1, 2011

Behind the Seen


Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes
پشت مُشت های رندان

Joseph Schillinger (Sep. 1, 1895 - 1943): Green Squares (from series, The Mathematical Basis of the Arts), ca. 1934 - tempera on paperboard (Smithsonian)

Joseph Dankowski (Sep. 1, 1932 - 2010): Untitled (Water, Paper, Curb), 1971 - gelatin silver print (Smithsonian)

Blaise Cendrars - Swiss itinerant poet: Sep. 1, 1887 - 1961…
There goes another year in which I haven’t thought about You
Since I wrote my penultimate poem Easter
My life has changed so much
But I’m the same as ever
I still want to become a painter
Here are the pictures that I’ve done displayed here on the walls this evening.
They reveal to me strange perspectives into myself that make me think of You.
See what I’ve unearthed
My paintings make me uneasy
I’m too passionate
Everything is tinted orange.
I’ve passed a sad day thinking about my friends
And reading my diary
A life crucified in this journal that I hold at arm’s length.
Like a crashing aeroplane
That’s me.
A serial
No matter how much you try to stay silent
Sometimes you have to cry out
I’m the other way
Too sensitive
September 1, 1875 - birthday of Edgar Rice Burroughs (d. 1950), creator of Tarzan and literally dozens of other fantastic characters and worlds: science fiction, adventure and other pulp genres…

Allen Jones (b. Sep. 1, 1937): Pour Les Levres, from the portfolio 11 Pop Artists, Volume II, 1965 - serigraph (Smithsonian)


Every year we honor the birthday of Romare Bearden, African-American artist and eminent collagist - Sept. 2, 1911 - 1988…
Photo of Romare outside The Apollo, c. 1950
Romare Bearden: Blue Shade, 1972 - collage

Romare Bearden: The Fall of Troy, 1977 - mixed media collage on masonite

Genius hippie film director, Hal Ashby: Sept. 2, 1929 –1988…
Works: Harold and Maude, 1971; Shampoo, 1975; Bound for Glory, 1976; Coming Home, 1978; Being There, 1979
Photo of Ashby directing Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude, 1971

Ruth Orkin, fantastic New York photographer: Sep. 3, 1921 - 1985…

One of Ruth Orkin’s portraits of Leonard Bernstein:
Bernstein Playing Piano, 1947

Mist Over the Sheep Meadow, NYC, 1971
From Ruth Orkin’s book: A World Through My Window, 1978

From Ruth Orkin’s book:
A World Through My Window, 1978
Ruth Orkin: Shoeshine Boy, Getting Paid, 1948


Joseph Wright of Derby (Sept. 3., 1734 - 1797): Vesuvius from Posíllipo, c. 1788 - oil on canvas (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA)

Joseph Wright of Derby: The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers Stone, 1771 - oil on canvas (Derby Museum and Art Gallery)

e. e. cummings, poet - died from a stroke, aged 67, on this day in 1962…
when god lets my body be
from each brave eye shall sprout a tree
fruit that dangles there

from the purpled world will dance upon
between my lips which did sing

a rose shall beget the spring
that maidens whom passion wastes

will lay between their little breasts
my strong fingers beneath the snow

into strenuous birds shall go
my love walking in the grass

their wings will touch with her face
and all the while shall my heart be
with the bulge and nuzzle of the sea

Antonin Artaud, French playwright, actor and theorist of the theatre: (September 4, 1896 – 1948) - one of the great creative madmen of the 20th C.
Photo: Man Ray, 1926

Antonin Artaud and Cécile Brusson in The Monk by Matthew ‘Monk’ Lewis…

Older, wiser, madder Artaud…
There is in every madman
a misunderstood genius
whose idea
shining in his head
frightened people
and for whom delirium was the only solution
to the strangulation
that life had prepared for him.
(Photo: George Pastier)

Oskar Schlemmer (September 4, 1888 – 1943) was a German painter, sculptor, designer and choreographer associated with the Bauhaus school.

