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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...

Walter Pater

just rereading Walter Pater on Pascal, his last essay, and for my Pascal book, always finished and never finished...
and I had quoted Pater at too much length, I thought, but
goodness me, his writing on colors, in his Miscellaneous Studies, which is where the Pascal is...
wow, and the blue distance/blue flowers/blue bits of heaven, must quote it for Maggie Nelson, who appeared tonight with her films and one of Harry Dodge, but too many people waiting afterwards to wait for her so will write
her Bluets is super stuff!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Motherwell Delights

So I am so delighted that I get to go to P'town this next weekend and talk about Robert Motherwell (whom I loved and loved talking with and love the works of) and various writers, and it is every time I think how fortunate I am, we are, that Rene Char gave us the Vaucluse and Motherwell gave us Provincetown as well as Greenwich and since I am still still still (yes, I haven't forgotten Pascal) thinking about something called "gathering places" or the equivalent, like Worpswede and Provincetown and the Florence Griswold house and Prague's literary cafe, it is especially heartwarming!