The Philosopher of Failure: Emil Cioran’s Heights of Despair
-By Costica Bradatan
On Two types of societies –
All societies are bad; but there are degrees, I admit, and if I have chosen this one, it is because I can distinguish among the nuances of trumpery” .
Emil Cioran (1911–1995) was a Romanian-born French philosopher and author of some two dozen books of savage, unsettling beauty. He is an essayist in the best French tradition, and even though French was not his native tongue, many think him among the finest writers in that language. His writing style is whimsical, unsystematic, fragmentary; he is celebrated as one of the great masters of aphorism. But the “fragment” was for Cioran more than a writing style: it was a vocation and a way of life; he called himself “un homme de fragment.”
Emil Cioran (wiki) The Melancholy thinker..
Regarding God, Cioran has noted that “without Bach, God would be a complete second rate figure” and that “Bach’s music is the only argument proving the creation of the Universe cannot be regarded a complete failure”.
William H. Gass called Cioran’s work “a philosophical romance on the modern themes of alienation, absurdity, boredom, futility, decay, the tyranny of history, the vulgarities of change, awareness as agony, reason as disease”. (via wki)
10 Delightfully Surly Books for the Relentless Pessimist
A further glimpse into Cioran’s peculiar manner of political thinking, in a letter he sent to Mircea Eliade in 1935: “My formula for all things political,” he writes, “is the following: fight wholeheartedly for things in which you do not believe.” Not that such a confession brings much clarity to Cioran’s involvement, but it places his “ravings” within a certain psychological perspective. This split personality characterized the later Cioran, and it makes sense, for a philosopher who sees the world as a failure of grand proportions, to mock the cosmic order (and himself in the process) by pretending that there is some meaning where there is none. You know that everything is pointless, but by behaving as if it wasn’t, you manage to articulate your dissent and undermine the designs of the “evil demiurge.” And you do that with boundless irony and humor, which is rigorously meant to counter the divine farce. He who laughs last laughs hardest.
Francis Picabia – 22 January 1879 – November 30, 1953
Poet, painter, self-described funny guy, idiot, failure, pickpocket, and anti-artist par excellence, Francis Picabia was a defining figure in the Dada movement; indeed, André Breton called Picabia one of the only “true” Dadas.
I Am A Beautiful Monster
Who is with me is against me.
“Entr’acte,” the avant-garde film he made in 1924 with René Clair, and his contentious series of figurative paintings from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. Borrowing from art history, soft-core pornography and commercial art, they presage Pop Art, appropriation art and Neo-Expressionism.
“Our Heads Are Round So Our Thoughts Can Change Direction” is a Picabia aphorism consistent with another one: “The only movement is perpetual movement.” The show has a propulsive, joyous energy. Something new, different and often challenging waits in nearly every gallery.
Dada is like your hopes: nothing like your paradise: nothing like your idols: nothing like your heroes: nothing like your artists: nothing like your religions: nothing
photo via Cohencentric
See the photo of Leonard Cohen’s last album here and explore this mega Leonard Cohen site.
Can’t imagine a world without Leonard Cohen, a deep avoid we must face in “Future” and hear his song again.
Lonard Cohen dead at 82 (Rolling Stone)
Yeats and Federico Garcia Lorca were Cohen’s favorite poets.
Long time ago I was about 15 in my hometown of Montreal, I was rumbling through….or rambling as you say down here. We say “rumbling” .Actually we don’t say that at all. I was rumbling through this bookstore in Montreal. And I came upon this old book, a second-hand book of poems by a Spanish poet. I opened it up and I read these lines : “I want to pass through the arches of Elvira, to see your thighs and begin weeping”. Well that certainly was a refreshing sentiment. I began my own search for those arches those thighs and those tears….Another line “The morning through fistfuls of ants at my face” It’s a terrible idea. But this was a universe I understood thoroughly and I began to pursue it, I began to follow it and I began to live in it. And now these many years later, it is my great privilege to be able to offer my tiny homage to this great Spanish poet, the aniversary of whose assassination was celebrated two years ago. He was killed by the Civil Guards in Spain in 1936. But my real homage to this poet was naming my own daughter Lorca. It was Federico Garcia Lorca. I set one of his poems to music and translated it. He called it “Little Vienese Waltz”. My song is called “Take this Waltz”.
With Sonny Rollings – Who by Fire
More from Leonard Cohen Archive.
Velázquez Portraits: Truth in Painting at the Met
November 4, 2016–March 12, 2017
In the earliest portrait of Felipe Prospero, the prince rests his hand on the chair, symbol of royal status and power. In that chair, a sweet dog rests happily. Arthur C. Danto, the already cited professor of philosophy from Columbia, comments:
“Given the chair in the rigid semiotics of courtly etiquette in Spain, something is being conveyed beyond the fact that spoiled dogs climb into furniture in which courtiers would not dare to sit. Some metaphysical joke? Or the suggestion that dogs hold some rank in nature higher than slaves or even courtiers: All I know is that a dog in a chair is not innocent naturalism.”
Pareja, his mulatto slave whom he had taught to paint. In it, he endowed Juan, whom he freed, with a majestic presence, adorning him with a fancy lace collar, a luxurious form of adornment forbidden by the sumptuary laws of the time, especially to someone of his social category.
Picasso’s Meninas by Richard Hamilton
By TERRENCE RAFFERTY- OCT. 26, 2016
The Latest and Best in Horror
Rene Burri – Germany Treptow, 1959
Swiss photographer see more here.
7 Things To Know About Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’
1. “Her” is dedicated to the memories of actor James Gandolfini, author Maurice Sendak, cinematographer Harris Savides and musician-filmmaker Adam Yauch. (All four had worked with Jonze in some capacity over the last 20 years.)
2. Two former “Saturday Night Live” cast members have their voices featured in “Her,” as does one of Jonze’s “Adaptation” co-stars. (These surprises are better left unspoiled without any further specifics.)
3. Samantha Morton, who voiced Samantha during the film’s production and was replaced by Johansson after principal photography wrapped, is credited as an associate producer on the movie.
“Every movie I’ve worked on takes a long time to find what it is, and that was part of the process of this movie finding what it was,” Jonze said when asked about the impetus behind the actress switch. “I’m hesitant to answer that question, because what Samantha brought to the movie by being with us on set was huge. What she gave me in the movie, and what she gave Joaquin in the movie, off camera, was huge. I think what Scarlett gave to the movie was also huge. I would rather leave it at that.”
4. Chris Cooper, who was cut from the film altogether, is thanked in the end credits. So, too, are Catherine Keener, Nicole Holofcener, Bennett Miller and Steven Soderbergh, among others. As Mark Harris revealed in the recent New York Magazine cover story on “Her,” Jonze asked Soderbergh to put together his own cut of the film, though the final edit belonged to Jonze and his editors, Eric Zumbrunnen and Jeff Buchanan.
5. “The Moon Song,” an original track that Karen O wrote for the film’s soundtrack, is sung onscreen by Johansson with backup from Phoenix. (Karen O’s version plays in the credits.)
6. Jonze said he met with the design team behind The High Line, an elevated park on Manhattan’s West Side, to discuss the futuristic look of his film. He also revealed that he was inspired by the colors at Jamba Juice.
7. Woody Allen was a big influence on the film’s script. “One of the movies I watched when I was writing [‘Her’] was ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ because that script is so incredibly written,” Jonze explained. “There’s a lot of talking about the idea of what the movie is about, but mostly the characters are plowing through the story, and taking you through the story, with their decisions. That was really inspiring.”
Film still from “Her”
Happy birthday Spike Jonze
Studs Terkel interviews a very young Bob Dylan in 1963 and it’s incredible
If you’re a fan of Dylan’s early work, I implore you to spend an hour with this stellar interview that he did with Studs Terkel from the spring of 1963 . You won’t regret it. It’s a very cool piece of history in my humble opinion.
Bob Dylan is a notoriously tough person to interview and that’s definitely the case here, even this early in his life as a public persona. On the other hand, Terkel is a veteran interviewer, one of the best ever, and he seems genuinely impressed with the young man who was just 21 at the time and had but one record of mainly covers under his belt. Terkel does a good job of keeping things on track as he expertly gets out of the way and listens while gleaning what he can from his subject. It’s an interesting match-up.
Studs Terkel “guerilla journalist”
Painting by Beverly Finster.
(Visiting Rubin Hurricane Carter)
Bob Dylan and Levon playing Ping Pong here.
Via Ray Grasse –
Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for literature – the award will be formally handed out on Dec. 10th, just as Jupiter crosses over the top of his horoscope (which pretty much confirms that birth time.)
It wasn’t [Bob Dylan’s] originality which first impressed me, but his familiarity. He was a person out of my books, singing to the real guitar. Dylan was what I’d always meant by the poet. – Leonard Cohen
See Bob Dylan – photo by Danny Lyon..