Daisy Spies as a dancer in Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet, 1926

Oscar Schlemmer: Frauentreppe, 1925 - oil on canvas (Kunstmuseum Basel)

Richard Wright (Sept. 4, 1908 – 1960) was the author of the 1940 novel Native Son which broke new ground for African-American literature…
Photo: Bernie Aumuller

Richard Wright: Bandung, 1955

Richard Wright himself possessed a considerable talent as a photographer, as evidenced by The Beinecke Library’s large collection of photographs taken by Wright in Ghana, during his 1953 trip there…
Richard Wright: Children in Ghana, 1953

Richard Wright w. his novel The Outsider, 1953
Via The Beinecke

Richard Wright acting in the role of Bigger Thomas (w. Gloria Madison as Bessie) in the film of his own novel, Native Son, 1951
Photo: Gisele Freund, via The Beinecke

German film director Werner Herzog is 69 today, Sept. 5…
Herzog is known for directing films about questing souls with impossible projects, shot under exacting circumstances…

Jewish-Hungarian author Arthur Koestler, who later became a British subject was born September 5, 1905 (d. 1983).
Koestler was proficient in math, philosophy, history and psychology; spoke several languges and wrote major works in 3 of them: Hungarian, German and English…
German actor Max Schreck (Sep. 5, 1879 - 1936) is famous for his star turn in Murnau’s Expressionist masterpiece & vampire classic Nosferatu (1922)…

Robert Pirsig, known as the author of the cult book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974), is 83 today!
From ZAMM: A rush of wind comes furiously now, down from the mountaintop. “The ancient Greeks,” I say, “who were the inventors of classical reason, knew better than to use it exclusively to foretell the future. They listened to the wind and predicted the future from that. That sounds insane now. But why should the inventors of reason sound insane?”
Above: Photo from the road trip that Pirsig took with his family in 1968, and which got permutated into the novel - it’s Pirsig on the right, holding his boy Chris together with his friend John Sutherland…

Brigid Berlin, closest friend of Warhol - 72 today (funny that we celebrated her 73rd b-day last year..!)
Photo: Brigid, Candy, Andy & Ultraviolet (Brigid with her usual wardrobe malfunction…)

Frederick Sommer (Sep. 7, 1905 – 1999) was an artist born in Italy and raised in Brazil. From 1931 he began experimenting with photography…
Above: Fureurs, 1946
Frederick Sommer: Lee Nevin with Violin, 1963 - Vintage silver print

Edith Sitwell was born Sep. 7, 1887 (d. 1964). She was a full-time Bohemian, muse, poet and critic…
“I am not an eccentric. It’s just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish.” — E.S.

Siegfried Sassoon (Sep. 8, 1886 - 1967) - English poet and decorated war hero, turned pacifist after seeing the horror, the horror…
Photo: Howard Coster, 1930 - half-plate film negative (NPG, London)
One of the early Nobel Literature Laureates (1904) - Frédéric Mistral, Occitan poet: Sep. 8, 1830 - 1914

The fantastically gifted and versatile actor Peter Sellers (Sep. 8, 1925 . 1980) excelled in comic parts such as Inspector Cluseau in the Pink Panther films, but also played with chilling intensity in dramatic parts for directors such as Stanley Kubrick (Lolita, Dr. Strangelove)…

Classic Pink Panther


Merdre! Can’t find a good, new photo of Alfred Jarry (Sep. 8., 1873 - 1907 (tuberculosis)) - creator of King Ubu and inventor of the pseudoscience of ‘Pataphysics (“the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments”)…
So, we’ll go with his poster for the opening night of Ubu Roi, 1896.

Sol LeWitt (Sep. 9, 1928 - 2007): Wavy Brushstrokes Superimposed #3, 1995 - hand-drawn photo transfer with aquatint on paper (Smithsonian)

Matt Klett: Beneath the Great Arch, near Monticello, Utah, 6/21/82 - gelatin silver print (Lisa Sette Gallery)

Matt Klett: Balancing Rocks: Road to Lee’s Ferry, Marble Canyon, 5/10/86 - three gelatin silver prints (Lisa Sette Gallery)
Matt Klett: Ocotillo in Moonlight, along the Camino del Diablo, 1993 - gelatin silver print (Lisa Sette Gallery)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French artist - died on this day in 1901, aged 36, from complications due to alcoholism and syphilis…
Photo of Lautrec at work, 1890

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec: The Kiss, 1893 (Private Collection)

Stéphane Mallarmé, French symbolist poet - died on this day in 1898 from a series of laryngeal spasms that suffocated him…

What silk of time’s sweet balm
Where the Chimera tires himself
Is worth the coils and natural cloud
You tend before the mirror’s calm?

