Friday, January 31

Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being



"The subversive works and personality of the French writer Alfred Jarry (1873–1907) played a crucial role in the transition from the nineteenth-century avant-garde to the emergent modernist movements of the early twentieth century. An inspiration for Dada and Surrealism and a touchstone for the Theatre of the Absurd, Jarry is most renowned for his play Ubu roi and the legend of its sensational premiere in 1896. To his contemporaries, however—figures such as Paul Gauguin, Henri Rousseau, Oscar Wilde, and Guillaume Apollinaire—Jarry’s prestige extended beyond theater. He applied his genius to poetry, the novel, and operettas; he was a graphic artist, an actor, a puppeteer, a critic, and the inventor of an imaginary science called pataphysics. For Jarry, engagements with technology, popular imagery, and the performance of everyday life could constitute works of art. ..."
The Morgan Library & Museum
Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being
The Paris Review: Playwright, Puppeteer, Artist, Cyclist

Les minutes de sable mémorial (Paris: Mercure de France, 1894).

2011 April: The Insolent Eye: Jarry in Art, 2013 August: The Banquet Years of Apollinaire, Alfred Jarry, Henri Rousseau, and Erik Satie - Roger Shattuck, 2015 September: An Inglorious Slop-pail of a Play, 2019 November: Merrrrdrrrre!: Alfred Jarry and Père Ubu

Thursday, January 30

Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico - Ed Morales (2019)


"Next week marks the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria ripping Puerto Rico apart, killing an estimated 3,000 people and wracking nearly $100 billion in damages on an island already suffering a deep financial crisis. ... [Governor Ricardo] Rosselló’s resignation and the massive protests surrounding it brought the bright spotlight of international media for a few weeks, before attention inevitably turned away. It was a familiar dynamic to freelance journalist and educator Ed Morales, who, in his new book Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico, explains how the island’s colonial status and the ways its economy was set up as a captive market for US corporations led to its modern day debt crisis and the neoliberal austerity measures that have followed. ..."
Mother Jones: How American Colonialism Put Puerto Rico in Crisis
NY Times - ‘It’s Not Full Citizenship’: What It Means to Be Puerto Rican Post-María
Latino Rebels: Welcome to Fantasy Island (Audio)
amazon
Voice: A Cartoon History of Colonialism in Puerto Rico

Voice: A Cartoon History of Colonialism in Puerto Rico

2017 December: Puerto Rico Sketchbook: The Artists with the Shovels, 2017 June: Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York, 2018 January: Nuyorican, 2018 January: Meet the Puerto Ricans Who Fled to New York After Maria

The Latest on Betelgeuse, Plus a Bright Supernova and New Comet Iwamoto


Although Virgo is replete with galaxies, NGC 4636 will only take a little effort to find. It's located 5° NNE of Gamma () Virginis.
"The sky provides. This winter, the fading of Betelgeuse caught us all by surprise. Now, as January wraps up, we can add a new comet discovery and a supernova bright enough to see in a 6-inch telescope to an ever-growing list of seasonal sky wonders. As astronomers turned their spectrographs toward Betelgeuse, skywatchers from beginners to seasoned amateurs thrilled to see the red supergiant fade before their eyes. With a little help from Aldebaran and Bellatrix, which served as comparison stars, Betelgeuse made hundreds if not thousands of new variable star observers. ..."
Sky & Telescope

What a spectacle! Comet PanSTARRS passes through the outskirts of the Perseus Double Cluster on January 27th and remains near the starry duo all week.

