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Thursday, October 1, 2015

not doing it...

So how do most of us,  who don't manage to spend our mornings writing and then do even 1 13th of what Virginia Woolf did in the rest of her day, get around and along? since I am about to launch (well, after a few other thises and thats) into my SimplyWoolf book, it does sweep across my mind rather a lot...

I still love getting up in the wee hours to read something or other, and then rise, both of us, read the paper and have coffee (gave up the coffee maker Boyce's cousin bestowed on us: that kind you just put a little cup thing in and try to make it stronger than it wants to be and hotter than it can be, wheeled it down to the Housing Works place I take whatever we need to dispose of, books, books, books, etc., and then take a swim in the not so far off pool, always taking something to read in case all the lanes are full, etc. That is instead of writing, of course,  and then there's living.

And there's also meeting my seminar, so much fun, on mannerism to modernism, and all the art that goes with it, how superbly perceptive are the participants in the class, heavens above.
And two pieces came out in the TLS and I enjoyed doing those, on Linda Nochlin and on a book on Motherwell, and this weekend I get to read translations of Pierre Reverdy at an art gallery where a musician has composed something on trying to translate Reverdy, sounds like a nice turnabout...
then I leave for Kalamazoo to talk on the Modern Art Cookbook, and they will prepare things from it, now that is delightful,  why ever write anything else, you say to yourself?

Sunday, September 6, 2015


just to say to whomever gets this, not just that we are back in the city after the Vaucluse and Aspen (some lovely music, but goodness does it feel like Beverley Hills or something), and here I am so happily teaching in the fall, in French Ph.D. program: "Art and Text: Mannerism to Modernism" and then in the spring, in the English Ph.D. program "art and text: turns, shifts and bends" taking as a prelude Nicolas de Stael's "Bend in the road in the Vaucluse" which kicked off my talk in Portsmouth, England, this summer, and then in the fall of next year, in the Film Certificate program at the same delightful Graduate School of course, "Film and Modern Literature"  -- you know, Henry James and so on...
and that I am so glad to have 2 books coming out in Belgium this fall, one the translation in French of my "Glorious Eccentrics: Modernist Women painting and writing" with added chapters on Isadora and Kay Boyle, thanks to Anne Reynes-Delobel, who translated my seven chapters so I am translating into english her chapters, in case we can reprint the whole thing in English, and how interesting it is, not depressing, that it turns out I can't type more than 2 hours now without my fingers arthritically cramping, and that is for the first time,
like so delightfully some things are for the first time, not like Chapman's Homer or the first cuckoo in the spring or such, but all the same, sort of fun, and we went to the out of doors met performances on HD of Iolanthe and Bluebeard's Castle and then Romeo et Juliette at which all of New York must have been so we sat on the wall
and pretty soon I will think about my ebook contract for a SimplyWoolf, sounds like fun, off to somewhere just on the Hudson right now to not waste the sun

Sunday, August 16, 2015

after nochlin, pascal

After reviewing the wonderful Linda Nochlin Reader (women artists) and the Bernard Jacobson Motherwell: the Making of an American Giant for the TLS,  I didn't allow myself to write another of these blogs until I had at least finished my next try at my Blaise Pascal: Renaissance Lives, as I think  it will be announced... but it is far harder than any other Life, critical or illustrated or any other kind I had ever done-- not just because of history, but also because who knows what tale is correct, what interpretation more than biased...? Mine too, since I do remember reading the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola and being overcome by the way you get to envision all that: the pregnant Mary coming down the road and the rest.. I was taking a philosophy class at the Catholic Institute in Paris in 1952... so very very long ago, yet I feel it in my marrow now...

and of course then Pascal's hiding in his jacket his memorial that bore witness to his experience,  parchment folded in upon itself, so I ended on Dorothea Rockburne's Pascal construction and Jorie Graham's "Manteau de Pascal"
so the chapter on "thinking on thinking" takes much of the room -- will see if it works, this whole proejct, just sent it off two minutes ago

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Trimming and walking

So today the mistral is blowing, after the canicule, and Boyce is trimming the viines that stretch over our upstairs table, then we will take a walk,like right now. 