The blanks of meditating flags
Stand high along our avenue:
But I’ve your naked tresses too
To bury there my contented eyes.

No! The mouth cannot be sure
Of tasting anything in its bite
Unless your princely lover cares

In that mighty brush of hair
To breathe out, like a diamond,
The cry of Glory stifled there.

Italian poet Cesare Pavese: Sep. 9, 1908 - 1950 (suicide by barbiturates)…
Cesare Pavese: Alter Ego
From morning till evening he saw the tattoo
on his silky chest: a russet woman,
lying concealed in the field of hair. Beneath there was
sometimes chaos, she leapt up suddenly.
The day passed in cursing and silence.
If the woman were no tattoo but
clung alive to his hairy chest, he’d
cry out more loudly in the little cell.

Wide-eyed, he lay silently stretched on the bed.
A deep sealike sigh swelled
the big solid bones in his body: he lay
as on a boat-deck. He rested heavily on the bed
like someone who on waking might jump up.
His body, salted with spray, poured out
sweat full of sunshine. The little cell
was not big enough for a single one of his glances.
His hands showed he was thinking of the woman.

The great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy - Sep. 8, 1828 - 1910…
Works include War and Peace and Anna Karenina as well as numerous other novels and novellas…
“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” — Leo Tolstoy

American poet, philosopher and film-maker H.D. (Hilda Doolittle): Sep. 10, 1886 - 1961…
H.D.’s increasingly female-centred poetry started out as inspired by Ezra Pound and the Imagist group’s aesthetics, but H.D. developed her own subject matter and formal language - largely to accomodate her explorations of bisexual and lesbian love relations, pacifism, psychological trauma, etc.
Photo: Man Ray, Paris, 1922
Evening - by H. D.

The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower—
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
grow faint—
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,
but shadows dart
from the cornel-roots—
black creeps from root to root,
each leaf
cuts another leaf on the grass,
shadow seeks shadow,
then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.
(Photo via The Beinecke, c. 1916)

H.D. acting in the film Borderline (1930), which featured H.D. and Paul Robeson in the lead roles. The film was created by The POOL Group which consisted of H.D.’s male lover, Kenneth Macpherson, and her lesbian partner, Bryher, and H.D. herself…

H.D.: Notes on Thought and Vision, first item… (1919)

H.D. was also a patient of Sigmund Freud, undergoing analysis with him in Vienna in the 1930s in large part to help her work through her feeling of loss in the aftermath of WWI… She published the correspondence between her and Freud in the volume Tribute to Freud (1956)…
Above: Freud in his studio with his chow-chow, Jofi

French thinker Georges Bataille: Sep. 10, 1897 - 1962…
A theorist of eroticism, deviance and the abjectal, Bataille began his career as a writer and philosopher as an adherent of Surrealism, but soon parted ways with Breton. Bataille also wrote erotic fiction:
“I was not even satisfied with the usual debauchery, because the only thing it dirties is debauchery itself, while, in some way or other, anything sublime and perfectly pure is left intact by it. My kind of debauchery soils not only my body and my thoughts, but also anything I may conceive in its course, that is to say, the vast starry universe, which merely serves as a backdrop.” — Georges Bataille (Story of the Eye)


Charles Sanders Peirce - the American philosopher, logician and semiotician: Sept. 10, 1839 - 1914…
Peirce’s theory of the sign as being either iconic, indexical or symbolic is still greatly useful in the analysis of texts and images and other semiotic objects…
“Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign” — C.S. Peirce

Brian De Palma, American Neo-Noir film director is 71 today…
Highlights: Obsession and Carrie (both 1976), Scarface (1983), The Untouchables (1986)…

D.H. Lawrence, the great English novelist and short story writer: Sep. 11, 1885 - 1930…
“All that we know is nothing, we are merely crammed wastepaper baskets, unless we are in touch with that which laughs at all our knowing.”