Wednesday, January 29

When Pina Bausch Made Tanz Into Tanztheater


Marion Cito, left, with Jan Minarik, the original Bluebeard.
"WUPPERTAL, Germany — The dancers lay in darkness on the floor of a studio here. Although a video was playing, they closed their eyes and focused on listening: to the fervent, intense voices of Bartok’s opera 'Bluebeard’s Castle,' and to sounds of breathing, screaming, silence, laughter, sobbing and the sibilance of rustling leaves. They were listening to a performance of Pina Bausch’s 'Bluebeard. While Listening to a Tape Recording of Bela Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle,’ created in 1977 and not performed since 1994. For most of the dancers, almost half of whom joined the Wuppertal Tanztheater after Bausch’s death in 2009, these were the sounds of the past. They evoke a world of brutality and tenderness, irrationality and sadness, familiar to anyone who has seen Bausch’s powerfully dramatic, dreamlike works, which have come to define the genre of tanztheater, or dance theater, over the last 40 years. ..."
NY Times
Bluebeard. While Listening to a Tape Recording of Béla Bartók´s opera “Duke Bluebeard´s Castle” - A Piece by Pina Bausch (Video)
How choreographer Pina Bausch revolutionised modern dance
“Does it stop being a real thing?”: Tanztheater Wuppertal and life after Pina Bausch

Beatrice Libonati as Judith in “Bluebeard” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1984.

2015 Pina Bausch: Year - Title (1972 - 1988), Year - Title (1989 - 2009), Costumes (1940-2009), Video, Sourcebook | Etc.

Tuesday, January 28

William Gottlieb


"William Paul Gottlieb (January 28, 1917 – April 23, 2006) was an American photographer and newspaper columnist who is best known for his classic photographs of the leading performers of the 'Golden Age' of American jazz in the 1930s and 1940s. Gottlieb's photographs are among the best known and widely reproduced images of this era of jazz. During the course of his career, Gottlieb took portraits of hundreds of prominent jazz musicians and personalities, typically while they were playing or singing at well-known New York City jazz clubs. Well-known musicians Gottlieb photographed included Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Jo Stafford, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald, Toots Thielemans, and Benny Carter. ..."
Wikipedia
William Gottlieb: The World’s Greatest Jazz Photographer?
The Jazz Photography of Bill Gottlieb
LOC: William P. Gottlieb Collection
YouTube: The Hippest Cat in New York: William Paul Gottlieb Jazz Photographer

Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra circa 1947, New York

Monday, January 27

The Saudi Connection: Inside the 9/11 Case That Divided the F.B.I.


The Sept. 11 attacks, and U.S. visas for Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi.
"On the morning of Sept. 11 last year, about two dozen family members of those killed in the terror attacks filed into the White House to visit with President Trump. It was a choreographed, somewhat stiff encounter, in which each family walked to the center of the Blue Room to share a moment of conversation with Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, before having a photograph taken with the first couple. Still, it was an opportunity the visitors were determined not to squander. One after another, the families asked Trump to release documents from the F.B.I.’s investigation into the 9/11 plot, documents that the Justice Department has long fought to keep secret. After so many years they needed closure, they said. They needed to know the truth. Some of the relatives reminded Trump that Presidents Bush and Obama blocked them from seeing the files, as did some of the F.B.I. bureaucrats the president so reviled. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: The Lessons of Anwar al-Awlaki (Video Aug. 27, 2015)
NY Times: Alka Pradhan v. Gitmo (Dec. 19, 2017)
ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine

The King Fahad Mosque in Culver City, Calif.

2011 September: The Encyclopedia of 9/11, 2011 September: WNYC's Guide to 9/11 Arts Events, 2011 September: September 11, 2001, 2014 May: The 9/11 Story Told at Bedrock, Powerful as a Punch to the Gut, 2019 September: Children of 9/11, Following Their Fathers’ Last Footsteps

Sunday, January 26

Synth Hero: The DNA of Electronic Music


ARP 2600
"The first Synth Hero of the new decade is Scanner aka British artist Robin Rimbaud. Since 1991 he has been intensely active in sonic art, producing concerts, installations and recordings, the albums Mass Observation (1994), Delivery (1997), and The Garden is Full of Metal (1998) hailed by critics as innovative and inspirational works of contemporary electronic music. To date he has scored 75 contemporary dance productions, including works for the London Royal Ballet and Merce Cunningham. In 2016 he installed his Water Drops sound work in Rijeka Airport in Croatia, Ghosts at Cliveden National Trust UK, and scored the world’s first ever Virtual Reality ballet, Nightfall. ..."
Synth Hero (Audio/Video)

Roland Juno 106

Saturday, January 25

The Juniper Tree - Nietzchka Keene (1990)