Monday, July 6, 2015


Reading the Linda Nochlin Reader: women artists has kept me happily occupied since we have been here -- except for a brief trip to Portsmouth about modernism  -- grand papers --and then an equally brief spate of days in Paris to see the Bonnard and contribute to a documentary on Dora Maar (on whom,  it appears, yet someone else is hoping to and planning to make a feature) and see my friend from always, Marie-Claire Dumas. That was Paris and now the Vaucluse in the it is good to have this review to do for the TLS of this thoroughly engaging series of essays, and also another book on Robert Motherwell to review for them. And, of course, seeing friends at night and in the day, like now, lunch with Connie Higginson and Leon Selig at the Chateau de Mazan, ancient dwelling of the Marquis de Sade, but we aren't planning to enchain ourselves or be enchained for, um, those delights. Nope, just friends. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

In the Cabanon, Vaucluse

Here in my cabanon, where I have hung out in the summers for, what, forty and over summers?? it is rather unlike New York in any season at all. Steps of stones gathered from here and there over the years, flagstones put down whenever I could afford it (you know, a book on Virginia Woolf, add a terrace, one on Henry James, add stones leading to the bathroom, when I finally had what you  might think of as that, and so on), and the light and the neighbors on the right, on the left, across the way, and up the hill. Magnificent, getting up in the morning, having our coffee  upstairs with our juices -- grapefruit for me, yes, pamplemousse rose, and for Boyce, orange juice, or then, and then, whichever, either our leftover superb boule from the grand boulangerie/patisserie down the hill, which we had for supper last night, by the way, with the lady in the garage (yes) next to the parking lot (good thing Boyce can drive and Does Not go to Sleep at the Wheel, which I have done 3 times, so try not to get next to the steering wheel, which somehow puts me to sleep deliciously until, well, not a good thing, once turned over completely, twice into trees), anyway, her just laid eggs from her chickens, usually given to her children, but today we purchased six of  them and promised NOT to use them in an omelet or any other waybut soft-boiled, which we did, with our fresh bread and demi-sel butter, and red wine from the Bedoin cave, oh heavens, what to say?
Right, stop there.
So then we can tomorrow drive to Carpentras, where the TRAIN ACTUALLY NOW GOES, after Avignon, and so then mosey around this town I so love, and maybe I can take the train to the TGV in Avignon to Paris for the Eurostar to get to London to get to Portsmouth to give a talk on Turnings (yes, but I can't find the Nicolas de Stael ROAD which was my inspiration, oh well), then Paris for my friend Marie-Claire Dumas, and Yves Bonnefoy, and some interview AGAIN about Dora Maar and then back to Carpentras for Mormoiron and our cabanon and various beloved visitors, including Matthew and Emily Bidwell, and my cousins Liz and B and so on and on, with our friends and neighbors and Boyce says: all we do is see people and friends and eat and drink and cook and OH MY GOODNESS WHAT COULD BE MORE DELIGHTFUL???

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

robert motherwell

so I went to Provincetown to celebrate Robert Motherwell, whom I loved, the largeness and physical ungainliness of his so gainly and large soul and mind.... and it was overwhelmingly grand, the prints and the audience and the discussion in the gallery - the Hudson Walker Gallery next to the very super Fine Arts Work Center and then the mseum, PAAM, and everyone so receptive and you could really talk about what you wanted to talk about, so i got to talk about Joyce and Alberti and Lorca and Melville,  and Catherine Mosley, who worked with  him so many years, was magificently clear and interesting, never a word too much, anyway, very grand it was, in the light of P'town, and I had coffee both days at the Wired Puppy, to walk on the beach after...