Musicologist, composer, critic and Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor W. Adorno (Sep. 11, 1903 - 1969)…
Adorno’s famous post-WWII soundbite ‘To still write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric’ is of course coloured by the bitter experiences of these years. Adorno later retracted his dictum, admiting that traumatic experience had as much right to expression after the Holocaust as before - if not more…

Ben Shahn picked up the art of photography from Walker Evans…

Above - one of the shots Shahn took during a two- or three-month trip through the South and Midwest in the fall of 1935…

Ben Shahn: …and Know the Gestures with which the Little Flowers open in the Morning, from the Rilke Portfolio, “For the Sake of a Single Verse”, 1968 - color lithograph on paper (Smithsonian)

Louis MacNeice (Sept. 12, 1907 - 1963), poet - born in Ireland but spent most of his life in England: Oxford, Birmingham, London…


Louis MacNeise: Sunday Morning

Down the road someone is practising scales,
The notes like little fishes vanish with a wink of tails,
Man’s heart expands to tinker with his car
For this is Sunday morning, Fate’s great bazaar;
Regard these means as ends, concentrate on this Now,

And you may grow to music or drive beyond Hindhead anyhow,
Take corners on two wheels until you go so fast
That you can clutch a fringe or two of the windy past,
That you can abstract this day and make it to the week of time
A small eternity, a sonnet self-contained in rhyme.

But listen, up the road, something gulps, the church spire
Open its eight bells out, skulls’ mouths which will not tire
To tell how there is no music or movement which secures
Escape from the weekday time. Which deadens and endures.

Stanislaw Lem, Polish science fiction writer and critic was born Sep. 12, 1921 (d. 2006). Lem has been translated into English and 40 other languages, and his novels and stories have also supplied material for films such as Solaris (whether by Tarkovsky or by Soderbergh)…

“We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don’t know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can’t accept it for what it is.” — Stanisław Lem (Solaris)


Michael Ondaatje, important Sri Lanka-born Canadian novelist and poet, is 68 today. His main success was The English Patient, 1992…


Speaking to You (From Rock Bottom)

Speaking to you
this hour
these days when
I have lost the feather of poetry
and the rains
of separation
surround us tock
tock like Go tablets

Everyone has learned
to move carefully

‘Dancing’ ‘laughing’ ‘bad taste’
is a memory
a tableau behind trees of law

In the midst of love for you
my wife’s suffering
anger in every direction
and the children wise
as tough shrubs
but they are not tough
—so I fear
how anything can grow from this

all the wise blood
poured from little cuts
down into the sink

this hour it is not
your body I want
but your quiet company

(Photo: Chris Felver)


Édouard Boubat - Sep. 13, 1923 – 1999 - a well known French art photographer, born in Montmartre, Paris…

Self-portrait w. his muse and first wife, Lella

Édouard Boubat: Paris, May 1968

Édouard Boubat: Lella sitting on the grass, 1946

Jacqueline Bisset, English actress - b. Sep. 13, 1944

Photo by unknown photographer, 1967 - C-type colour print (NPG, London)


American author Sherwood Anderson, often regarded as one of the lesser prose modernists: Sep. 13, 1876 - 1941…

“You must try to forget all you have learned,” said the old man. “You must begin to dream. From this time on you must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices.” — Sherwood Anderson (Winesburg, Ohio)

Photo: Carl Van Vechten, November 1933


Roald Dahl (Sep. 13, 1916 - 1990) - spy and author, mostly in the light genres of mystery and imagination…

“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.” - R.D.


French-born actress Claudette Colbert - Sep. 13, 1903 - 1996 - came with her family to the US at age 3. She became a major Broadway star in the 1920s and went to Hollywood when the talkies began…

Still from Cleopatra, 1934


Michel Butor, French new wave writer is 85 today…

Butor, along w. Robbe-Grillet, ‘invented’ the Nouveau Roman in the 1950s as a form of highly self-conscious metafiction.