"The Juniper Tree is a 1990 Icelandic black-and-white medieval fantasy drama film directed and written by Nietzchka Keene. Based on the fairy tale 'The Juniper Tree' collected by the Brothers Grimm, it stars a small cast of five actors: Björk, Bryndis Petra Bragadóttir, Guðrún Gísladóttir, Valdimar Örn Flygenring and Geirlaug Sunna Þormar. The Juniper Tree is set in Iceland and portrays the story of two sisters, Margit (Björk Guðmundsdóttir) and her elder sister Katla (Bryndis Petra Bragadóttir), who escape their home after their mother (Guðrún Gísladóttir) is stoned and burned for witchcraft. They go where no one knows them, and find Jóhann (Valdimar Örn Flygenring), a young widower who has a son called Jónas (Geirlaug Sunna Þormar). Katla uses magical powers to seduce Jóhann and they start living together. Margit and Jónas become friends. However, Jónas does not accept Katla as his stepmother and tries to convince his father to leave her. ..."
Wikipedia
W - The Juniper Tree (fairy tale)
W - Nietzchka Keene
NY Times - ‘The Juniper Tree’ Review: A Young Björk Enchants in Her Film Acting Debut (Video)
The Juniper Tree - Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
YouTube: The Juniper Tree | Trailer, Interview with Nietzchka Keene the writer-director of "The Juniper Tree"

JU HEARD: Jaylen 'JuJu' Murray Runs New York City


"This isn’t about rankings. This isn’t about stats. This isn’t about no type of analytics or advanced scouting. Just watch Jaylen 'JuJu' Murray play ball and it’s clear that JuJu Murray plays ball. It’s crystal-damn-clear that he’s the definition of a hooper. And if you get the chance to see him play outdoors in New York City, it’s even more claro that no per-game averages can quantify his impact on the community. JuJu has spent the past few years making NY proud, taking on any challenger who has enough cojones to step up, whether national or local, with a game that was built on the blacktop. No matter where he goes in New York, a hero’s welcome waits for him. He doesn’t have just one playground. The whole city is his playground. ..."
Slam (Video)
Slam: JuJu Murray (Video)

Friday, January 24

Joseph Mitchell - "The Mohawks in High Steel" (1949)


"The Wigwam (75 Nevin, Brooklyn), opened in the 1950s-60s by a Spanish immigrant and Mohawk woman, was the epicenter of Mohawk skywalkers who helped build much of the New York City skyline. It had been a bar from the late 1800s. In 1949, it was still called by its 2nd name, Nevins Street Bar & Grill, mentioned by Joseph Mitchell in 'The Mohawks in High Steel,' serving beer from Montreal. At Wigwam, Mohawk women tended bar like Verlain White, who arrived at 19 in 1959, when it was rare for women to work as bartenders. The bar had a portrait of Jim Thorpe, the Olympics gold medalist from Sac and Fox Nation. The door had a sign that read: 'The Greatest Iron Workers in the World Pass Thru These Doors.' ..."
facebook
Joseph Mitchell - The Mohawks in High Steel (1949)
Men of steel: How Brooklyn’s Native American ironworkers built New York
Brooklyn Rail: Little Caughnawaga
The Mohawk skywalkers who shaped New York City
W - Mohawk people
YouTube: Mohawk Ironworkers, Sky Walking: A Mohawk Ironworker Keeps Tradition Alive

2014 August: Joseph Mitchell, 2015 May: Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker by Thomas Kunkel, 2015 December: Up in the Old Hotel (1992)

Thursday, January 23

Sidney Bechet...French Movies (2015)


"In 1955 Sidney Bechet was at the peak of his popularity. His concerts were sell-outs and his numerous records for Vogue were selling in quantities previously unheard of in the Jazz field. It was thus logical that the cinema should begin to show an interest in the great man, all the more since Sidney had until now made only a token screen appearances. The collection features songs from all 3 of his movies, 'Serie Noire' a Pierre Gaspard-Huit melodrama directed by Pierre Foucaud, 'Blues' where Bechet plays a leading role and 'Ah Quelle Equipe!' where he features prominently as a Jazz musician. ..."
moochin about (Audio)
CD REVIEW: Sidney Bechet – French Movies
allmusic (Video)
W - Sidney Bechet
amazon: Jazz on Film: French Movies
YouTube: Sidney Bechet, Vic Dickenson, Teddy Buckner, Sammy Price - Cannes 1958: Once In A While, Sidney Bechet + Louis Armstrong + Django Reinhardt 1952, La Route Du Bonheur (excerpt), Sidney Bechet & Claude Luter 1952 - Les Oignons, « I've Found a New Baby » par Sidney Bechet (1958)

