Monet vs. Banksy

27 October 2008

Both are simply amazing.  I will leave you with an (epic) example of the connections Kenotron makes, that of which parallel the sentiments expressed by Wolftron:

Evelyn Toynton on Sebald in the April issue of Harper’s:

At one point Sebald says to Eleanor Wachtel:

There is a great deal of mental anguish in the world, and some of it we see and some of it we try to deal with… But people usually suffer in silence or in privacy. And certainly when it’s a question of mental anguish, not all of it, only very little of it is ever revealed. We live, as it were, unaware; those of us who are spared this live unaware of the fact that there are these huge mental asylums everywhere and that there is a fluctuating part of the population which is forever wandering through them.

This reminds me of another nineteenth-century novelist, an English one this time. In Middlemarch, George Eliot writes: “That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.” It might be said of Sebald that he listened, as closely as anyone could, to that roar. The great achievement of his work is that he makes it audible to his readers while still honoring the silence.

It reminds me, too, of Conrad: “we live, as we dream — alone.”

From John Lahr’s masterful profile of Harold Pinter in the last 2007 issue of The New Yorker:

Pinter’s plays, on the other hand, offered no exhortations, no admonitions, no solutions, no common ground among people. “I think there’s a shared common ground all right, but that it’s more like a quicksand,” he wrote. “We are faced with the immense difficulty, if not the impossibility, of verifying the past. I don’t mean merely years ago, but yesterday, this morning. What took place, what was the nature of what took place, what happened?” Pinter’s plays reenact this difficulty of knowing. “Meaning which is resolved, parceled, labeled and ready for export is dead … and meaningless.”


20 October 2008

There exists a certain fear of definition, of specificity, in the explanation of myself.  I find that I always seek the final answer in the fastest possible route and desire for this answer to be all-encompassing and everything in one clean, unalterable blow.  I find that the product becomes the focal point: the most realistic bottle or cheek I can create with impure carbon, cellulose pulp, and synthetic rubber; the perfect rendition of Tcherepnin’s bagatelles and Bach’s inventions; the solution carefully placed inside a rectangular box at the end of question number twenty-three (and the previous twenty-two).  When the point of (inevitable) dissatisfaction descends upon the doofisity of a person who subjects themselves to live in this way (i.e.: me), the lack of adequate and immediate answers overwhelms the doofus to tear herself away entirely.  After the cycle of self-laceration ends, I come back scuffling on my hands and knees only to find that insanity sustains itself: the same actions are repeated with expectations of different results– the focal point fails to change; I keep on trying to integrate by parts when partial fractions will more than suffice.

This takes me to the very purpose of this blog: to collect the scraps that comprise the spirit of how and why I do the things I do.  Focus on the long and difficult (though enjoyable and certainly nonlinear) process brings about the most fulfilling of satisfactions.  Don’t be afraid to shift the focal point to the left by adding to x inside the parentheses: enjoy the concentration in making distinctive decisions about the relationship between the light and shadows (don’t be afraid to sacrifice anatomical detail); revel in the slight soreness of the fingers after hours of practicing and playing measures 115-130 hundreds of times; carry with you the content between the question and the rectangle containing the final answer that represents your understanding.  I do not want to reduce myself to one final absolute explanation but instead be many infinite and continuous.  The purpose of this blog is to dissipate the fear of definition, of specificity.  This fear is an effect of one cause: the focus on answer and not process; asking and answering what instead of why.  The same way drawing is a collection of decisions and general impressions, playing music a collection of the miscibility of technical skill and feeling, and taking integrals a collection of a series of logical steps– all of which intermingle in an exhaustive but pleasurable and satisfying process– this blog is a collection of many definitions and specifics of myself and the interaction of these scraps.  It is the context that surrounds me inside the passage in which I perch.