“Every word written is a victory against Death.” ― Michel Butor

Photo: Renate von Mangold, 1989


Kate Millett, controversial feminist, is 77 today. Author of Sexual Politics (1970) - a pioneering critique of patriarchy in Western literature and thinking…

“To love is simply to allow another to be, live, grow, expand, become. An appreciation that demands and expects nothing in return.” — Kate Millett (Sita)

Photo: Robert Giard


Rosalie Gwathmey (Sep. 15, 1908 - 2001): Paris, France, 1949 - silver print on paper (Smithsonian)

Todd Webb (Sep. 15, 1905 - 2000): At the Battery, New York, 1946 - gelatin silver print on paper (Smithsonian)

Todd Webb: Café Select, Champs-Élysées, 1949 - gelatin silver print (Smithsonian)

Todd Webb: Left Bank, Paris (Baudelaire Statue), 1948 - gelatin silver print (Smithsonian)

Swedish Modernist master poet, Gunnar Ekelöf: Sep. 15, 1907 - 1968…

Ekelöf flirted with surrealism in his first poetry collections in the 1930s and translated much French poetry. Later he took a turn in a more Romantic direction and found a greater audience… His last works (a 1960s trilogy of collections) were coloured by Oriental mysticism and used a prophetic idiom.


Gunnar Ekelöf: A poem from Partitur

A bowl of eyes
I leave to autumn
Yes, a bowl full
of the unseen
For I have been granted
to see

The faces of the dead and the living
Human insufficiency
and the one thing needed
But of that
I am forbidden
to speak

I stand in Epicurus’ garden
There the laurel is in bloom
And the high gods
are endlessly remote


Jean Renoir (Sep. 15, 1894 - 1979), son of great painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, was a filmmaker, writer and actor - best known for The Great Illusion (La Grande Illusion, 1937)

As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s - living a transatlantic life for the greater part of his career, directing films in both France and the US.

Photo: Richard Avedon


Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie (Sep. 15, 1890 - 1976) has sold approx. 4 billion copies of her novels - so in theory two out of every three inhabitants of planet Earth could own their own private Miss Marple or Poirot mystery…

“Women can accept the fact that a man is a rotter, a swindler, a drug taker, a confirmed liar, and a general swine, without batting an eyelash, and without its impairing their affection for the brute in the least. Women are wonderful realists.” ― Agatha Christie, Murder in Mesopotamia

Photo: Godfrey Argent, February 1969 - bromide print (NPG, London)


Fay Wray - American actress: Sep. 15, 1907 - 2004…

Celebrating Pierre Gassmann (Sep. 15, 1913 - 2004), the excellent printer whose work allows us to still appreciate the photos of Man Ray…

Above - Man Ray: Joan Miro, 1930 (printed after 1960) - silver print on paper (Smithsonian)

James Fenimore Cooper (Sep. 15, 1789 - 1851), American author whose most famous work, Last of the Mohicans (1826), became one of the most widely read American novels of the nineteenth century…

“Should we distrust the man because his manners are not our manners, and that his skin is dark?” - James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans

Photo: Matthew Brady, 1850


Peter Falk (Sep. 16, 1927 - 2011) was a fine actor, and once upon a time, long before Columbo, he looked like this…


Hans/Jean Arp (Sep. 16, 1886 - 1966) German-French, or Alsatian, sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper…

Above: Aquatic, 1953 - marble (Walker Art Center)

Jean Arp: The Domestic Stones (A Fragment)

The feet of morning the feet of noon and the feet of evening walk ceaselessly round pickled buttocks on the other hand the feet of midnight remain motionless in their echo-woven baskets

consequently the lion is a diamond

on the sofas made of bread
are seated the dressed and the undressed
the undressed hold leaden swallows between their toes
the dressed hold leaden nests between their fingers
at all hours the undressed get dressed again
and the dressed get undressed
and exchange the leaden swallows
for the leaden nests

consequently the tail is an umbrella

a mouth opens within another mouth
and within this mouth another mouth
and within this mouth another mouth
and so on without end
it is a sad perspective
which adds an I-don’t-know-what
to another I-don’t-know-what

consequently the grasshopper is a column

the pianos with heads and tails
place pianos with heads and tails
on their heads and their tails

consequently the tongue is a chair


Above: Composition, 1925


Lauren Bacall, still among the living, at 87..!