Wednesday, January 22

Rock Bottom - Robert Wyatt (1972)


"Very few artists, musicians in particular, can recover from an accident that leaves them paralyzed from the waist down. If said artist is a drummer, a skill that requires one’s lower limbs in equal measure to the upper ones, then that drummer has already seen the better part of his career. However if you are Robert Wyatt, one of Canterbury scene’s most prominent musicians, who at the age of 28 dropped from a 4th floor bathroom window after imbibing large quantities of alcohol, you use this horrific event as a turning point, embark on a new career and release an album for the ages. This is the story of that album, Rock Bottom. The tale of Rock Bottom starts in Venice, Italy, during the winter of 1972. Wyatt was spending time with his then-girlfriend Alfreda Benge, whom he met at his band Matching Mole’s debut gig in London, January 1972. ..."
The Music Aficionado (Video)
W - Rock Bottom (album)
amazon
YouTube: Rock Bottom (Full Album 1974)

2010 November: Robert Wyatt, 2012 October: Comicopera, 2013 March: The Last Nightingale, 2013 September: Solar Flares Burn for You (2003), 2014 March: Cuckooland (2003), 2014 October: Robert Wyatt Story (BBC Four, 2001), 2014 December: Different Every Time (2014), 2016 March: Interviews (2014), 2016 June: Dondestan (Revisited)(1998), 2016 September: Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), 2017 January: '68 (2013), 2017 May: Shleep (1997)

Tuesday, January 21

The Democrats' Best Choices for President


"American voters must choose between three sharply divergent visions of the future. The incumbent president, Donald Trump, is clear about where he is guiding the Republican Party — white nativism at home and America First unilateralism abroad, brazen corruption, escalating culture wars, a judiciary stacked with ideologues and the veneration of a mythological past where the hierarchy in American society was defined and unchallenged. On the Democratic side, an essential debate is underway between two visions that may define the future of the party and perhaps the nation. Some in the party view President Trump as an aberration and believe that a return to a more sensible America is possible. Then there are those who believe that President Trump was the product of political and economic systems so rotten that they must be replaced. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: New York Times Editorial Board Endorses Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren

Art and Literature - John Ashbery, Anne Dunn, Rodrigo Moynihan, and Sonia Orwell. Paris (1964–67)


"On Monday, November 5th, I attended the John Ashbery reading at the Folger Library in Washington DC. I found out about it at the last minute and assumed that it would be sold out (like a Ferlinghetti reading years before) but tickets were still available on Friday afternoon. I was surprised, but apparently a lot of people have never heard of the man considered by many to be 'the greatest living American poet.' And of those who have, quite a few have not read his work. Ashbery is like Pynchon, a name to be thrown around and discussed at a certain kind of dinner party to demonstrate your wide reading even if you have not done the heavy lifting of actually turning the pages. In the case of Pynchon’s Against the Day that is a lot of pages. As I have written in the Bunker, Ashbery’s and Burroughs’ literary concerns and personal lives seem to circle around each other without actually meeting. ..."
RealityStudio: John Ashbery at the Folger Library
From a Secret Location: Art and Literature - John Ashbery, Anne Dunn, Rodrigo Moynihan, and Sonia Orwell. Paris (1964–67)
BOMB: John Ashbery by Adam Fitzgerald

Monday, January 20

Interview: Artist Spends 5 Years Drawing Giant Colored Pencil Map of North America


"Artist and cartographer Anton Thomas is making waves for his enormous, hand-drawn map of North America. Executed in pen and colored pencil over the course of nearly 5 years, he spent almost 4,000 hours creating this incredibly detailed view of the continent. It’s an ambitious project that required Thomas’ dedication and a lot of sacrifice; but in the end, he was rewarded both personally and professionally for his trouble. The 5′ x 4′ map sprawls across a single piece of paper and is a testament to Thomas’ tenacity. No ordinary map, North America: Portrait of a Continent is filled with Easter eggs waiting to be discovered. This includes 600 individual city skylines, as well as thousands of details that help tell the story of an individual place. ..."
My Modern Met

