Monday, September 18, 2017

Books, Art, etc.

I long ago fell out of the habit of posting my book reviews here, but I just took a notion to link to some recent ones and accompany them with a little vaguely related art I like. (You'll find some links amongst the images, too.) Cheers.

Franz Marc, The Fox 1913

Bruno Liljefors (1860-1939), Fox and Black Grouse


John Biggers, Shotgun, Third Ward #1, 1966

Yoshey Horishito, cover art for The Great Gatsby, 2014

*I found this painting by LWW posted all over the web, but the only title I found attributed to it was "self portrait," and that strikes me as doubtful. If anyone knows the subject of the painting, please tell me.


Joseph Wright of Derby, Virgil's Tomb by Moonlight with Silius Italicus Declaiming, 1779

Friday, September 1, 2017

"We are solitary"

We are solitary. We can delude ourselves about this and act as if it were not true. That is all. But how much better it is to recognize that we are alone; yes, even to begin from this realization. It will, of course, make us dizzy; for all points that our eyes used to rest on are taken away from us, there is no longer anything near us, and everything far away is infinitely far. A man taken out of his room and, almost without preparation or transition, placed on the heights of a great mountain range, would feel something like that: an unequalled insecurity, an abandonment to the nameless, would almost annihilate him. He would feel he was falling or think he was being catapulted out into space or exploded into a thousand pieces: what a colossal lie his brain would have to invent in order to catch up with and explain the situation of his senses. That is how all distances, all measures, change for the person who becomes solitary; many of these changes occur suddenly and then, as with the man on the mountaintop, unusual fantasies and strange feelings arise, which seem to grow out beyond all that is bearable. But it is necessary for us to experience that too. We must accept our reality as vastly as we possibly can; everything, even the unprecedented, must be possible within it. This is in the end the only kind of courage that is required of us: the courage to face the strangest, most unusual, most inexplicable experiences that can meet us. 

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet 

Nu, Jean Metzinger, 1911