Lauren Bacall in Dark Passage, 1947

The one and only Finnish Nobel Literature Laureate is Frans Emil Sillanpää: Sep. 16, 1888 - 1964…

Photo: F.E. Sillanpää receives news about his Nobel prize, 1939

PS: He received the Nobel “for his deep understanding of his country’s peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature…”


Ken Kesey, counterculture hero and author of One Flew Over the Cockoo’s Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion: Sep. 17, 1935 - 2001…

Kesey about his peers, past and present:

“Kerouac had lots of class—stumbling drunk in the end, but read those last books. He never blames anybody else; he always blames himself. If there is a bad guy, it’s poor old drunk Jack, stumbling around. You never hear him railing at the government or railing at this or that. He likes trains, people, bums, cars. He just paints a wonderful picture of Norman Rockwell’s world. Of course it’s Norman Rockwell on a lot of dope.

Jack London had class. He wasn’t a very good writer, but he had tremendous class. And nobody had more class than Melville. To do what he did in Moby-Dick, to tell a story and to risk putting so much material into it. If you could weigh a book, I don’t know any book that would be more full. It’s more full than War and Peace or The Brothers Karamazov. It has Saint Elmo’s fire, and great whales, and grand arguments between heroes, and secret passions. It risks wandering far, far out into the globe. Melville took on the whole world, saw it all in a vision, and risked everything in prose that sings. You have a sense from the very beginning that Melville had a vision in his mind of what this book was going to look like, and he trusted himself to follow it through all the way.” — “Ken Kesey, The Art of Fiction No. 136” by Robert Faggen, in The Paris Review No. 130 (Spring 1994)

Photo: Still from the film Magic Trip


Birthday also of Mrs. Robinson - a.k.a. Anne Bancroft (Sep. 17, 1931 - 2005), perhaps best known for her turn as the voracious seductress of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate

Gabor Peterdi (Sep. 17, 1915 - 2002): Desert I, 1961 - soft and hard ground etching, engraving and aquatint with three colors (Smithsonian)

Doctor-poet William Carlos Williams, Sep. 17, 1883 - 1963…

Williams was friends with members of the avant-garde such as Man Ray, Francis Picabia, and Marcel Duchamp. In 1915 Williams began to be associated with a group of New York artists and writers known as “The Others.” Founded by the poet Alfred Kreymborg and by Man Ray, this group included Walter Conrad Arensberg, Wallace Stevens, Mina Loy, Marianne Moore and Duchamp. Through these involvements Williams got to know the Dadaist movement, which may explain the influence on his earlier poems of Dadaist and Surrealist principles. His involvement with The Others made Williams a key member of the early modernist movement in America…

Williams’ magnum opus is Paterson, a poem composed of five books and a fragment of a sixth book. The five books of Paterson were published separately in 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, and 1958, and the entire work was published as a unit in 1963. This book is considered to be Williams’ epic attempt at a rewritten American history.

While writing the poem, Williams struggled to find ways to incorporate the real world facts obtained through his research into the poem. On a worksheet for the poem, he wrote, “Make it factual (as the Life is factual-almost casual-always sensual-usually visual: related to thought)”. Williams considered, but ultimately rejected, putting footnotes into the work describing some facts. Still, the style of the poem allowed for many opportunities to incorporate ‘factual information’, including portions of his own correspondence with the American poet Marcia Nardi and fellow New Jersey poet Allen Ginsberg…

Photo of Williams at the 92th Street Y, 1954

William Carlos Williams goes to Paris - excerpt from “Père Sebastian Rasles”, In the American Grain (1956)

William Carlos Williams: It Is A Living Coral

a trouble

archaically fettered
to produce

E Pluribus Unum an

in the sea a Capitol

by Armed Liberty—

sculpture straddled by
a dome

eight million pounds
in weight

iron plates constructed
to expand

and contract with

of temperature
the folding

and unfolding of a lily.
And Congress

authorized and the

was entrusted was

a sculptured group

in Roman mail placing
a wreath

of laurel on the brow
of Washington

Commerce Minerva

Jefferson John Hancock

the table Mrs. Motte

Indian burning arrows
to Generals

Marion and Lee to fire
her mansion

and dislodge the British—
this scaleless

jumble is superb

and accurate in its

of the thing they
would destroy—

Baptism of Poca-

with a little card

under it to tell
the persons

in the picture.