Queensborough Bridge, 1913 by Edward Hopper


"Queensborough Bridge, has nothing heroic about it despite its gigantic scale. Unlike many artists of the day, Hopper was never tempted to sing the praises of modern engineering. Even the ironic Marcel Duchamp, two years after arriving in New York in 1915, declared that 'The only works of art America has produced are its sanitary installations and its bridges.' This belief in progress, shared by many of Hopper's contemporaries and not foreign even to the Precisionists of the 1920s, ran counter to his skeptical nature. Queensborough Bridge shows no sign of an enthusiasm for technology. The bridge extending diagonally into the background provides Hopper with an opportunity to depict atmospheric phenomena, to let near objects merge gradually with more distant ones - just as Claude Monet did with such virtuosity in his series of Waterloo Bridge paintings around the turn of the century. ..."
Edward Hopper

2008 July: Edward Hopper, 2010 October: Finding Nighthawks, 2010 December: Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time, 2012 Wednesday: Through Edward Hopper's eyes: in search of an artist's seaside inspiration, 2013 July: Hopper Drawing, 2014 May: INTERVIEW: “An Interview with Edward Hopper, June 17, 1959″., 2014 September: How Edward Hopper “Storyboarded” His Iconic Painting Nighthawks, 2015 February: Edward Hopper's New York: A Walking Tour, 2015 September: Edward Hopper life and works, 2016 May: "Night Windows," 1928, 2016 July: Sunday (1926), 2016 September: Drug Store (1927), 2018 January: Seven A.M. (1948), 2018 February: Jo Hopper, Woman in the Sun, 2019 August: Pennsylvania Coal Town (1947)

Sunday, January 19

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: 8 Places in New York to Remember His Legacy


"The Cathedral of St. John the Divine - King delivered a sermon titled 'The Death of Evil Upon the Seashore' in 1956 at this enormous Episcopalian house of worship in Morningside Heights, Manhattan. In his speech, he drew a connection between the escape of Jewish slaves from Egypt in the Book of Exodus and the fate of African-Americans fighting for equality. 'There is a Red Sea in history that ultimately comes to carry the forces of goodness to victory,' he said. To commemorate King’s courageous optimism, the cathedral will hold a service in his memory. Later in the afternoon, in the Chapel of St. James, the composer and conductor Alice Parker will lead an hour of communal singing to honor the civil rights leader. ..."
NY Times
Wikipedia
YouTube: Martin Luther King's Last Speech: I've Been to the Mountaintop

2008 January: Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr. - 1, 2013 August: The March at 50 , 2015 January: Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein, 2015 February: Spider Martin’s Photographs of the Selma March Get a Broader View, 2015 March: Revisiting Selma, 2015 December: Atlanta: Darker Than Blue, 2016 February: Unpublished Black History, 2018 January: The Evolution of Dr. King, 2018 January: Restoring King, 2018 April: Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, January 17 – 25


The anticenter of the Milky Way, the point opposite the galactic center in Sagittarius, lies at the junction of Taurus, Auriga and Gemini near El Nath (Beta Tauri). Face this point, and summery Sagittarius is directly behind your head.
"... Sunday, Jan. 19: Algol shines at its minimum brightness, magnitude 3.4 instead of its usual 2.1, for about two hours centered on 7:25 p.m. EST. Algol takes several additional hours to rebrighten. At any random time you glance up at Algol, you have only a 1-in-30 chance of catching it at least 1 magnitude fainter than normal. Just as dawn begins on Monday morning, about 90 minutes before your local sunrise, look low in the southeast for the waning crescent Moon with Mars and Antares hanging below it. Lesser, whiter stars of Scorpius are scattered around them and to their right. Monday, Jan. 20: Dimmed Betelgeuse. The red supergiant Betelgeuse marking Orion's shoulder has always been slightly variable, but lately it has been in an unusually low dip: As of January 16th it was around visual magnitude +1.5 instead of its more typical +0.5. Its fading seems to have stopped. It's clearly fainter than Aldebaran, magnitude +0.9, with which it's often compared. Go look! This is a sight you've probably never seen before and may never again. Read Bob King's What’s Up With Betelgeuse? ..."
Sky & Telescope
W - Betelgeuse
The Truth About Betelgeuse, The Red Supergiant Star That Will Explode As A Spectacular Supernova (Video)

