As we know, weinstein-like behaviour was rampant in the art world at that time. In describing Degas conduct, barnes made me chuckle by referencing a contrasting incident (what should one do on December 31 if not have a laugh? Unlike, say, puvis de Chavannes, who used to ask his models: How'd you like to see a great man's cock? Well, as an artist he ended up a nothing, but in his proclivities he was right where we are nowadays; except today hed be either sending such questions on Twitter or annoying secretaries with his propositions. Admittedly, the sweet and painterly style of Chavannes is an ideal example of todays intelligent notions of what is beauty that is, its what youll get in answer if you ask people what they truly think and promise not to tell anyone; otherwise theyll just. I am basically lying on a strange, sagging black sofa in a rented flat in a chinese city in the middle of nowhere, it is December 31, and i am entertaining myself with the crème de la crème of English essayists thoughts on the crème.
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The book has now been translated into English (or American English, as Barnes states with innocent disdain). All of these events are taking place in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of Degas death; he was lucky enough to head to the great beyond in the year of The Great October. As one expects of Barnes, this truly is an essay: it seems he knows the second Empire and the Third Republic better than anyone at the time or since, and he references numerous individuals, many of whom he adores. He begins with Jules Renard and continues with lautrec, renoir, cézanne, monet, george moore, whistler, assignment mallarmé, zola, maupassant, and even puvis de Chavannes. The latter is mentioned in rather amusing circumstances. Pauline (if such a person even existed; in any case, degas had several models with that writing name) tells Alice michel that the old artist was crude, bad tempered and so on, although occasionally his tone would change and hed turn soft and even nice. What can one say a man in his later years, and one who was also losing his eyesight; does anyone become better with age? And yes, in his old age degas became an anti-semite. Nevertheless, whatever he was like, he never tried to coerce the model into becoming his lover; although Degas was a boor, he did have something of the gentleman in him. There wasnt any weinstein stuff going on barnes writes in light parody of American English.
So, it is about the degas exhibitions at the fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, at the national Gallery in London (ongoing through may; I will definitely go once i return to europe and at the dOrsay in Paris (this one closes on February 25, but then. The book, for its part, is famous, and made quite a splash when it came out: Degas and His Model by Alice michel. It was published ten years after Degas death, and everything about it is mysterious. First of all, we still dont know who wrote. Under the pseudonym of Alice michel hides someone who has written down the stories of Degas model pauline. There were rumours that it was some novelist Rachilde, who also hid her true business identity; she was a founder and editor of the. Mercure de France, which published paulines accounts of the artist.
And here we have julian Barnes essay on Degas for the. London review of books. Formally, its a review of three exhibitions and one book, all in one. In fact, its an essay of the kind that only barnes can write elegant, slightly wistful, Chekhovian (if Chekhov had been friends with the goncourts, zola, revelation and Jules Renard, and had collected Manet, renoir, or Degas). English essays written in a chekhovian intonation and with French fineness, or something like that. However, it is first and foremost. English essay logical, clear, and I had to look up only a couple of words (one of which the Oxford dictionary didnt even have a listing for).
After the bath, woman Drying Herself. Photo: The national Gallery, london. December 31, 2017, on the last day of the year I finished up the last odds and ends, and am reading everything I hadnt finished reading. Partly for the sake of mental housekeeping, partly because of boredom: I forbid myself from working on December. We used to drink ourselves silly on this day, but now? Especially here in Chengdu they have their own New year in a month and a half, and today life goes on as usual, that is, for a sunday. Theres sun, but you cant go out for a walk; even the double-tongued Chinese weather app describes todays air quality as being Unhealthy. This means that, in terms of human reality, curfew has set it, and one best not venture out of doors for quite a while. Which means that it is the perfect time to rewrite the birthdays of friends and family from the old daily planner to the new one (from an elegant grey-blue italian one to a black and boring Chinese one write in my diary, reply to unanswered.
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I jot down writers all sorts of notes on things i observe. But then I got to wondering if I should perhaps arrange these notes chronologically. And now comes the subject, the question of what i am going to write about. Ive long mulled over the following simple thought: the world in which we live is not a theatre, as Shakespeare asserted, but rather an object of art and an object of contemporary art, at that. If we add a bit of theology to the mix, then its also an object of conceptual art: we thought up the idea of a god who, like the author-character of the moscow conceptualists, directs a world which we he himself has created. Theres nothing blasphemous in my words: because if there is a god, then hes playing a completely different game, right? In conclusion, if Roland Barthes brought the semiotics of daily life into the limelight in his.
Mythologies, then i, being much more unassuming, simply think of everything that I see, hear, read or feel as being the phenomenon (forgive my pretentious style, but there is no other word for it) of contemporary art. This is not an indication of the good old aestheticization of the world, not at all. On the contrary my aim is the de-aestheticization of art. In even simpler terms: I seek to transform life into a chronologically organised space or territory; moreover, a territory of art in which lets rephrase the famous phrase by russian conservative icon Konstantin Pobedonostzev wanders an inquisitive man. What follows are this wandering mans notes on what he has seen and pondered.
Of course, i dont hide away my secret notebooks in a safe-deposit box ; anyone in the vicinity around me can quietly pick one up and read a few pages. I trust the moral decency of my friends and members of my family, but even if one of them does happen to fall into sin, they wont find anything interesting in these notebooks. My youth diary, as one would expect, is full of anger at the worlds faults, imperfections, also you can find there a lot of dreams typical for this trouble age, and. Later my diary consists of accounts of what ive read, heard, seen; going onwards, these are joined by new years resolutions and remorse as friends and acquaintances begin to leave this life. Occasionally there is some mention of money or the weather. Not too long ago i noticed that personal internal reviews had begun to drop by the wayside; in fact, they have now completely disappeared.
These are the circumstances that spurred me to begin another diary in 2018. An electronic one, and not about me and my life but about the world. Although not like the diaries of the goncourt brothers, mikhail kuzmin, or Lidiya ginzburg. And not on paper, but on an ipad. There is no question regarding the second condition: I tote along this grand invention. Apple everywhere.
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My diary is handwritten; once one notebook is filled, i place it next to the others. From my collection, one can contemplate the whole history of writing paper manufactured in the soviet write Union, russia, europe and now, China beginning with the late seventies and up to the current day. I write the diary for myself, and thats why i use pen and paper. It is a twofold discipline of recording something (firstly ) and recording by diary hand in order to not lose the discipline of recording something by hand (secondly ). I dont reread what ive written over these long years; who knows, i may never read it at all. Thats to say that the diaries will rot away after my death, having been read by no one. Actually, that is my intention.
As per my view, my-diary is a worthy online service and you must consider going giving it a try. android app is also available for accessing your free online diary on the. Users must avoid including personal details on their public pages. Stating your address, email and phone number is a big. Kirill Kobrin, introduction, ive been writing a diary, i am proud of the process of writing for almost thirty-six years now; admittedly, i write in it sporadically, sometimes with breaks that are up to two years long. But breaks are not so important. What is the main thing is that it exists, always by my side, waiting until I get over my laziness and I finally pick up a pen and write something down. You read that correctly a pen.
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