It climbs

it runs, it is Geo.

of Idaho it wears
a beard

it fetches naked

women from a river

Varnum Henderson

Willard’s corset is

Banks White Columbus

in bed men felling trees

The Hon. Michael
C. Kerr

onetime Speaker of
the House

of Representatives

in a rowboat on Lake

changing ships the

among the wreckage
sickly green

John Chapman’s Baptism of Pocahontas at Jamestown, Virginia, completed in 1840, hangs in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol - WCW’s “Living Coral”…

Oscar Dominguez: The Freud card from the Tarot de Marseilles deck designed by the Surrealists waiting for passage out of occupied France in the winter of 1940/1…

“In 1939 Breton was mobilized as a doctor, and attended a school for pilots in Poitiers. Peret had joined his regiment, but would soon be imprisoned in Rennes for anti-military Trotskyist propaganda within the army … At the time of the armistice, and exodus, Ernst and Bellmer being German were taken to Le Camp des Milles. The other Surrealists met at the Air-Bel residence near Marseilles (in the “Free Zone”) after their discharge. They would remain housed there during the winter of 1940-41, taken care of by an American committee for aid to intellectuals, the Emergency Rescue Committee. Breton, Char, Dominguez, Brauner, Ernst, Herold, Lam, Masson, Peret would kill time by playing cards — Tarot, “the Game of Marseille.” — From Surrealism by Rene Passeron

Freud is The Mage (Jack) of Stars in this deck - The Sirène (Queen) and Génie (King) of the same suit of Dark Stars were Alice and Lautréamont respectively…



The ashes which are the cigar’s malady
imitate the concierges rushing down the stairs
after their broom that fell from the fifth floor
killed the gasman
that employee resembling a bug in a salad
The bird lies in wait for a bug and it’s the broom that got you gasman
Your wife’s hair will be white as sugar
and her ears will be unpaid bills
unpaid because you are dead
But why didn’t this gasman have feet shaped like a three
why didn’t he have the lucid look of a glovestore
why didn’t he have his mother’s dried-up breast hanging from his belly
why didn’t he have flies in the pockets of his jacket
He would have passed away damp and cold like a smashed porcelain vase
and his hands would have caressed the bars of his prison
But the sun in his pocket had put on its cap

—Benjamin Péret
translated by Keith Hollaman

(Photo: André Breton (R) chasing butterflies with Benjamin Péret (L) in St.-Cirq, c. 1959)

Tarot card (one of four) by Roberto Matta used as an illustration for André Breton’s book Arcane 17: Les Etoiles, 1945

(Source: Flickr / ajourneyroundmyskull)

Oscar Dominguez: The Freud card from the Tarot de Marseilles deck designed by the Surrealists waiting for passage out of occupied France in the winter of 1940/1…

“In 1939 Breton was mobilized as a doctor, and attended a school for pilots in Poitiers. Peret had joined his regiment, but would soon be imprisoned in Rennes for anti-military Trotskyist propaganda within the army … At the time of the armistice, and exodus, Ernst and Bellmer being German were taken to Le Camp des Milles. The other Surrealists met at the Air-Bel residence near Marseilles (in the “Free Zone”) after their discharge. They would remain housed there during the winter of 1940-41, taken care of by an American committee for aid to intellectuals, the Emergency Rescue Committee. Breton, Char, Dominguez, Brauner, Ernst, Herold, Lam, Masson, Peret would kill time by playing cards — Tarot, “the Game of Marseille.” — From Surrealism by Rene Passeron

Freud is The Mage (Jack) of Stars in this deck - The Sirène (Queen) and Génie (King) of the same suit of Dark Stars were Alice and Lautréamont respectively…



Today we celebrate Greta Garbo (Sep. 18, 1905 – 1990), the Swedish enigma - a hat-model made good she became one of the highest paid stars of the early talkies era, only to retire at age 36 in 1941, preferring to lead a secluded life in her N.Y. apartment…

First of today’s four close-ups: Still from Anna Christie, 1930


No comments: