purejuice: (billy budd)
Every once in a while, more often than not, I am felled by brain freeze, during which time I feel okay physically but basically can do nothing but watch junk television. If I have been a prudent ant, the freezer is full of homecooked soup.

It is, as Virginia Woolf would say, partly a spiritual experience, and the proof is you wake up, you look at the newspaper, you eat some oatmeal, you see this, and out of the sky like a lightening bolt comes a 6000 word essay which could probably be a book too.

Watch this space.

Today's NYT
Ingres' seminal Comtesse d'Haussonville from the Frick graces page one of the New York Times. Here's lookin' at you, Jean-Auguste.

The Countess' Skirt
The countess' skirt inspires the coalition of 20 years' reading.


Also a really numinous sense of the Los Angeles light in which [personal profile] auntysocial lives and breathes and has her being, from the background and establishing shots of Sober House, too gorgeous Mediterranean vegetation and desert hills, and of Savannah -- man, Daufuskie Island shots of palmettoes and Spanish moss and fish-filled waters brought tears to my eyes -- in Ruby.

I'm going to spend several hours spelunking in the books. plus in Larousse Gastronomique on the proletarian origin of restaurants, Jane Jacobs' Life and Death of Great Cities. You know. Flaneuring.

I just wanted to add, having encountered lit crit of Shakespeare and Joyce in the last 48 hours, plus a tiny taste of art crit in the blurb on the countess in today's NYT: how is it that, or what do you call it when, the supposedly greatest minds -- and one of the really interesting things about Shakespeare is that great writers have all taken him on, from Dr. Johnson to Coleridge to T.S. Eliot -- focus on criticism so stupid you can't hardly stand it? Like, King Lear is unactable (Is it really, now? Tell it to Paul Scofield) or Hamlet, the first great tragedy to have been produced in Europe in two thousand years and the living, incredibly affecting if not viral, model of modern existential mind, is, similarly, "an artistic failure" (Tom, you ignorant slut!), and the countess' right arm, in a painting for which Ingres did 60 studies, is growing out of her stomach? Yes, you are correct but so incredibly tedious I am rescinding your invitation to dinner.

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purejuice

January 2012

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