My Journey to Scotland's Most Remote Pub


The walk-in across the Knoydart peninsula
"For decades, the Old Forge was the holy grail of the British outdoors community. The UK's remotest pub, it could only be reached via boat or a three-day walk through one of Britain's last true wildernesses, the Knoydart peninsula in Scotland. A dispute between some locals and a new owner threatened the legend—until they decided to open up a pub of their own. ..."
Outside

The Glenfinnan Viaduct, in Inverness-shire, Scotland

Habibi Funk to release infectious Libyan reggae project by Ahmed Ben Ali


"Ahmed Ben Ali was born in 1971 in Benghazi. He went to boarding to school in Canada for 8 years, and returned to Libya. For a couple of years he also worked in the UK. While going to school and also living in the UK he was always playing music and playing in bands. This culminated in recording his first album, which he released in 2003. Since then he recorded maybe 40 tracks and released two more albums. He also started playing gigs in Libya with his own band. Contextualizing his own style Ben Ali pointed out that 'The Libyan folkloric rhythm is very similar to the reggae rhythm. So if Libyan people listen to reggae it’s easy for them to relate because it sounds familiar. This is the main reason why reggae became so popular here. […]We played the reggae Libyan style, it’s not the same as in Jamaica. We added our oriental notes to it and if you mix both it becomes something great.' ..."
Pan African Music (Video)
Habibi Funk to release Ahmed Ben Ali’s Libyan reggae 12”, Subhana (Audio)
Habibi Funk 012: Subhana by Ahmed Ben Ali (Audio)
YouTube: حبيبي فنك : Ahmed Ben Ali - Subhana (Libyan Reggae, 2008)

Saturday, January 18

Hear Christopher Tolkien (RIP) Read the Work of His Father J.R.R. Tolkien, Which He Tirelessly Worked to Preserve


"J.R.R. Tolkien is responsible for the existence of Middle-earth, the richly realized fictional setting of the Lord of the Rings novels. But he also did his bit for the existence of the much less fictional Christopher Tolkien, his third son as well as, in J.R.R.'s own words, his 'chief critic and collaborator.' Christopher spent much of his life returning the favor, dedicating himself to the organization, preservation, and publication of his father's notes on Middle-earth's elaborate geography, history, and mythology until his own death this past Wednesday at the age of 95. Most fans of Tolkien père came to know the work of Tolkien fils through The Silmarillion, the collection of the former's previously unpublished mythopoeic writings on Middle-Earth and the universe that contains it. ..."
Open Cuture (Video)
W - The Silmarillion, amazon
W - Christopher Tolkien

2010 January: The Lord of the Rings, 2018 January: An Atlas of Literary Maps Created by Great Authors: J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island & More, 2019 January: The Largest J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit in Generations Is Coming to the U.S.: Original Drawings, Manuscripts, Maps & More

Waiting for Dessert by Vladimir Estragon (1982)


"Chirruping chronicles of domesticity are not exactly the stock-in-trade of New York's Village Voice. But week after week a number of Voice readers turn straight to the autobiographical/gastronomical jottings of someone who calls himself Estragon. There is ordinarily a meal being cooked or eaten somewhere in the column, and usually things are polished off with a recipe. ... The Beckett moniker notwithstanding, Estragon mostly suggests an amalgam of Doonesbury, Julia Child, and Erma Bombeck (or maybe Laurence Sterne). Messy noses and vegetable-garden gluts, broken toasters and slaughter-your-own-pig roasts, imitation eclairs and echt spring asparagus bobble about in a soup of beamish associations. ... Unlike some collections of newspaper columns, this is at least as pleasant between the covers of a book as squashed in among the weekly mishaps. ..."
Kirkus Reviews
Outside Counsel
British Food in America - Roast beef salad.
W - Geoffrey Stokes
amazon

