Never managed to stumble across this page before. Thought I’d share.
Archive for July, 2009
Bellmer’s relationship with Zürn was fraught with tensions and her eventual suicide (she leapt from the window of the aprtment they shared together) has been variously blamed on the influence of Bellmer and of Henri Michaux. Comments like Bellmer’s in Die Puppe don’t help matters; he wrote that his aesthetics was “a wish to conserve the tragic and precise trace of a falling naked body, from the window onto the sidewalk, as a strange object [trans. Caroline Rupprecht].” Zürn was hospitalized multiple times for mental illness in the years leading up to her suicide, and her writing has a sort of urgent, claustrophobic intensity that makes it easy for later readers to speculate on how closely the art mirrored the mind. Dark Spring is a short, taxing read and the most readily available text in english.
Bellmer’s work (artbooks here, here, here) is uncanny and has a sort of sinister, erotic vibe to it that I’m not used to seeing in Surrealism. His Die Puppe is available in english, but looks to be out of print.
She herself was an artist as well as a writer. Check out this post for a sample of her work.
Originally posted at Missing The Moon 12/07
Aaaaahh, Robert McNamara.
I’m currently reading The Best and the Brightest. It’s ponderous, overlong, and overeverything—and a fascinating read. If you want to know about U.S. foreign policy between 1945 and 1970 (all of it, not just Indochina), this is for you. Halberstam weaves a tale that reads like a novel, albeit a very intellectual one; he picks out the telling detail, the insightful anecdote and, always, the right word. The book is populated with some real characters, too, especially that JFK fella. Best of all, Halberstam is opinionated and angry. He hammers the people who ought to be hammered.
The parallels between Vietnam and our current fiasco are there. Extremely topical reading, about a war that we didn’t have to make.
How Iraq is like Vietnam:
In both cases:
The U.S. govt tried to solve a political problem with a military solution. The U.S. govt did not learn the lessons from its previous military fiasco on foreign soil. When faced with the damning evidence that what they were doing was not working, the U.S. govt went into a fierce denial mode. The solution would be to send more troops over. It is much easier to send troops in than to get them out. The U.S. believed it could win by fighting a conventional ground/air war. Hahahahaha. Each administration was led by intelligent, arrogant, hubristic fucks who were totally out of touch with the pisspoor reality of their respective wars. Each war scuppered the American economy, leading to serious domestic problems. Each war scuppered the ruling party, the Democrats with LBJ, and the GOP with Shrub. There is a reason why the world hates America.
David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest is as pertinent today as the day it came out in 1972. It is a long, bulky, dense read, but utterly fascinating in describing the perfect storm of bad decision-making that stained our country forever. I swear, you could substitute the word Iraq for Vietnam on any page; amazingly prescient. Both of these wars did not have to happen. This is not objective history. Halberstam is opinionated and uses his characters for target practice. I’m surprised no one sued for libel. At one point he calls Robert McNamara an idiot. He vivisects LBJ. Not a quick read, but a great one.
(via PCL Linkdump)
I had no idea what “Les Petit Boudins” translated to, but thanks to the World of Kane (who has more details,) i now know it’s typical Serge:
A harsh insult directed at girls in France. A “Petit Boudin” (“little pudding”?) is a fat girl who doesn’t get invited to parties, but is considered “easy” by boys.
Zoroastrian fire temple in West Azarbaijan, Iran. It was destroyed at the order of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius in the 7th century AD. Folk legends later sprang up that Solomon had imprisoned demons in the depths of in the crater lake.
A company contracted to build a road in Afghanistan wants to bulldoze the Cheshma-e-Shafa gorge to clear a path for a road. Archaeologists have practically had to lay down in front of the bulldozers tosave the site. It’s illegal in Afghanistan to demolish a site like this, but it’s Afghanistan. They have bigger problems to worry about at the moment.
Here’s an older story on Cheshma-e-Shafa from last year. A detail that i missed first time around:
archaeologists have uncovered a 6-foot-tall (2-meter-tall) anvil-like stone believed to have been an altar at a fire temple originating from the Persian Empire period around the 6th century B.C.
Zoroastrian fire temple! Fragments of the empire of Alexander the Great! The mosque of Non-Gonbad!
Really? Does this need to be bulldozed? I wouldn’t be surprised if this construction company took a bribe from the Taliban in their ongoing efforts to erase history.
The new oldest human settlement in the Aegean Islands has been located. It’s 14,000 years old, on the island of Lemnos. The previous oldest site identified was 10,000 years old, on the island of Yioura.
Stone tools and the like. Hunters, fishers, gatherers… you know the routine…. nice date on the area, but it doesn’t seem like a huge surprise.