Robert Christgau (left) with longtime 'Voice' contributor Geoffrey Stokes

Friday, January 17

First Snow By Jill Talbot


"A silver mixing bowl, that’s what I remember my mother handing me. I was five. My first snow ice cream. For five years, my daughter and I have lived in this Texas town. For five years, no snow. But this morning, snow rushed down as my daughter slept. I snuck outside and cupped enough from the hood of her car. Milk, vanilla, sugar, and a pinch of salt. My mother’s bowl. This is not missing. This is us, living."
The Paris Review

Albert André - Music (1900)


"The critic Claude Roger-Marx successfully defined the charm of this painting by pointing out that 'the communion established between the figures and the décor, an atmosphere of good grace and contented bourgeoisie, the warmth here and there shedding a golden light on the faces, the hangings, the carpets, the frames, all have an attraction that compares to the best paintings by Vuillard'. Albert André was, moreover, a friend of Vuillard and an enthusiast of the Nabi aesthetic. In this respect, one can see here, in addition to the subject, the Nabi style of layout, particularly with the figures abruptly cut off in the foreground, a technique borrowed from Japanese prints. ..."
Musée d'Orsay
W - Albert André

Street kissers, street kittens: Bruce Davidson's new Britain – in pictures


Teenagers and jukebox, Hastings, England, 1960
"In 1960, the photographer was sent to the UK to shoot a country and a people emerging from postwar austerity into a new era. He perfectly captured the customs and traditions often overlooked by the British themselves.
Guardian

Wales, 1965

Thursday, January 16

Cahiers du Cinéma


"The first issue of Cahiers du Cinéma was dated April 1951 and featured on its cover a black-and-white still of Gloria Swanson, bathed in the beam of an unseen movie projector, from Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard. The choice seems ironic now, given that neither Wilder nor the silent cinema as embodied by Swanson remained a Cahiers favorite for very long. Though Wilder was much admired by the magazine’s founders—Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Lo Duca, and André Bazin—his work was typed as too literary by the generation of 'Jeunes Turcs' who quickly took over the magazine. Under the leadership of one Maurice Schérer, who became better known under his pseudonym, Eric Rohmer, the group included François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, and Jean-Luc Godard—the core of the movement that, when these young writers re-invented themselves as filmmakers, became known as the Nouvelle Vague. ..."
Cahiers Back in the Day
Guardian: A Short History of Cahiers du cinéma
LA Review - Binge and Purge: The Rise of Extreme Film Criticism
W - Cahiers du Cinéma, W - Cahiers du cinéma's Annual Top 10 Lists
amazon: Cahiers du Cinéma: The 1950s: Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave, Cahiers du Cinéma: The 1960s (1960–1968): New Wave, New Cinema, Reevaluating Hollywood, Cahiers du Cinéma, 1969-1972: The Politics of Representation

Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard at the Cahiers offices in 1959

Treasure Fever


"... Yet some of Cape Canaveral’s most storied attractions lie unseen, wedged under the sea’s surface in mud and sand, for this part of the world has a reputation as a deadly ship trap. Over the centuries, dozens of stately Old World galleons smashed, splintered, and sank on this irregular stretch of windy Florida coast. They were vessels built for war and commerce, traversing the globe carrying everything from coins to ornate cannons, boxes of silver and gold ingots, chests of emeralds and porcelain, and pearls from the Caribbean—the stuff of legends. ..."
Hakai Institute (Audio)


Wednesday, January 15

Elizabeth Warren’s Smart Answer on ‘Electability’


"Over the past few days, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have had a back-and-forth about whether he told her, in a private conversation in 2018, a woman couldn’t get elected president. She says he did. He vehemently denies it. There is a real chance they could both be right. I have had many conversations go this way, and either party’s interpretation of what was said or meant could ring true. I believe that Mr. Sanders sees women as capable of being president. I also believe Ms. Warren perceived him to be arguing that a woman was incapable of winning. It actually mirrors an Ipsos poll from June in which three-quarters of Democratic and independent women believed they would be comfortable with a female president. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: Winners and Losers of the Democratic Debate
CNN: Elizabeth Warren's winning zinger (Video)